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Rock Wool Insulation Can Contain Asbestos

  • Transcript

    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 …

    TOM: OK.

    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.

    TOM: OK.

    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.

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