Cost To Remove Vermiculite Insulation From Attic - (2023)

Attic Insulation Removal Costs 2022

Vermiculite insulation removal | MRS. RATTLECAN’S HOUSE

The average cost of attic insulation removal is $2,500. The cost range for attic insulation removal is around $1,000 while larger or more involved jobs with extra personal safety protection can cost $4,000 or more. The cost for insulation removal depends on how big an attic you have and how much insulation is installed. Call us to receive a quote for insulation removal in your attic or home in the Phoenix Valley.

The first step is finding out how much insulation removal will cost is to see if you have any asbestos in your attic or home. Professionals can test your insulation to check for asbestos or vermiculite, which almost always has some level of asbestos. Asbestos is a highly dangerous insulation type that was installed in homes built in the 1970s. It will cost more to remove your insulation if you have asbestos but it will ensure that your home is safer and wont cause health problems.

The Cost To Remove Vermiculite Attic Insulation

The removal of Asbestos insulation varies depending on the scope of the work, circumstances, risks amount of waste, access, timeline and the materials that are required. It is also possible to have potential third party consultation costs that will be required for air clearances and daily air monitoring after the conduction of this high-risk project. Most attic insulation professionals will charge for materials and time used during the job.

Caution: Most Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos Fibers

As you probably already know, vermiculite attic insulation has a very high chance of containing asbestos. Youll find lots of articles and videos explaining the dangers of asbestos.

I was told that if you dont touch the vermiculite insulation it is completely fine. So dont disturb it or go into the attic.

Because if you disturb the vermiculite insulation it can cause tiny asbestos fibers smaller than the eye can see to become airborne. Breathing in these fibers puts you at risk of developing lung diseases such as asbestosis or mesothelioma.

You need to treat vermiculite insulation as Asbestos-containing material until you have lab results stating there is no asbestos in it.

But what I was told is that it pretty much all vermiculite insulation has asbestos in it.

And a popular brand was Zonolite attic insulation.

This vermiculite attic insulation had asbestos fibers in it because there was naturally-occurring asbestos in the Libby Montana mine that produced the vermiculite.

And I found an original Zonolite attic insulation bag in my attic.

So that clarified it: the vermiculite in my attic contains asbestos. My old house had asbestos insulation.

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Cost To Remove Attic Insulation

While all these benefits are derived from attic insulation, there are times when improper insulation leads to problems.

Under such conditions, it becomes necessary to have the old insulation removed and replaced with something more efficient.

To carry out the process, cost becomes a primary focus or area of consideration for a lot of homeowners. This is why weve provided the cost details for attic insulation removal.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Vermiculite Insulation

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The Environmental Protection Agency reports that asbestos can cause serious health problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These conditions may not occur until years, or even decades, after youve been exposed. According to the EPA, the risk of diseases increases as the level, duration, and frequency of exposure increases, also exacerbated by smoking.

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Why Is Vermiculite Bad

Nearly all vermiculite contains asbestos, which can cause lung cancer when inhaled. While its true that undisturbed, encapsulated asbestos doesnt pose a health risk, the asbestos in vermiculite insulation isnt encapsulated and can easily become airborne during cleaning, maintenance or remodeling. And, the type of asbestos found in vermiculitecalled amphiboleis even more hazardous than the chrysotile asbestos that was more commonly used in the U.S.

Can I Try Diy Attic Insulation Removal To Save Cost

In a bid to cut down on costs, a lot of homeowners find the DIY approach as a ready alternative. To try this, you must be willing to get dirty and must be up to the task.

This wont be a problem for DIY-inclined homeowners. However, if youve never performed such serious jobs before, youre better off calling a professional to handle your project.

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Asbestos Remediation Cost By Type

No matter what type of asbestos you have in your home, it will cost the same to clear it because of the rigorous standards required for asbestos abatement procedures. The three main types of asbestos are:

  • Amosite – ranges in size from 0.2 to 0.3 microns and is the least common type of asbestos.
  • Chrysotile Chrysotile asbestos is less friable because of its curled fibers, and so less is likely to be inhaled. It ranges in size from 0.5 to 0.6 microns and is the most common type of asbestos. One example of an extremely friable substance is popcorn ceiling treatment.
  • Crocidolite – Mined in Africa and Australia, it ranges in size from 0.7 to 0.9 microns and is the most dangerous of all asbestos.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Attic Insulation

Attic Vac Vermiculite Removal System by Ruwac (In Action) |

To fully understand the cost details for attic insulation removal, youll need to consider the type of insulation, job condition, location, as well as your attic size.

The average cost of removal is $900. The cheapest cost of removal you may incur will be around $600. Your contractor may charge you as much as $1,200 for this procedure.

