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  1. #1
    Doug Wheatley's Avatar
    Doug Wheatley Guest

    Default Vermiculite insulation

    How do all of you call out vermiculite insulation? It is well known that the risk is low, and virtually nil if it is undisturbed.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    It's an environmental concern which is outside the scope of most SoP. I have never put it's presence on a report. In my area it's very rare.... I think I've only run across it a couple times in 8+ years.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    In Illinois we are required to report the type of any insulation observed.

    When I '''suspect'' that it's Vermiculite, I note that testing is required for positive identification and to determine the asbestos content (if any), and suggest that the client start here

    Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation - May 2003 | Asbestos | US EPA
    http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ins...nbrochure2.pdf

    if they wish to better understand the implications of asbestos containing Vermiculite insulation.

    I also recommend that if they wish further advice as to how to proceed that they consult a Licensed Industrial Hygienist with experience in evaluating Vermiculite insulation.

    I also note that even if they decide that it's not a concern, they should consider the possibility that it may increase the difficulty of finding a buyer when it's their turn to sell.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 04-04-2008 at 09:06 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Even though the insulation in an undisturbed condition is not a major concern, it is a problem if you want to renovate the home by changing the layout, or construct an addition.

    Best advice is to let the client know that you that you observed it in the attic, that there is a potential for it to contain asbestos and refer to the advice and EPA bulletins the Michael Thomas has pointed out his response above.

    What about Pop-Corn ceilings from the 60-70's? Does anyone tell their buyers that this may contain asbestos and recommend that a Licensed Industrial Hygienist further investigate??? Sort of seems over the top.

    Has anyone found an EPA bulletin that addresses this potential hazard??
    What does one say about that Pop-corn ceilings?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Portland OR
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    43

    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    If there is a popcorn ceiling, I tell the client it most likely contains asbestos, and give them a link to the EPA website, and tell them where to get it tested. I leave the decision on what to do about it up to them, but try to help them figure out where to go next.
    Earlier this week I inspected a house with several popcorn ceilings, in one room the texture was flaking off a bit, so the buyers took some small pieces and had it tested. It did contain asbestos, and they negotiated with the seller. I'm not sure if they decided to remove it or cover it, I'll ask.


  6. #6
    Ed Bliss's Avatar
    Ed Bliss Guest

    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Michael, If you find the bags in which the insulation was packed still in the attic and the bags indicate that the product did or did not originate in Libby, Montana, is that enough proof for the governing authority to accept? Ed
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    In Illinois we are required to report the type of any insulation observed.

    When I '''suspect'' that it's Vermiculite, I note that testing is required for positive identification and to determine the asbestos content (if any), and suggest that the client start here

    Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation - May 2003 | Asbestos | US EPA
    http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ins...nbrochure2.pdf

    if they wish to better understand the implications of asbestos containing Vermiculite insulation.

    I also recommend that if they wish further advice as to how to proceed that they consult a Licensed Industrial Hygienist with experience in evaluating Vermiculite insulation.

    I also note that even if they decide that it's not a concern, they should consider the possibility that it may increase the difficulty of finding a buyer when it's their turn to sell.



  7. #7
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    I've never found a bag.

    If I did, I would regard it as a suggestive, bur not conclusive, proof of origin for all the installed insulation.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  8. #8
    Ed Bliss's Avatar
    Ed Bliss Guest

    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Michael, I just spoke with my attorney son in regard to finding the bags in the attic. His opinion is that it is circumstantial not suggestive evidence and circumstantial is as good as direct evidence and better than suggestive. If the bags were found in a shed or somewhere on the property they could be considered suggestive. Ed


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Ed,

    IMO, it's best to limit yourself to reporting what you can observe. The most I could know in such a situation is that "I observed a bag containing material similar in appearance to the insulation between the attic joists", and that's how I would report it.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  10. #10
    Carl Eisen's Avatar
    Carl Eisen Guest

    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Vermiculite is not an uncommon find in my area and a lot of that stuff was Zolonite. The amount of asbestos contained in this stuff was somewhere on the order of 1 to 2 percent. Our resident asbestos training company (Milwaukee Lead and Asbestos) states that because of the small percentages it is possible to get a negative test and yet the product is asbestos containing. Since testing is inconclusive they will not even test for the stuff. The client is told to treat it as asbestos containing. I do report the insulation as a possible asbestos containing material and that testing results are not conclusive. I have the PDF brochure on Vermiculite and print that with the report.


  11. #11
    Michael Farha's Avatar
    Michael Farha Guest

    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    In Oklahoma we are required to identify the type of insulation also. In addition, if I suspect the home has ANY enviromental or health hazardous materials present, I have a disclaimer at the bottom of the report that recommends they have it tested for complete certainty.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Tampa, Fl
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Zonolite made Fiberglass insulation also.


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Tampa, Fl
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    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Sorry, forgot photo.

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Oklahoma
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    98

    Default Re: Vermiculite insulation

    The vermiculite, used to make Zonolite home insulation, was known to contain tremolite, one of the most dangerous forms of asbestos because of the length of the fibers.


  15. #15
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    Exclamation Re: Vermiculite insulation

    Asbestos litigation: time expires in Oct. to file a claim against WR Grace.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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