What is Vermiculite and Why Should You Know?

Unless you live in an older home, you may not know about vermiculite. Vermiculite is a natural mineral that was used as insulation in homes from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, and is often found in attics.

It is silver-gold or gray-brown in colour and when it’s in its natural state, it is shiny and flat. If vermiculite becomes heated, it puffs up and creates pockets of air making it a great material for insulation. Also handy is the fact that it does not burn. So what is the problem?

Safety

When vermiculite is mined, the ore often contains asbestos. As most of us know by now, asbestos is harmful and can cause cancer and other diseases if inhaled. It has been linked with mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Vermiculite itself is not known to be a health concern, but some vermiculite insulation has been found to contain asbestos fibres.

One type of Vermiculite that was sold in Canada and is a concern is Zonolite® Attic Insulation. It was extracted from the Libby Mine in Montana. The mine had a natural asbestos deposit and this led to the vermiculite being contaminated with asbestos.

What should you do?

Not all vermiculite sold in Canada before 1990 has been contaminated with asbestos. However, if you think your home has vermiculite insulation, it is normal to be concerned about the possibility that your insulation may have asbestos fibers. You need to remember that if this type of vermiculite is in the attic or behind walls, it should not be disturbed and become airborne. It can be a problem when renovations are being done or other work that could open walls or the ceiling.  When the fibers within the asbestos are disturbed and released, you can breathe in these fibers and they are trapped in your lungs.

So if you suspect that your property may have vermiculite insulation and you are planning renovation work, you should have the vermiculite tested the presence of asbestos by a professional for before starting your project. If asbestos is detected, you can have it removed.

Removing vermiculite can be a complicated process.  It should be handled by companies with training and experience in asbestos removal. They can implement the strict industry standards and procedures that have been put in place to prevent cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can be prevented by sealing off and protecting the affected areas to protect the property and homeowners. 

Finding out your property has vermiculite does not mean you have asbestos in your home. Should testing reveal asbestos fibres in your vermiculite, it does not mean you need to remove it immediately. Decisions such as these are best made when you have full information and before any renovation projects begin. Mose Home Inspection’s goal is to provide you with everything you need to know about your home. And as a customer, you can always call us for more information and guidance or visit us at https://www.homeinspectionmontreal.com/

Mose Home Inspection Services
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Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
Home inspection
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