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Are fiberglass particles the only shiny ones?


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I live in an apartment complex. I've been sampling the dust around my place, and Im seeing what looks like reflective particles. Im worried it could be fiberglass, but then again, is it possible it could be something else?

The only place I can imagine it coming from is around my kitchen cabinets. The installer did a bad job sealing them back up around the top (maybe in other spots around the cabinets)...and the hole goes downward into the innards of the building. I have noticed some air current once in a while but there isnt a lot of flow. If there is fiber glass down there or something, can it be traveling upwards? Sorry If I seem like someones who's somewhat uneducated about building/inspecting...that's because I am. Im also nervous for myself and my family.

So these shiny dust pieces, can they be something else? Maybe come from outside? How can I find out for sure?

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If there are open holes in a wall, and you are at an upper floor, you are going to be getting stack effect wafting micro particles toward the upper floors.

Shiny particles could well be fiberglass. Or not. Seal up the hole. Clean your house. Tell us if the particles come back.

Don't lose too much sleep about being exposed to microfibers. There's only a few million trillions floating around your neighborhood right now.

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If there are open holes in a wall, and you are at an upper floor, you are going to be getting stack effect wafting micro particles toward the upper floors.

Shiny particles could well be fiberglass. Or not. Seal up the hole. Clean your house. Tell us if the particles come back.

Don't lose too much sleep about being exposed to microfibers. There's only a few million trillions floating around your neighborhood right now.

I did the best I can with duct tape quite a while ago when I first noticed the shoddiness. Didn't really take note of the dust until now.

If you look through the "hole" you can see brick, or a some sort of gray slate. Not sure what purpose insulation would serve down there but who knows. Im worried about the shiny specs.

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It's good to be concerned about foreign particles in the living space, just don't panic.

Forget duct tape. It's not even any good for sealing ducts.

Cut some cardboard to fit that will cover the holes. Form, fold, or otherwise shape the thing so you get a decent fit to cover the hole. Tape the edges with Gorilla Tape. Forget about it.

Gorilla Tape is an expensive variation of duct tape; it's worth every penny. It actually does all the things folks imagine the grey duct tape does.

I have no idea how folks got this idea that plain old duct tape is wonderful stuff that can be used for fixing all sorts of things; it doesn't do a damn thing. Not a single thing. Throw every bit you have in the garbage.

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It's good to be concerned about foreign particles in the living space, just don't panic.

Forget duct tape. It's not even any good for sealing ducts.

Cut some cardboard to fit that will cover the holes. Form, fold, or otherwise shape the thing so you get a decent fit to cover the hole. Tape the edges with Gorilla Tape. Forget about it.

Gorilla Tape is an expensive variation of duct tape; it's worth every penny. It actually does all the things folks imagine the grey duct tape does.

I have no idea how folks got this idea that plain old duct tape is wonderful stuff that can be used for fixing all sorts of things; it doesn't do a damn thing. Not a single thing. Throw every bit you have in the garbage.

Thanks, Ill give that a shot. Im also going to call the condo association...maybe they can advise if there is anything to be concerned about down there.

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It's good to be concerned about foreign particles in the living space, just don't panic.

Forget duct tape. It's not even any good for sealing ducts.

Cut some cardboard to fit that will cover the holes. Form, fold, or otherwise shape the thing so you get a decent fit to cover the hole. Tape the edges with Gorilla Tape. Forget about it.

Gorilla Tape is an expensive variation of duct tape; it's worth every penny. It actually does all the things folks imagine the grey duct tape does.

I have no idea how folks got this idea that plain old duct tape is wonderful stuff that can be used for fixing all sorts of things; it doesn't do a damn thing. Not a single thing. Throw every bit you have in the garbage.

Thread drift.

Why the crusade against cheap duct tape? I used it on the new heat duct I ran to my bedroom 10 yrs ago or so. The duct is not buried so I can verify it is still holding fine. I'm pretty sure I used what ever cheap silver crap I had laying around. It's not Gorilla tape but it's not useless. I even have it on the bottoms of my Homer Simpson slippers so you know I take this very seriously. Every home should have a couple rolls.

Gorilla tape isn't that expensive anymore. $9 for 100'x2". Yes, I admit Gorilla tape is great stuff.

Scotch has a duct tape called Tough Duct which comes with instructions I understand. Costs more than Gorilla. Never used it.

