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New twist to vermiculite in attic question


moose13
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I have searched and read all i can about possible asbestos contained vermiculite insulation in the attic. I am in the process of winterizing my home and decided to check out the attic. This will be our second winter in this house. I know i needed more insulation up there so i scoped out what i have. I found some vermiculite looking stuff with fiberglass bats over it. The kicker and scary part is our furnace is in the attic. I heat mostly with wood but do use the heater when a fire is not burning. Am i filling my home with that dust and possible asbestos fiber? I know it costs a small fortune to have removed, do i have any other options, and is my family in any danger from this? I know its worst case scenario and i may be a bit paranoid, but this has me really freaked out. I know i need to do something about this electrical too. Thanks for any replies.

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As a start, you want to make absolutely sure the ductwork, air returns, filter slides, or any other portion of the air handling equipment is sealed tight.

Pressure differentials in the ducts will draw dirt into the air handling equipment.

As far as what's happened already, I have no idea.

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Would i be ok to fix electrical issues, make sure i am not drafting from attic at all and blow in a foot of insulation? Thanks for your response.

I would avoid blowing insulation in as that will create clouds of dust. Better to carefully lay fiberglass batts over all the exposed Vermiculite. Asbestos particles are extremely light and can remain airborne for hours. The key is to avoid stirring it up. The airborne particles are like microscopic needles that can become embedded in the lungs.

I'm no expert, but from what I've heard and read, the concentration of asbestos in vermiculite insulation can vary widely from bag to bag, depending on which areas of the mine it came from. Also, they say that the asbestos will migrate down through the vermiculite so it will be in higher concentration in the lower layers.

Vermiculite is fireproof and a good insulator. I have seen attics that have been scorched by fire but the fire stopped at the vermiculite layer.

That vapor barrier isn't really completely sealed anywhere so is not likely to cause a problem. You could cut slices in it if there's any sign of moisture being trapped there. Not likely. Paint your walls and ceilings with good quality paint to block moisture at the inside surface. Hope that helps a bit.

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