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Old 11-10-2017, 07:44 AM   #1
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Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


I am renovation an old house in Ontario.

Have started tearing down some walls, and in one spot, after I pulled off drywall, about a cup's worth of vermiculite fell on the floor.

The exterior walls of this house are not insulated at all, and the attic has old fiberglass bats above lathe and plaster.

My guess is that there used to be vermiculite in the attic, some of which somehow made its way in between the lathe and plaster walls and the drywall strapped over it.

Someone before me must have gotten rid of the vermiculite the attic (thank GOD), but left the small amounts that had fallen haphazardly in the walls.

My question is - what should I do? This is not an attic full of vermiculite - it's a couple of pockets in the walls. Can I just wet it, and suck it up with a rented HEPA vacuum?

I can get it tested - but I have heard tests might give false negatives. Hardly seems worth it to have it abated, given a) the small amounts, and b) the fact that I don't know where it all is before tearing down the walls, which will be disturbing it anyways.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:50 AM   #2
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


Might be good to just have it tested to actually see if you have an ACM vs. just some insulation without it.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


In my state we are allowed to carefully remove a small amount of asbestos without going the abatement route. Been a while since I reviewed it and this is Maine and not Canada but it was an obvious indication that small amounts pose less concern.

Assuming your conclusion is correct that vermiculite was removed from the attic some time ago, that is a problem as doubtful they took any precautions. If it had been a professional abatement likely they would have found what you are seeing not. If simply vacuumed out, then the entire house may have been contaminated. Even though that was a long time ago you might consider having the house tested.

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Old 11-10-2017, 09:50 AM   #4
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


Holes between the walls and the attic also need to be blocked.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


I'd sweep it up put it in a plastic bag, tie it up and toss and forget about it.
Google Fire Blocking.
A home that old is very likely balloon wall constrution, meaning that wall cavity will be open from the basement to the attic.
Which is not a good thing when there's a fire, the wall acts like a chimney.
If the walls are now open it's also a good time to any upgrading of the wiring, adding outlets, removing the casing around the windows and doors and insulating all the huge gaps your going to find.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I'd sweep it up put it in a plastic bag, tie it up and toss and forget about it.
Google Fire Blocking.
A home that old is very likely balloon wall constrution, meaning that wall cavity will be open from the basement to the attic.
Which is not a good thing when there's a fire, the wall acts like a chimney.
If the walls are now open it's also a good time to any upgrading of the wiring, adding outlets, removing the casing around the windows and doors and insulating all the huge gaps your going to find.
You read my mind with a lot of this. I do want to add blocking, new wiring, and properly insulate everything. I actually made another post detailing a plan.

http://www.diychatroom.com/#/topics/563762

I would welcome your feedback!
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:10 PM   #7
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmetrail View Post
You read my mind with a lot of this. I do want to add blocking, new wiring, and properly insulate everything. I actually made another post detailing a plan.

http://www.diychatroom.com/#/topics/563762

I would welcome your feedback!
The link only goes to forum page.
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:20 PM   #8
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


Sorry, this is it:

http://www.diychatroom.com/f103/rate...e-wall-563762/
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


Just as a follow up - ended up getting a sample tested. No asbestos detected!

I guess the vermiculite used in my area is less likely to contain asbestos - according to the local lab, only about 20%-30% of the vermiculite they test contains asbestos at concerning levels.

Glad I had it done - will now just put on a dust mask and sweep it up without worrying too much.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Small pockets of vermiculite in walls


Good job!! Make several copies of that report and put them in plastic and locate them around the house so at least one will survive for 20 years+ to avoid going through this again. Some place near the electrical panel is usually one good spot.

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