Vermiculite is a common material that's present in many older forms of insulation and appliances. Although this material is affordable and durable, it can also provide some health hazards if it is contaminated with asbestos. Here is what you need to know about vermiculite and its risks in your home.
What Does Vermiculite Look Like?
Vermiculite is a shiny, flaky mineral with particles that can be either powdered or in long shards. Vermiculite in your home may be hidden within your insulation, but if you break open a section of old insulation, you may notice the shiny particles that are released into the air. Having vermiculite in your house doesn't guarantee that you have a health hazard on your hands, but it does warn you that asbestos testing is a good idea.
How is Vermiculite Harmful?
In itself, vermiculite isn't harmful. However, many sources of vermiculite are contaminated with asbestos since many vermiculite products were extracted from a mine that also contained asbestos. Therefore, many American-made sources of vermiculite products, including appliances, home shingles, and wall insulation, are potential sources for asbestos poisoning.
How to Test Vermiculite for Asbestos Contamination
For companies like Hazmat Solutions asbestos testing is the first step in removing vermiculite; hiring such a company is your best bet if you want to do a thorough job of testing for asbestos in the home. Before this official test, you should first research old appliances to see if they are known to contain vermiculite and/or asbestos. That will give you some idea of what to expect come inspection time. Asbestos tests will include several laboratory tests to see if asbestos is found in your home samples. This process may take a few weeks, since the samples need to be sent off to a remote lab.
How to Target and Remove Vermiculite in Your Home
If you do notice vermiculite in your home, or if you get your home tested positive for asbestos contamination, you'll need to develop a strategy for removing the asbestos. It may be wise to start in the attic and work your way down through the house, since the particles can be shaken loose from above and begin to float through the air.
Children's rooms are another important place to target for vermiculite and asbestos control; asbestos is very harmful to children's lungs since they aren't fully formed. Make sure that your asbestos removal worker targets both the vermiculite and the residue that's left behind during removal.Share
6 August 2015
Hi, my name is Julie, and I have always loved projects. As I have gotten older, I have expanded from the visual arts to interior design, architecture and restoration. I'm particularly interested in saving the artistic value of old homes or finding new ways to integrate art into these spaces. If the idea of finding an old mosaic under the paint on your wall excites you, if you get a thrill from old fireplaces or if you just like art in general, this blog is for you. It looks at restoration with a focus on art. I also plan to include general repair tips and more. Enjoy!