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  1. #1
    Ryan Penn's Avatar
    Ryan Penn Guest

    Default Anyone know???(insulation)

    I inspected a house for some clients but they can not move in untill escrow closes. They rented a house for the mean time and called me yesterday saying that they feel they have been sick for the month they have been there and they found some odd bags of something in the attic of this 70+ year old home. I did look around for any other possibilities and asked about heater use, ect., and then went into the attic and found a few brittle bags of this Pilsbury Feed spread out in various areas as well as some still in the bags. Anyone ever seen this before and know of any possible health concerns. Thanks for any help. Sorry if pics are bad.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    I've can't imagine those bags are putting off enough of anything to be harmful after as long as it appears they've been there. Also, there's really not that much air exchange between an attic and the living space of a house... in most cases, anyway.

    I'd keep it in mind but I'd be searching elsewhere for more of a 'smoking gun' if they really only feel sick while in the house.


  3. #3
    Gerald Wilcox's Avatar
    Gerald Wilcox Guest

    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    The first pic looks like crushed/shredded, Balsam fir or redwood bark loose fill insulation. I do not know if it has any predisposition to making someone ill, beyond someone with allergies? The question would be how and where would the air exchange between the house and attic occur. The insulation does not have any fungicidal or mold inhibiters other than the natural properties of the redwood. It also doesn't have any fire retardant properties either. It is also usually very dusty. Hope this helps....
    Sincerely,
    Gerald Wilcox
    House Check Home Inspections
    Independent Home Inspector in North Dakota, Serving Minot, Bismarck, Devil's Lake, Jamestown areas


  4. #4
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
    Ed Voytovich Guest

    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Ryan: Please check the furnace, the water heater, the gas oven, and any other combustion appliance in the house.

    If there is an attached garage, check to make sure it does not communicate with the house through ductwork, through cracks and crevices, or in any other way.

    If you don't feel qualified to test these appliances and the connection between the house and the garage, please find a qualified technician Certified by The Building Performance Institute (www.BPI.org) or The National Comfort Institute. You could also call the Fire Department. The situation you describe here could easily be caused by CO (carbon monoxide).

    The problem should be considered to be serious until proven otherwise.

    Good luck, and please let us know how it turns out.


  5. #5
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
    Craig Ervin Guest

    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Look for mold or repairs where mold could have been, look under the carpet too. Have them get a CO detector if the furnace is still running. Open the windows and "air out" the house. Describe the sick feeling? headaches, dizziness can be CO poisoning. Have them take a trip for a couple days to see if their problems disappear too. Who knows, maybe somebody spray some insecticide in the house to get rid of bugs and thats making them sick.


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    The third pic looks like someone's rear end (ha, ha)!

    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Although I agree with Gerald Wilcox regarding identification, the "balsa wool" may have been treated with lime or borax to give it fire resistant qualities.

    The third photo appears to be of a feed bag for Soy based animal feed from Pillsbury Mills in Los Angeles.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post

    The third photo appears to be of a feed bag for Soy based animal feed from Pillsbury Mills in Los Angeles
    .
    .
    Thank You Captain Obvious.
    .

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Thank You Captain Obvious.
    .
    WELL Captain Obnoxious, that means the feed bag was applied sometime after 1940, since Pillsbury didn't purchase the Globe Milling Co. operations in Ogden, UT, Colton, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego until 1941!

    The feed bag may have a value all its own .


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Penn View Post


    found some odd bags of something in the attic of this 70+ year old home
    ..
    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post

    WELL Captain Obnoxious,

    that means the feed bag was applied sometime after 1940, since Pillsbury didn't purchase the Globe Milling Co. operations in Ogden, UT, Colton, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego until 1941!

    .
    .
    Shazam !

    Ya Think?

    .

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  11. #11
    David Burch's Avatar
    David Burch Guest

    Default Re: Anyone know???(insulation)

    Ryan,
    I would look at any possibility of low levels of carbon monoxide. Several studies have shown that low level exposure can cause flu like symptoms and fatigue when exposed for long periods of time. These levels often are too low for CO detectors to alarm and many times are overlooked since they don't appear to be at the "dangerous" level. I ran into this in a house in Baltimore. I would contact someone trained in backdraft analysis and overall building performance.

    Just my two cents....


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