When you’re considering keeping your home safe and sound, you should look at the interior as well. Old houses, in particular, are crafted with different materials that not only don’t age well, they also become health hazards. A common example of this is the widespread use of asbestos in building homes before the toxic nature of asbestos became widely known.
By this time, there were plenty of deaths, diseases as well as too many homes that had asbestos insulation. Faced with this scenario, people had to get the insulation removed or contained in some manner. Unaware of how toxic asbestos is, people were literally poisoning themselves while they sat around in their homes.
Once asbestos was known as a health hazard, active measures were taken to ensure that it was no longer used. On the other hand, there are still some gray areas that are overlooked. One of those is the use of vermiculite insulation in your home. At first glance, vermiculite is a harmless substance. In fact, it is widely used in gardening with many plants being potted in it. In raw form, vermiculite is just a mineral, but once it is heated and expanded, it becomes just as toxic as asbestos.
Unfortunately, much like the asbestos scenario, vermiculite insulation was used on a large scale as it was considered to be a great replacement for asbestos insulation. Again, the toxic nature of vermiculite insulation wasn’t uncovered until much later. By that time, it was too late. Around 10 million homes are said to have vermiculite insulation in their homes. Moreover, vermiculite was also a popular material of choice in textured paint. It’s responsible for giving homes that rough, textured wall.
What’s the Big Deal Though?
The major reason why vermiculite insulation has gained so much notoriety is because it can and does have traces of asbestos in it. This is because much like asbestos, vermiculite is a mineral that is mined. If the conditions are favourable, vermiculite and asbestos can grow together. When vermiculite from such areas is mined for use, it can contain asbestos in it, which then means that the individual exposed to it faces severe health complications.
Another factor that makes vermiculite insulation so life threatening is the kind of asbestos – which is more strong and more harmful to people — it contains. Amphibole asbestos is even more harmful than the regular chrysotile asbestos that is found in regular asbestos insulation. Given the fact that chrysotile asbestos can cause lung cancer, organ failure and respiratory complications, it is understood that amphibole asbestos is going to cause severe harm.
It is also interesting to note here that vermiculite usually contains only around 1% of asbestos. However, based on the kind of asbestos it is, this 1% is extremely harmful to your life. In many instances, people can also expose themselves because, unaware of the asbestos content in the vermiculite insulation, they can slack the installation process. This carelessness can cost them their lives. One good factor though is that vermiculite insulation in the home is usually covered with layers of other materials.
However, this also means that not only can you not be sure if you vermiculite insulation in your home, you have to be careful of the fact that any damage to the other layers can potentially disturb the vermiculite insulation layer, causing it to release asbestos fibres into the air. This is a potentially hazardous situation to be in and one where you will feel like you are sitting on a landmine.
How Do You Know You Have Vermiculite Insulation?
To determine if you have vermiculite insulation in your home, it is a good idea to check the areas that have insulation in place. Be very careful not to disturb the insulation because that can make it very likely for it to release asbestos fibres into the air. The microscopic nature of these fibres can mean that you inhale them without realising the damage they cause to you. Also considering the fact asbestos poisoning symptoms can manifest years after the exposure, you cannot rely on your failing health as a sign that you have vermiculite insulation in your home.
Now visually, vermiculite insulation is actually brown or tan in colour, and is often the texture of popcorn. If there is no area that is damaged, do not purposely seek to damage an area of insulation so that you can get a look at the vermiculite insulation underneath. If the area is already damaged, it is a good idea to just step back and call in the experts. Make sure that area is also not frequented by children or even your pets since they can do more damage to the vermiculite insulation and suffer from the asbestos fibres that are being released into the atmosphere.
Calling the experts can help you not only to determine if you have vermiculite insulation, it can also work wonders in ensuring that you are able to get the damaged area properly sealed off. Experts have the right tools as well as the proper expertise to ensure that you are safe and that the vermiculite insulation is removed and contained in the proper manner. It is also a good idea to have the experts evaluate your home for the presence of vermiculite insulation.
Getting Vermiculite Insulation Removed
An important factor that you need to keep in mind that vermiculite insulation should only be removed if it is damaged or disturbed in some manner. If left as is, you don’t have to fear for asbestos poisoning. The main reason behind this is because having insulation removed and re-installed is an extremely costly endeavour for many home owners.
Similarly, the cost of removal can go up when dealing with vermiculite insulation since the experts working on it have to consider making use of proper safety gear and following safety protocols to have it removed properly. If you are choosing to leave vermiculite insulation in your home, you should consider getting the area properly sealed or have it secured in some manner. In this way, you will be able to ensure that you are able to keep your home safe and are able to deal with proper removal once you have the funds to do so.
Keep in mind that the decision to get the insulation removed is largely your own. If you feel like you will be more comfortable with having the vermiculite insulation removed, then go for it. Just be sure to let the professionals you are working with know what they are handling. This will ensure that they are able to proper attention to removal procedures can ensure that no harm is caused or residue is left behind.
Working with Professionals
Never decide to skip on working with professionals for removal of vermiculite insulation. Not only can you damage the other areas of your house, you can also expose yourself to asbestos poisoning. With symptoms appearing only after years, it can be very dangerous for you since it won’t be apparent if you have suffered from anything or not.
Working with professionals is the best alternative as they have the proper gear, the know-how for safe removal and can also deploy a few measures to help deal with any residual asbestos particles. No matter how good a DIY fixer you are, always reach out to the professionals to help you out. In this case, it is a matter of life of death, not just for you but for your family too. It can make a huge impact on your health and the health of your family members too.
For this reason, be sure to take your time and really shop around to find the right professionals. This can be a good time to look at user reviews, recommendations and the experience of the company to truly gauge how qualified they are to handle the project you have in mind. Their experience will definitely play a bigger role here in ensuring that you are happy with the overall result and that it is conducted as safely as possible.
Finding the Right Professionals
It is a good idea to take your time to find the right professionals to handle vermiculite insulation removal. With the right professionals, you can ensure that you are able to get the best services without suffering from any adverse reactions. If you are searching for someone, take a look at Nikom Construction. Our services are designed to not only help with finishing your home but also address a number of different projects, including creative ones.
Whether you want an estimate or want to get more ideas, you can easily get in touch with us and our experts can successfully evaluate and assess the proper mode to take when considering proper removal of vermiculite insulation from your home. For more information regarding our services, feel free to call us at: 519-721-6457. You can also visit our website to fill in an online form to get a free consultation session and a free estimate on your hom