Insulation removals and vermiculite handling

Why would I get a removal?

  • To remove the existing insulation that is in your attic or crawlspace because it has been compromised by moisture, mildew, birds or other furry pests.
Alpine has specialized equipment that will vacuum away all of your existing insulation so that you can replace it with a fresh, new, properly functioning insulation system. 

Removal Facts

  • Removals can be very difficult and expensive depending on the situation.
  • Removals are difficult and time consuming and in some situations costly. Removals should therefore not be entered into lightly.
  • If you have had a moldy or pest riddled attic or crawlspace, it is sometimes necessary for your health and peace of mind to remove the damaged insulation, sanitize the area and start over with a fresh, new, insulation plan. It is even more important to understand why your insulation system failed the first time and address that problem prior to adding anything new; otherwise you run the risk of having the same outcome later down the road.

Our estimators are experts at creating the best solution particularly if it is a moisture or ventilation issue. Please note, if you are having pest issues these can be addressed by a professional animal control expert. 

What is vermiculite?

  • Vermiculite was an insulation product that was used prior to the mid-1980’s and SOME of it has been found to contain asbestos fibres.

  • Not all vermiculite installed prior to the 1990’s contains asbestos; however, to be safe if your building has older vermiculite-based insulation, you should assume that it MAY contain some asbestos.

  • Both Health Canada and WorksafeBC say that vermiculite containing asbestos poses little risk unless it is going to be disturbed (asbestos fibres have a small “hook” on the end of them which makes it very difficult to get rid of them once they have been inhaled.)

  • If the vermiculite is sealed behind wallboards and floorboards, isolated in an attic or otherwise kept from exposure to the interior environment it poses a low risk.

  • We have seen more recently that if a homeowner has untested vermiculite in their residence, when they go to sell their home, it may be difficult for a potential purchaser to attain financing until it has been tested and addressed.

Steps to test and remove vermiculite

There are various specialized companies who deal with the testing and removal of vermiculite some of which are listed below:
Hazpro Environmental

Pacific Environmental

Northwest Environmental 

Alpine's Safety Mandate

If you want to upgrade your home’s insulation and you have vermiculite present, Alpine requests that you notify your estimator prior to their visit so that they can bring the appropriate safety equipment to conduct their assessment.

  • Alpine will request a copy of your test results prior to doing any work that may disturb any vermiculite that is present.

  • When doing attic upgrading there are certain activities (such as draftproofing, soffit preparation or insulation removals) that Alpine will not undertake unless the vermiculite has been removed.

  • It is possible to simply insulate over-top of “negative” tested vermiculite; however, Alpine will take the utmost precautions in these cases to ensure that the vermiculite is not disturbed in order to protect our workers

  • This information was gathered previously from the Health Canada Website and from WorksafeBC.