What Is Vermiculite and Why Should You Be Concerned?
Vermiculite is a natural insulation material — but it’s one that you definitely don’t want to have in your attic.
Vermiculite is a mineral mined from the earth, composed of shiny flakes that look like cat litter. When this mineral is put in an oven, it expands like popcorn. Expanded vermiculite is lightweight, fire-resistant, and odorless; since it has an R-value of about R-2 per inch, it was used for decades as an insulation material.
There is only one problem with this wonderful material: most vermiculite contains friable asbestos. When inhaled, vermiculite dust can be hazardous.
Owners of homes with vermiculite have a huge headache. If your attic contains vermiculite:
- It’s dangerous to enter your attic.
- It’s dangerous to perform any attic air sealing work until all of the vermiculite has been removed by a certified asbestos abatement contractor.
- It’s dangerous to install cellulose insulation on top of the vermiculite
If you have more questions about vermiculite or other building material that you need help identifying, give SERVPRO of Bend a call at 541-385-7044.