Friday, May 6th, 2016 by Blake Johnston
What is Vermiculite?
The EPA reports that “Vermiculite is a naturally-occurring mineral composed of shiny flakes, resembling mica. When heated to a high temperature, flakes of vermiculite expand as much as 8-30 times their original size. The expanded vermiculite is a lightweight, fire-resistant, and odorless material and has been used in numerous products, including insulation for attics and walls. Sizes of vermiculite products range from very fine particles to large (coarse) pieces nearly an inch long.”
In the United States over 70% of vermiculite sold was sourced from a mine in Libby Montana which contained a deposit of asbestos that contaminated the vermiculite. The contaminated vermiculite was most often sold under the brand name Zonolite. Our specialists have come across this in several homes in our area in Minnesota and Wisconsin. If you’re unaware of what type of insulation you have in your attic it may be a good time to check.
Is it Dangerous?
Though not all vermiculite has been affected by asbestos, the contaminated vermiculite is so common that the EPA recommends you assume the insulation is contaminated. Being exposed to contaminated vermiculite means that you are being exposed to asbestos which has been known to cause cancer and other diseases, there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
How do I get financial assistance to remove it?
The Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust has been funded by the W.R. Grace Company from which “eligible” claimants will be reimbursed for ZAI Property Damage Claims. Filing a claim begins at zonoliteatticinsulation.com where you can submit a claim for 55% of the abatement costs up to a ceiling of $7,500 (up to $4,125 in recouped costs).
Will they help re-insulate my home?
Costs to re-insulate your attic can be calculated as a part of your claim provided that they are reasonably related to the costs and amount of vermiculite removal in your home.
What’s the best way to re-insulate my attic?
What a great opportunity this is to get a new insulation system in your attic and save energy in your home while making it more comfortable! We have some information on our website to help you begin looking at insulation options for your attic, but we recommend signing up for a free no-obligation estimate and consultation with our Certified Energy Specialist to find the best fit for your needs and your home.