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Black Insulation

Bill Kibbel

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Small 7200 sq. ft., 25 year old, 1 storey professional building w/6 suites. Area separation divides to 3 attic spaces.

In one shared attic over a dentist office and insurance office, the blown-in fiberglass is like slate grey throughout, and dark black in 2 areas. I can usually find the cause of discolored insulation, but not this time.

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Trusses, plywood decking and OSB gable sheathing have no discoloration.

No evidence of any previous fire or smoke and absolutely no odor.

No combustion appliances ever in the building (HPs & small elec. water heaters).

Only spots of very small previous flashing leaks.

No excessive moisture anywhere in the building.

No production/manufacturing ever in the building.

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If you Google "pest control insulation" you come up with a few links to products that may be what you have there. Terminex, Orkin, etc have this as an option, blown in over existing insulation.. I haven't seen it myself, but it does look similar to the stuff in your photo.

Have a look at the photo at http://en.prnasia.com/story/67926-0.shtml

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Except those are batts, Kibble's stuff is clearly blown in.

The color of stabilized cellulose is changing. As newspapers shrink, local weeklies merge or disappear, and magazines go digital, manufacturers are looking at different material sources. Up to 1/3 of Applegate cellulose is made of 'brown board', essentially cereal box material.

It's very dark grey. I've never seen it black.

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The pink is a few random batts. The yellow is the blown-in fiberglass that has turned gray in some areas and black in a couple large spots. It's not any type of mineral wool and nothing was added over the original insulation.

I can't open the link, but the pest control insulation I've seen is cellulose and a consistent gray throughout.

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