Attic Remediation Services
Vermiculite in Attic
Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral worldwide. When heated rapidly to high temperatures, this crystalline mineral expands into low density, accordion-like golden brown strands. Worldwide, vermiculite has been used in various industries since as long ago as 1920. In Canada, it was one of insulating materials allowed under the Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP) from about 1976 to the mid 1980’s. The CHIP program provided grants to homeowners to increase insulation levels, reducing energy consumption.
The majority of vermiculite used worldwide was from a mine in Libby, Montana owned and operated since 1963 by W.R. Grace. The mine was closed in 1990. The mine had the misfortune of having a deposit of tremolite, a type of asbestos. When vermiculite was extracted, some tremolite came in with the mix.
Asbestos minerals tend to separate into microscopic particles that become airborne and are easily inhaled. Like any hazards, length and intensity of exposure are major factors in the risk of asbestos-related respiratory illness. To assess the risk of asbestos exposure at a house, a sample of the vermiculite would need to be analyzed by a lab. Since most of the vermiculite used in Canada was taken from the Libby mine, the odds are quite good that there is asbestos in the vermiculite in Canadian attics.
If the attic or walls of a house contain vermiculite insulation, leave it alone. Avoid disturbing the material. Do not sweep it or vacuum it up. Do not store belongings in the attic.
Mould in Attic
The major source of mould in attics is improper ventilation. This can be caused by:
- Soffits that are not ventilated or blocked by insulation.
- A lack of gable vents (at the inverted “v” of the roof).
- No ridge vents across the length of the roof.
- Bathroom’s exhaust venting into the attic. Moisture and cold air outside creates condensation, creating conditions for mould growth.
The other major cause of attic mould is water from leaks in the roof and chimneys with improper flashing. These issues, coupled with other mould-friendly conditions, creates mould problems and must be corrected.
Tri-Star has the state-of-the-art equipment and licensed staff to properly remediate your attic.