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industry best practices? vermiculite under fiber


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I wish you had an inspector that was able to identify it for you. If knowledgeable, he might have informed you that disturbing it/removing it is the biggest risk of exposure to asbestos fibers.

Keeping it undisturbed under other insulation and contained in the walls would have been my advice. I live and work with all kinds of asbestos containing building materials.

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advic ... stos.shtml

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I should have mentioned that I am renovating and it is at the bottom of numerous walls in the house. I had it removed from the attic by professionals. I can't afford to gut the house. In your opinion when I finish the floors and put the baseboards on will it be safe? I guess I could have an air test done...

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"The inspector said that he wasn't obligated by industry guidlines to look under visible insulation in the attic. So that he is justified in not mentioning it in his report."

Mentioning what? "I didn't look under visible insulation to see if there was vermiculite which may or may not contain asbestos?

BTW, "Visible insulation?" That's pretty funny. I've never seen any other kind.

I suppose you signed an agreement that might have said something like, "Latent and concealed defects are excluded from the inspection." That's there for a reason and is not an inspector cop-out, because frankly, some people are nuts and expect you to see what you can't.

Moving things at an inspection can be a tricky business and I don't do it without a reason.

I do warn my clients about some things I cannot see such as the underground sewer and chimney liners but I haven't gotten to the point of commenting about vermiculite I can't see which may or may not contain asbestos.

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Why don't people use Google to learn about this stuff? The info is readily available.

It is standard practice to cover vermiculite with fiberglass batts. This keeps it out of harm's way. Testing positive for asbestos says not much about your vermiculite. Some bags of vermiculite had no asbestos, some bags had some, but typically less than 5%, or even less than 1% asbestos.

Some labs will always say "less than 1% asbestos was found", even if they found none.

Study up on the various products in your old house that have higher concentrations of asbestos, such as the plaster, the pipe insulation, the floor tiles and the black glue under the floor covers. I see asbestos blankets rolled up and stuffed around ductwork in the basement. 60 years and nobody's bothered to question it.

I will usually look under a few fiberglass batts in an old attic, but it is not a standard HI requirement to look for things that aren't readily accessible. Occasionally, an informed client will ask me to look for vermiculite or asbestos. That is being proactive. They're almost disappointed to hear all they get is rockwool. [:)]

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Well, it isn't spelled out in our SOP. In fact, we have a disclaimer that copies ASHI pretty closely, not expected to identify blah blah.

But if I see an asbestos product, or suspected asbestos, wrapped around a heating duct, for example, I think I would be lax not to point it out. But of course, I am no expert, and I should call it suspected asbestos at least in the written report.

We are expected to identify the attic insulation, but not expected to move it, same as you guys.

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