Vermiculite as attic Insulation

Greetings Everyone,

I have a question regarding Vermiculite in homes in the Greater Toronto Area, or any other area for that matter. My question is two fold. Are inspectors finding many homes with this type of insulation, and if so, what are inspectors reccomending to clients? Is anybody aware of any deals falling through as a result of vermiculite being present in attic that are completely sealed from the home and not used for anything.



Deals fall through all the Time .
You can never Be sure why it did go away.
People use what ever reason the wish to get out of a deal .
They did not like the kids next door,or the trains, or the dog barking, to small a home wrong colour, the Brother told them it was poor buy, the list is endless.
They then say what ever is easiest to get out of the deal.

Roy Cooke A Happy Nachi Member

Thanks for your reply, The reason I asked is because the home I own has vermiculite in the attic. In the 15 years I have been in the home I have gone up twice, Once to run Air conditioning wiring, and the other to install a bathroom fan and vent it through the roof. I recently covered the vermiculite with 10 inches of Blown in cellulose.
Since I never really go up there I don’t really have a concern regarding our health, I guess my biggest concern is the value of the home in the future, especially if some day this issue starts getting blown out of proportion.

As a side note, I did have the vermiculite tested and while it did not contain any asbestos, id did contain trace amounts (Less than 1%) of winchite/richterite.

Thanks again for your thoughts



The evidence would suggest the best solution is to leave it in place, or cover it. Seeing as most attics are under negative pressure their is little chance if any for friable material to enter the home.

Further unless you have the vermiculite tested you will not know it contains any asbestos, if any or very little. There were certain mines that produced vermiculite with high asbestos levels. So the test results should put your mind at ease.

Will you get lung cancer from going into the attic twice? Not likely.

Chris have not heard of any deals falling through but vermiculite is always a concern. Not all vermiculite contains asbestos but with out testing you will not know if it contains asbestos or not. In general if vermiculite is present I inform ny client of its presents and the possible concerns with it in the house. I do not belive it has to be removed from the attic and can be covered up with more insulation,but there in lies the problem the vermiculite is still in the attic and if you were to plan any renovation to the house which were to include removeing the ceiling drywall os plaster then you would need to remved the vermiculite first before any work was started, to pervent the possiblity of asbestos from entering the living area.


Keep your test results, so that if you decide to sell the house you can prove that the vermiculite does not contain asbestos.

Chris, Have a look at this link. Raymond is correct in his answer. If were you I would leave a copy out for the new owners and inspector. Just hope he/her is a NACHI inspector. :cool:

Thanks Carey thats a good link.

I believe there is only one instance of a homeowner getting cancer brought on by exposure to asbestos vermiculite and that was a home on an reservation up north, I believe. If memory serves me correctly the vermiculite was in the walls and attic, but was exposed. Given the state of the home and the weather in the north.

Hi Chris,
I had one inspection that fell through because of vermiculite. The homeowner was doing some renovating and it was everywhere. My client was from Ireland where they have had some asbestos issues recently so was somewhat aware of the health implications. I directed him to the NRC link that Raymond had mentioned…anyways, after about 3 weeks of fighting over who was going to pay for the testing, it was sent away and it came back that it did contain asbestos…I have done three inspections for the Irishman and one for the homeowner since.

Sorry, that should have been the link that Roy had mentioned (not Raymond)

As long as the information gets out for all thats what counts .

NACHI helping all

Thanks any way .Roy Cooke

Sorry Roy didn’t look at your link. As you said NACHI members helping all. :cool:

When I first figured out I had Vermiculite my first concern was obviously our health, but after having researched the topic I am quite confident that other things such as the Pressure treated wood used for our deck or even the fat in my diet pose more of a health risk to me than my Vermiculite Attic insulation ever will. I guess my biggest concern is the loss of property value not so much from the insulation itself but from buyers and inspectors who really know very little about vermiculite.

Here is a link to another point of view if anyone is interested.