How To Tell The Difference Between Cellulose And Asbestos Insulation

Asbestos was widely used as a building material and insulator until the late 1980s. Additionally, it could be used in a wide variety of contexts. It could be used in tiles and blown with another material, such vermiculite.

However, due of the health dangers associated with asbestos, it has been mostly phased out of construction. Asbestos has been replaced in recent decades with cellulose and fibreglass insulation.

Differentiating Cellulose and Asbestos Insulation

How To Tell The Difference Between Cellulose And Asbestos Insulation

Asbestos and cellulose insulation are two very different materials, and we need to familiarise ourselves with them before we can tell them apart.

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Insulation Asbestos

In its mineral form, asbestos occurs in nature. It’s pliable and mild, but it can withstand high temperatures and won’t rust. Asbestos had been employed as a fire retardant and insulator in construction projects during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and even the 1980s.

Asbestos can still be found in many older homes and structures, especially in the attic, drywall, and tiles (and tile grout). Asbestos can be dangerous, but your home is safe so long as there are no cracks or other damage that could let asbestos fibres into the inside.

If the asbestos fibres become airborne and settle in occupied spaces, they pose a serious health risk.

Cellulose Duct Insulation

Asbestos alternatives include cellulose insulation. Cellulose is made up of many different things, such as old newspapers, cardboard, hemp, straw, and many more. In order to make a paper-based cellulose mixture fireproof, builders will treat it with boric acid.

In terms of popularity, the most common forms of cellulose insulation are:

Insulation can be added to a wall by blowing dry cellulose (sometimes called loose fill insulation) through openings in the wall. One possible application is to fill wall voids. Newly erected walls often get a coat of wet spray cellulose from the construction crew.

The addition of water during the spraying process is the primary distinction between wet spray and dry cellulose. It makes a more effective seal against heat loss. Cellulose can be easily moulded into tight spaces, making it an ideal alternative to asbestos in insulation, pipe insulation, and electrical conduit.

It’s useful for both preventing heat loss and putting out flames in the home. Cellulose’s utilisation of recycled materials is another reason why it’s a good choice for green buildings and for earning LEED certification.

Where to Look for Differences

These insulation products may look extremely similar, but they are actually very distinct from one another. Vermiculite attic insulation faces the same problem, albeit being a different insulator.

Asbestos contamination in vermiculite is not easy to spot. Avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. It is recommended to have an expert consultant inspect any insulation that has already been placed. Perhaps it’s cellulose, but it could also be asbestos-laden insulation.

Keep your hands away and have a specialist gather samples to determine if it is asbestos. If it turns out to be asbestos, you’ll need to either enrol your building in an asbestos management programme or remove the asbestos totally.

Please Contact a Qualified Abatement Company

A professional abatement company should be contacted if the area of asbestos to be removed is greater than 10 square feet. There’s a great chance of contamination and exposure when working on a major project.

In order to protect your tenants, a professional asbestos removal company will seal off the work area to keep them from getting into contact with the hazardous material. They will also employ a system of reverse air flow to contain the asbestos dust.

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The next step is for them to outfit themselves with safety gear. They’ll also clean up the area thoroughly with HEPA filter vacuums and safely dispose of any asbestos they find. Major funds must be allocated to abatement initiatives of Type 2 (10-100 square feet) and Type 3 (100 square feet or more).

However, if the contractors you hire don’t perform a good job, you’ll still have asbestos and have to spend extra money and effort addressing their mistakes.