Rock Wool Insulation Can Contain Asbestos
LESLIE: Mike in New Jersey has a question about insulation. What can we do for you today?
MIKE: Hi, I have a home that was my family’s homestead. My parents passed away and my brother and I inherited it and he’s been living there for a few years and now we’re intending to sell it. And I remember as a child, in the mid-50s, they added what’s called rock wool blown insulation …
MIKE: … and I remember that they dumped large bags of this material into a fan type thing and ducted it into the various cavities in the house.
MIKE: I was wondering if this is asbestos based; something to be concerned about. Are we looking at a large cost to remove it and clean the place up or is it just something (AUDIO GAP) when you stay there?
TOM: Sometimes. Some forms of rock wool insulation can contain asbestos fibers. It has to be tested for you to be sure.
LESLIE: But is it only a concern if you start, you know, breaking into the walls and moving things around or if it’s encased it’s fine?
TOM: I agree. If it’s stationary inside the walls, then I don’t think it’s an issue. If you start tearing things open, that’s when it becomes a problem.
MIKE: Well, it’s lying between the joists of the attic area.
TOM: OK, so it is exposed. Yeah. You know, it’s very, very common, Mike. Generally it doesn’t stop real estate deals in their tracks. I used to find it all the time when I was a home inspector. I would always raise the issue that it could contain asbestos. But I can’t recall it ever sort of stopping a transaction or leading to a very expensive repair. But I do know that in order to confirm whether or not it does have asbestos, you need to have it tested. And you probably could do that on your own …
MIKE: Just take a sample to a lab?
TOM: Yeah, exactly. You could probably grab a sample and mail it off to a lab and have it analyzed.
MIKE: OK, well thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Mike. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.