Photo: Gil Strachan
Although vermiculite is not an asbestos product, it is estimated that about 10-30% of vermiculite insulated homes have elevated levels of asbestos due to contamination during the mining process.
Vermiculite is usually found in attics, and in order to collect quality samples for laboratory testing, you should be aware of the following:
Although homeowners can choose to collect their own samples, it may be prudent to leave this work to professionals who are licensed in asbestos abatement, to be better assured of proper sample collection and preparation. Moving the chain of custody away from the homeowner, the prospective purchaser and their Realtor, as well as their home inspector will reduce potential liability - especially where the sampling and testing is part of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
Licensed asbestos abatement professionals already have the knowledge and the skill set required to take valid, unbiased samples - as well as the respirators and other protective equipment to complete the sample collection in a safe, responsible manner.
Photo: Carson Dunlop
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.