Thermal and acoustic insulation is an imperative so that you can fully enjoy every part of your home. This includes the attic. For it to be effective, many techniques are used by professionals. Among these, you have the use of vermiculite. However, processes involving this material are not without risks. It may contain asbestos. What to do against the presence of asbestos in the vermiculite of attics?
What is vermiculite?
In order to better understand why you need to be alarmed, it is worth looking at what vermiculite is. Vermiculite is a natural mineral. Its color is close to golden silver or gray with shades of brown. Often flat, it is shiny when taken in its natural state. The peculiarity of vermiculite lies in the fact that it makes an excellent natural insulator. For this reason, it is an integral part of the insulation system of many habitats.
Very famous in the 70s, its use was frequent. It can be used alone or mixed with concrete to optimize its use. To do this, it is first heated. After this stage, vermiculite swells and forms air pockets that help insulate your home. Indeed, its properties make it a material of choice to provide sound and thermal insulation to your home and specifically to your attics. First of all, it is totally natural and respectful of the environment.
Secondly, it remains affordable and accessible to all budgets. Added to this is the fact that vermiculite is light, rot-proof and even non-combustible. That is, it has a negligible weight, does not decompose and does not burn. It can therefore be used for the insulation of any type of construction. Whether for attic floors, hollow walls or attics, its use is simple and effective.
Does vermiculite pose any health risks?
Despite all its advantages, the use of vermiculite remains somewhat risky. It is important to remember that these risks are not related to the material itself. Rather, the concern for the problem stems from where it was mined. When extracted, it may contain asbestos fibers. This is especially true if the mine where the operation is carried out is contaminated.
It is the asbestos contained in vermiculite that represents a fairly significant risk to your health. Indeed, asbestos fibers are known to be very toxic when inhaled. These airborne particles can get stuck in your lungs, leading to many diseases at the same time.
Asbestosis is a chronic disease that results from the inhalation of asbestos. It results in scar tissue forming in your lungs and takes decades to develop. However, it is possible that its development is faster in some people.
Asbestos can also be the basis for the formation of cancer cells. The latter can be very problematic insofar as the disease does not manifest itself in its early stages. When the first symptoms appear, it is common for the affected person to be already at an advanced stage.
Another serious condition that asbestos may be the source of is mesothelioma. This disease provokes the formation of a malignant tumor . This attacks the protective membrane that is located throughout the pericardium and peritoneum. Causing cough, chest pain and shortness of breath, this disease can be treated when it is quickly detected.
What to do if asbestos is present in vermiculite?
The asbestos present in the vermiculite of your attic is only dangerous if particles escape and are transported by air. In this case, when there is a possibility that your vermiculite is contaminated, it is best not to do anything before the arrival of professionals. This also includesavoiding moving or removing vermiculite yourself.
You will have to condemn any access to the attic pending the intervention of an expert. The latter will be able to carry out the decontamination by various methods. It can be an encapsulation or a pure and simple removal of asbestos materials. The second option is often the most recommended. Before you get there, take the trouble to confirm the presence of asbestos in the vermiculite of your attic.
This is possible through air tests or asbestos tests. Their purpose is the detection of particles in the air. It is as a result of these tests that asbestos decontamination measures are taken; if obviously the tests turn out to be positive. By using a Laval decontamination structure, for example, you will be able to benefit from various disinfection services for different types of buildings. It can be residential disinfection or industrial disinfection. Often also expert in Mold Decontamination,this type of company can help you with all your decontamination worries In Quebec.
It should be remembered that if you have vermiculite as insulation in your attic, you will have to perform these tests before any renovation work. In the case of confirmation of the presence of asbestos, calling on professionals before the start of the work is the best option. This preserves your health and limits the risk of asbestos contamination.