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Old 11-09-2008, 01:51 PM   #1
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What the ????


I've run into many interesting things doing remodeling, but this was a first for me. While getting ready to change out the valve in a tub I hammered two exploratory holes into the tile and suddenly found myself in a scene from an "Indiana Jones" movie. White stuff resembling sugar started to pour into the tub from the two holes. As the 'white substance' began to fill the tub, white dust, as fine as smoke, began to fill the bathroom. I said to myself, "To heck with this", shut the bath door and shoved my drop cloth against the door gap. I went to my van, got a respirator, and returned to the bath after 15-20 mins. Most of the 'white smoke' had settled into a talc like powder all over the bath, and as you can see from the pics, the heavier stuff had overflowed the tub. It was lighter than sand but really did not appear to be cellulose. I asked the HO if she knew what it might be, but she said it was something that her husband had done to the walls years ago for sound deadening, but he had died a few years ago from Mesothelomia from working in an asbestos plant.
So, to my question: Has anyone here ever seen anything like this? And, just what is it? I ended up taking 3 garbage bags full out there, and as I said, it was pretty light, so thought it might be some type of cellulose, but had never heard of cellulose breaking down into such a fine powder.
TIA,
Brett
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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What the ????


I'm baffled. Perhaps some fool thought whatever it is would be good insulation or sound attenuation.

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Old 11-09-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
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What the ????


Looks Like You Found There Secret Stash !!!!
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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What the ????


It isn't Tony Montana's old house, is it?
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
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What the ????


Snort IT? Dang, I was worried about BREATHING IT!!! lol
Man, 3 garbage bags full.... that might have paid a few bills! lol
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:13 PM   #6
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What the ????


lol tony montanyas house LOL
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #7
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What the ????


Reminds me of the kitty litter insulation they use to use in walls, nothing like cutting in an old work box and hitting jackpot, and the fact that the wall might frost up in the winter time.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:03 AM   #8
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What the ????


Being this guy worked in an asbestos plant I would be concerned what it is. Could of been some experimental insulation or something that he brought home from work. Get it tested just to be sure.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:29 AM   #9
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What the ????


Given the history of the deceased husband, I'd would be willing to bet what the stuff is. The problem now becomes how to get rid of it to make the job site safe to work in. You definitely don't want to be dragging this stuff into your work truck and then into your own home on your clothes. I would be for getting it tested just to have the documentation. If it is in fact the big "A", then get an abatement contractor to clean up the site. That will get you in the clear if the home owner gets any ideas about you jeopardizing her health or contaminating her home. Imagine if he put it in ALL the walls. An abatement company may never be able to get an acceptable air clearance sample. I'd bet that just running the bathroom exhaust fan would create enough vacuum to create an unaceptable level of airborne fibers in a house filled with something like that.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:02 PM   #10
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What the ????


Probably is perlite or expanded perlite. I used to sell it in bags for insulating purposes, you pour it like vermiculite into stud bays or joist bays. From a perlite website http://www.perlite.net/:

Because of perlite's outstanding insulating characteristics and light weight, it is widely used as a loose-fill insulation in masonry construction. In this application, free-flowing perlite loose-fill masonry insulation is poured into the cavities of concrete block where it completely fills all cores, crevices, mortar areas and ear holes. In addition to providing thermal insulation, perlite enhances fire ratings, reduces noise transmission and it is rot, vermin and termite resistant. Perlite is also ideal for insulating low temperature and cryogenic vessels. When perlite is used as an aggregate in concrete, a lightweight, fire resistant, insulating concrete is produced that is ideal for roof decks and other applications. Perlite can also be used as an aggregate in Portland cement and gypsum plasters for exterior applications and for the fire protection of beams and columns. Other construction applications include under-floor insulation, chimney linings, paint texturing, gypsum boards, ceiling tiles, and roof insulation boards
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:24 PM   #11
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What the ????


Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Probably is perlite or expanded perlite.
Cool, I like that answer and I'm sticking with it. At least it will help me to sleep at night. I did not think it was asbestos, but then again, I really do not know alot about either asbestos or perlite. I just know that I had never seen that type of wall insulation.
As usual, DIYchatroom has answered another Q.
Thanks,
Brett

P.S. If my lungs fall out next year I'm going to have my ghost pee in your cornflakes! lol
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:54 PM   #12
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What the ????


Its too white to be zonolite,,which IS 'a' based. Zonolite is darker color and looks shiny like fools gold resembles the real thing. I think made primarily by WR Grace company!!
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:31 AM   #13
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What the ????


It's not too white to be asbestos in some form. Being the homeowner worked in a plant, I'd still test it. It's hard to tell what he may have brought home. Could be crying wolf.....or........?
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:21 AM   #14
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What the ????


It is perlite, completely harmless.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:30 AM   #15
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What the ????


'scar, is that the stuff nurseries also use for potting soil mix ? ? ?

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