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Everyone gets to do whatever they want. I just don't want duct tape doing anything where it makes a difference.

I've had good luck using grey duct tape to remove warts; wrap it around the finger with the wart, change it out every day, the warts go bye bye. Don't know what's in the stuff, but it kills warts.

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I'd like to point out that the Apollo astronauts took ordinary gray tape (they didn't call it "duct" tape) to the moon with them. In the movie "Apollo 13", and in the book "Lost Moon" from which the movie comes, they use gray tape to help fashion the air scrubber that saves their lives.

They were planning to use it to tape down trash bags.

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Any other insight for me besides tape advice? :)

Do you own a microscope?

Fiberglass that wafts in through cracks generally looks like tiny fibers. When it gets caught in openings, it tends to look very delicate and feathery. I wouldn't describe it as shiny particles, more like fine filaments.

How old is the building?

Could you post a picture of the building from the exterior?

Pictures of the gaps around the cabinets?

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Any other insight for me besides tape advice? :)

Do you own a microscope?

Fiberglass that wafts in through cracks generally looks like tiny fibers. When it gets caught in openings, it tends to look very delicate and feathery. I wouldn't describe it as shiny particles, more like fine filaments.

How old is the building?

Could you post a picture of the building from the exterior?

Pictures of the gaps around the cabinets?

The buildings were built in the early to mid 70's. I can try and get you those pics tomorrow.

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So I had a contractor over. The person who installed my cabinets had to knock out part of the sheet rock in order to get the correct fit. So, on one of my walls the cabinets are installed on top of the sheet rock. On the connecting wall, the sheet rock is knocked out and the cabinets are directly up against the studs...which is why you can see the concrete behind them.

He told me that the quick fix is to use expanding foam sealant to seal up the cracks, Otherwise, I guess I need new cabinets and sheet rock? [:-weepn]

I dont know what to do, I just hope I haven't been inhaling blown insulation for a year and a half. Im sort of nervous and overwhelmed.

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I just hope I haven't been inhaling blown insulation for a year and a half. Im sort of nervous and overwhelmed.

Well, unless it's vermiculite and contains asbestos, it's not liable to do you any harm anyway. Even if it is asbestos containing, it takes about 2 to 3 decades before you know if it's affected your health and by then you really won't know anyway, because you've already been exposed to asbestos particals your entire life.

Best thing to do; fix it the way you want and put it out of your mind. There's no sense fretting about something you can't control.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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OK, I get it. Foam is not a bad idea for a basic "seal up the hole" approach. Foam it, let the foam set, then take a knife and clean up the lumpy stuff until you have a decent square/clean surface. Patch it with drywall compound, paint it.

Don't sweat the dust. I'm not casual about this stuff, but the harsh reality is you're exposed to all sorts of micro fibers every day. Clean up what you got, clean your house, go on living.

Get a HEPA vacuum; they're nice to have for all sorts of clean up stuff. Run over the place with a HEPA vac; you'll be in the 99% of clean habitations.

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It's called Great Stuff. Beware getting it on yourself or anywhere you don't want it as it's almost impossible to get off, don't put too much in as it expands wildly.

Experiment outside somewhere until you get the hang of what you're doing. It's not rocket science, but you'll see what I'm talking about after you make a few trial runs.

It expands, then sets up fairly hard. After it's hardened, use a razor knife to cut it to get a clean right angle and finish surface. Smear on any old drywall compound as this is a gap toothed hillbilly type repair methodology in the first place, so don't be obsessing about perfection.

But, it'll work OK.

Paint it, forget about it.

And don't use crappy duct tape anymore, even if it is romanticized in the Apollo 13 story. Get Gorilla Tape. You'll see what I mean when you use it.

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A word of caution if you're new to using expanding foam - it expands for several minutes after you spray it into a cavity. Go light with the first few shots and watch it fill the gap.

If you don't do this right, the foam could blow your cabinets right off the wall, no kidding..

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. . . I dont know what to do, I just hope I haven't been inhaling blown insulation for a year and a half. Im sort of nervous and overwhelmed.

You're not going to get much symptathy here. It's a board full of people who roll around in this crap on a daily basis.

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So my father came over and gave me a hand. The foam worked like a charm, and we used some silicone for backup. That foam can really get sloppy though! Whether or not I was getting anything harmful coming up, its nice have piece of mind. Thanks again guys.

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