Vermiculite Asbestos in the Ceiling - July 12th 2005

Vermiculite Asbestos in the Ceiling

Q: I am inquiring about a house I have just bought. I was informed that the house had vermiculite in the ceiling. I had it tested and the test came back positive for asbestos. The concentration of asbestos is between 1- 10 %. It is only in the attic and has been covered by new fibre glass bats. I have looked at getting it removed by specialists and they tell me it will be $6000 - $10000 dollars. I have also been told by Health Canada not to worry about it and just leave it there, as long as it is sealed. Can you please give me your input on this matter?

A: This is a very important question to come up in my column as it allows me to answer a question that a lot of people have on this topic. I'm sure that you have already spent approximately $500.00 to $600.00 to be informed of the 1 - 10% lacing of asbestos. I've always said that a small piece of mind is better than nothing if this is a huge worry to you. But 1 - 10% would tell me that it is not very important especially with Health Canada saying leave it alone. Don't disturb it and you will be OK. Having said all of this if you want to air seal/draft proof your home yourself please read the Keeping the Heat In booklet and refer to the section on draft proofing or air leakage. Note: Wear a mask if you are going to do any of this work. If you do not wish to do this yourself call the HouseSmart Referral at 604 542 2236 and request draft proofing services.