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Powdered Insulation?


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I have this powdered insulation between the floor joists of an apartment that I'm renting. The plastic that was holding it up has ripped down and it's now all over the floor. This crawlspace is vented and the wind is blowing it all around. I now have a layer of fine white powder dust on everything. I guess it's coming up into my apartment thru cracks in the floor and around all the copper heating pipe gaps. My question is: What the hell is this made of? I've googled powder insulation photos and none of them match what I have. I've included a link for the full size photo so you can get a real close look at it. In the bottom right hand corner, click on the 3 dots and then original size, and then click on photo with cursor to view full size. www.dropbox.com/s/c60yvjegsv8q6jy/23.jpg?dl=0

Could this be asbestos?

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Poly was stapled to the joists and then this white material was sprayed into the joist cavities, right? So this was done after 1970, maybe in the 80's.

You say 1964 and it might have been done then or added later.

Better pics, so I deleted those other possibilities.

Take a sample to a lab and pay about $50 to find out for sure what it is and maybe what it is adulterated with.

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It looks like very fine cellulose.

UFFI was snow white and was a foam. It looks like meringue. It doesn't look like your pictures.

Gypsum (perlite) was also very white and didn't (still doesn't) clump together.

Vermiculite is more like coarse sand.

Fiberglass and mineral wool (Rockwool) don't look anything like that.

My money is on cellulose.

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My bet is cellulose. Maybe they had a run of waste news print (white) rather than printed newspapers (black ink and white paper makes gray). Cellulose that is ground finely would have a powder like texture but still clump. If you look on the rafters, some is stuck up there that has the traditional look of cellulose.

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All true, but pure white cellulose? The white part is what threw me. And, it doesn't look like powder, it looks fibrous and clumpy. Sure looks like white fiberglass

I see cellulose over a wide range of colors from charcoal to manila. I've never seen pure white, but on my monitor, the stuff in the picture doesn't look pure white, but gray?

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White on the iPad. The stuff in the joists looks grey, so yeah, probably cellulose. The white threw me.

Also, blown into joist cavities with poly sheeting....sounds like cellulose. Sure looks like white clumpy asbestos on an iPad tho....

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I have seen cellulose fine enough to blown through 1 1/2" holes. It's almost fluffy and looks very much like the stuff in the pic.

The reason there is insulation stuck to the floor joists is because they are wet. Look at the pic again and you will see the condensation "water line". That's what happens when a vapor barrier is placed on the cold side of a cavity in a heating climate. Personally, I would be far more worried about rotten structure than asbestos.

From here it looks like the nastiest stuff you will find in that insulation is rodent excrement.

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It's appears that it could be perlite insulation. I find "fine perlite" in attics of older homes, usually it's about 2-4 inches deep. Fine perlite has similar look and consistency as baking flour or baby powder. The photo kind of looks like expanded perlite. You would have to have it tested to know if it contains asbestos. Perlite insulation it not expected to contain asbestos. Here's a site for some additional information. http://www.perlite.net/

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I don't think it's cellulose, I have cellulose falling down from my kitchen soffit and it is more brown in color and is a different texture. This stuff is more of a fibrous, whitish grey color with little shinny particles mixed in. What ever it is it's causing me breathing problems and nasal polyps. There is standing water down there that is causing condensation to build up in the insulation which then gets very heavy and pulls down the supporting plastic. I also have black mold growing inside my apartment and wet, cracked support beams which is causing my floors to lean to one side.

I called the Boro Inspector who sent the management company a letter asking them to make repairs, but they just ignored him. He says that he can't force the repairs because it's out of his jurisdiction because the building has more than 4 units. I also took them to court and received a judgement because they did not show up.

I called the NJ State Housing Inspector, but he refused to come out and do an inspection. He said, "I'm not coming there to do an inspection, what's their number, I'll call them". This was back in the 1st week of August and here I am in the middle of winter freezing because of all the missing insulation. Here are photos of everything that is going on.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/8377217@N ... 827472191/

Any ideas on who I should call next?

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I don't think it's cellulose, I have cellulose falling down from my kitchen soffit and it is more brown in color and is a different texture. This stuff is more of a fibrous, whitish grey color with little shinny particles mixed in. What ever it is it's causing me breathing problems and nasal polyps.

The other pictures show that it's cellulose. Grayish white is the most common color in our area.
Any ideas on who I should call next?
A doctor - to find out what's wrong with your nasal polyps, then some friends - to help pack up your stuff and move.
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First of all, I already went to see a doctor and showed him the photos. He said that the black mold could definitely be causing the sinus infections and polyps. He said that he couldn't comment on the white powder because he doesn't know the chemical makeup. I have an appointment to see him again, this time I'm going to see if he can give me something in writing as to mold being a cause.

Second, I'm surprised that your answers are to just move out. That's one of the reasons that America is so screwed up, everyone has this attitude of "Just let it go, don't fight it". Once you let something go, there's no turning back, it just becomes the new norm. I plan on moving out, right after they fix everything. Why should I just leave it for the next tenants to deal with, suppose they have young children, it's not fair to them. I'm really disappointed that no one had anything to say about the state inspector who refuses to do an inspection.

I guess my next step will be to get the press involved and place a call to call the NJ governor's office to find out why this person is being paid to hold the position of state inspector if he's not willing to do his job.

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I don't know of any wimps among those who have been here a while and have replied to your posts. It's just that those you might turn to elsewhere might well ask you: why don't you just move out?

Moving out doesn't mean you've given up. It means the landlord is losing a paying tenant. It hurts him. He hurt enough and he'll do something.

'Course if you want to fight, that's your choice.

Marc

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Choose the mountain where you wanna take a stand. Doing it with some dipshit small fry landlord isn't the wise choice. You already got the muni guy owning up to not having jurisdiction. What's your next move? You got next to nothing. You wanna mud wrestle about mold with a peabrain?

You can do better.

You might also talk to an attorney about the efficacy of publishing the landlords information on the internet.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I'll reach out to the governor's office and the channel 12 NJ news team, they have an investigator who covers stories like mine. The management company has several apartment complexes thru out the state so if he airs it on TV the repairs will be made real quick.

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