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  1. #1
    John Droll's Avatar
    John Droll Guest

    Default Exposed insulation - Gym

    I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong section. I thought inspections would be a proper place since you all may have seen this type of installation before.

    My question is about the safety of exposed insulation in a gym.

    There is a two story office building. On the first floor is a gym. The gym has an exposed ceiling and I can see the paper of roll insulation. In some areas, the insulation has disconnected from the ceiling and is hanging about a foot. Also in this gym are four 100 pound heavy punching bags connected by chain to an open-web steel joist. The steel joist is supporting the floor of the second floor.

    My understanding is that fiberglass insulation (hopefully that is what it is) does not provide a health hazard unless it is disturbed. Since there are punching bags on the floor support, the whole ceiling probably shakes which constantly disturbs the insulation.

    Do you all think there is a health and safety issue? If so, what would you suggest to fix it? What would the outcome of an inspection be?


    Thank you.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    1,078

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Sounds like a commerical building.

    Every piece of paper backed insulation has it printed on the paper it must be protected from flame and cannot be left exposed. If there is a fire in the gym, the paper will burn. Don't stay in the gym when it is on fire.

    The floor support system is designed for a specific loading. A swinging punching bag puts a "live" load on the floor system it may not have been designed for. A professional engineer with structural experinece with commerical buildings would be the best choice to determine if the punching bags are a structural concern. Don't care about the insulation. Properly secureing the insulation is a seperate issue from the punching bag stressing the floor system.

    The results of an inspection of your gym could reveal any number of issues. One of the first questions is who should be doing the inspection and why? Could be the fire marshall who flags the exposed paper backing. Could be a municpality code enforcement inspector who flags the way you prop open fire doors to get better air circulation into the gym.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
    John Droll's Avatar
    John Droll Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Thank you for the information.

    Are there no health codes about exposed insulation? My interest is really in that rather than the bags. I mentioned the bags to show how the ceiling would shake and to show that the insulation probably is getting disturbed regularly.


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Huntington Beach
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    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Airborne fiberglass fibers can irritate the skin, nose and throat, and some people are more sensitive than others. Is it a health hazard? It depends on who you talk to. I don't know of any health codes that address it, but then I'm not a health inspector. I would recommend they re-attach the insulation though, for the same reasons Bruce indicates.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Fibreglass Fact Sheet - Illinois Dept. of Health

    Fiberglass Fact Sheet


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Quote Originally Posted by John Droll View Post
    I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong section. I thought inspections would be a proper place since you all may have seen this type of installation before.

    My question is about the safety of exposed insulation in a gym.

    There is a two story office building. On the first floor is a gym. The gym has an exposed ceiling and I can see the paper of roll insulation. In some areas, the insulation has disconnected from the ceiling and is hanging about a foot. Also in this gym are four 100 pound heavy punching bags connected by chain to an open-web steel joist. The steel joist is supporting the floor of the second floor.

    My understanding is that fiberglass insulation (hopefully that is what it is) does not provide a health hazard unless it is disturbed. Since there are punching bags on the floor support, the whole ceiling probably shakes which constantly disturbs the insulation.

    Do you all think there is a health and safety issue? If so, what would you suggest to fix it? What would the outcome of an inspection be?


    Thank you.
    Is it a commercial building with white poly wrapped insulation or fiberglass bat insulation with the insulation side of the batts exposed to the open. If it is the wrapped insulation in white poly then the insulation is not getting to you


  7. #7
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    The OP said it has paper backing.


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    The OP said it has paper backing.
    So much for reading every word


  9. #9
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Smile Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Ted,
    I wish business would pick up so I could be in a rush and miss words too.


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    Ted,
    I wish business would pick up so I could be in a rush and miss words too.
    If it were not so true it would be funny. This month has been pretty much a bomb so far. A few good ones and a couple little ones. Other than that I think everyone lost their telephones.I have one for ....next week right now. This week everyone seems to be eating turkey early


  11. #11
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    I am amazed at how many folks are still wanting to get into this business now.


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    I am amazed at how many folks are still wanting to get into this business now.
    Absolutely astonishing. Some folks call me and ask no questions and book the inspection and then I talk price. Those folks read my website and decided I was a fit. The rest of the folks beat my price on a home and termite inspection by ridiculous amounts and they just went down the list next to the Google map.

    I gave a guy a great price on a home under 2000 sf which included the termite because he was so close to me. The time I would have saved from travel alone warranted the slightly lower price. The fool actually laughed at me and said he had a few folks that would beat my price by 75 dollars. They do both the home and termite with there handy dandy tech license under a pest control company. I thought getting more knowledge was suppose to warrant more money. Not free giveaways. I gave up my tech license. It is not fair to the client (or me) to have an inspector hurry through the termite inspection so they can get to the home inspection. I only used it when my folks, on the rare occasion, could not get to it in my time frame. That only happens once in a blue moon.

    And to think I cringed at the lesser price that I gave him due to I usually try to hold a fair reasonable price. I am just quoting my standard price I normally would now. The heck with trying to be nice. What do they say? Nice guys finish last!

    Yes, I get calls all the time inquiring about the home inspection business. They truly believe they are going to rake the money in hand over fist. For some they never even made a couple hundred a day before so they think to charge so little and still make so much that they are going to be rich.

    Now, lets talk of the other side where all the vacations, sick days, retirement, yearly bonuses are supplied and see how much they wont be making working for themselves in a down housing market.

    Anyway, that is my rant. Have not done that for a while.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Exposed insulation - Gym

    A bit off subject-

    To all all of us in the inspection profession we should be aware that Fiberglass (glass wools) has been listed as a "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen"

    Wear respiratory protection at all times needed.

    I spent 20 plus years in biotechnology based on cancer and immunology and was a HazMat Technician/Emergency response person.

    I have always thought that this would be a listed material at some point.

    Here is the NIH link on the report for glass wool fibers-

    http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twe...WoolFibers.pdf


    Here is a link for an blog I wrote about this-

    Fiberglass- Health Risk? Wenatchee and Chelan Home Inspections

    I can reasonably anticipate that we will be writing up fiberglass in the future in homes.

    Also, in my humble opinion, it may be the worst of the insulators anyway and we should move away from it.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

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