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Typical Asbestos Removal Costs:

  • Have an independent inspector do an initial asbestos inspection . Limited surveys covering specific work can start around $400 $800, most homes would fall between $1200 $2000 range, Commercial buildings $2000 and up. Factors are: size, number and scope of previous renovations, consistency of materials and finished surfaces througout.
  • Flooring Asbestos containing flooring can cost from $900 ??? depending on risk assessment, size, type of vinyl flooring
  • Duct tape and fiberboard in vents This work can start anywhere from $150 to $3000 to have an average basement completed .
  • Asbestos Pipe Insulation The cost of removing asbestos pipe insultation can start low for a small amount but can climb quickly because the glove bags used for this are relativly expensive. Asbestos removal costs depends on if just the pipe elbows need to be removed and if we can drain the pipes and remove the entire system in pieces.
  • To remove all of the asbestos from some buildings it is necessary to strip everything down to the bare studs. A complete removal in a 2,200 square foot home could start at $9,000 to remove the drywall .
  • Cost comparison of Moderate Risk and High risk work. High risk jobs require daily air monitoring and a final air clearance and report to be performed by a third party consultant . High risk work also requires more safety controls: containment, personal protective equipment and other controls .

Other Material Costs

I Initially Thought I Could Remove The Insulation Myself

Vermiculite insulation removal from an attic is expensive.

This is because there is a lot of work involved, and most attics arent the greatest work environments.

Attics can be tight and cramped and especially narrow at the edges of the house.

And my attic was no different. It is only 36-inches between the ceiling joists and the horizontal collar ties near the roofs peak. And way narrower near the edge of the roof.

But I thought, Hey I can wear a respirator just like anyone else. Ill go up there, double bag the insulation, bring it to the dump myself and save myself thousands of dollars.

And since I didnt have renters in my house for a month I thought it would be a perfect time to get up there and get that insulation out.

As I mentioned earlier, my house like a lot of older homes had a combination of attic insulation. My house had some saw dust and vermiculite, and then blown-in insulation over top.

But because all those other insulation types have been in contact with the vermiculite, they are deemed contaminated, and they have to be treated as Asbestos-Containing Material as well.

For my attic, I wouldnt just be taking out a bit of old vermiculite. Id have to remove ALL the insulation up there.

I read up on how to dispose of ACM in my area, and I thought I was all ready.

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Cost To Remove Asbestos Insulation In Your Attic

When you find out that you have asbestos insulation in your attic, your first thought is that it must be removed immediately. Your second thought is how much is asbestos abatementgoing to cost?

We know the idea of asbestos lurking above you is disturbingafter all, youve heard countless stories about the dangers of asbestos exposuresuch as lung cancer and other illnesses. And, while asbestos is indeed hazardous, were here to reassure you that the insulation in your attic can be dealt with without risking your physical or financial health.

In this blog, well explain the cost of asbestos removal and the proper steps to take if you suspect asbestos material is lurking in your attic.

Compensation For Exposure To Asbestos In Zonolite Insulation

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W.R. Grace is notorious for hiding the dangers of Exposure to Asbestos in Zonolite Insulation from its employees, and several employees sought compensation, filing asbestos lawsuits.

Throughout the 1990s, so many personal injury and property damage lawsuits were filed against W.R. Grace over asbestos exposure that the company finally sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001, along with 61 of its affiliates. After a drawn-out legal process, a plan of reorganization was confirmed in 2011, becoming effective in 2014.

The reorganization required W.R. Grace to set up two separate trust funds to provide compensation to present and future victims of asbestos exposure.

Combined, these two trusts are worth more than $4 billion. In 2015 alone, payments totaled more than $353 million, with thousands of claimants receiving compensation.

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Do I Need To Demolish My House With Asbestos

At the very highest level of contamination, when the house is older than 1970, and there is friable asbestos in the walls, ceilings, and insulation around the water pipes, then demolition might be the only path to take. When demolition is the course of action chosen for a building, the process has to follow the Environmental Protection Agencys rules and regulations regarding the destruction of asbestos.

Cost Of Asbestos Removal By Location

The cost of asbestos removal can vary widely depending on where you live. The main reason for this is the cost of living in each area. Urban centers with higher living costs tend to have higher pricing for services, equipment, and permits to remove asbestos, so ensure you get multiple quotes from professionals in your region to compare rates.

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What Did The Professional Asbestos Removal Company Do

I wasnt with them on site every minute, so I cant give you a step-by-step breakdown of what they did.

But what I can do is tell you how it affected me as a homeowner .

Over the weekend the professional vermiculite removal company set up their Sea Can of tools in the driveway, and a large disposal bin in my yard.

When the workers came on Monday they taped up all the air vents, and they were able to use the hole I cut in the gable for their air scrubber machine.

Both companies that quoted me said that ease of access to the attic affects the quote.

And having a gable-access like I had helped save me money.

I dont know the exact amount it saved, but I also liked that the workers didnt have to go through the house to get into the attic.

And I allowed them to cut a hole in the opposite gable so they could set up their scaffolding system.

You can see that everything was taped off to prevent any fibers from blowing out of the attic.

Over the next few days they removed the insulation from the attic strictly by going in and out of the holes in the gable of the roof. They didnt need into the house.

They used a dust pan to remove a lot of the bulk from the attic , and then they used their special asbestos vacuum to remove the rest .

So they started working on a Monday and by that Friday they had all the insulation removed, Fiberlock stuff sprayed into the attic, and a 3rd party air quality engineer had examined and certified my attic to be clear of asbestos.

Is Asbestos Removal Covered By Insurance

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According to Esurance, Homeowners policies may not cover expenses if asbestos simply exists in your place… But if a covered peril like a windstorm damages your roof, for example, and it disturbs previously dormant asbestos, there’s a possibility your home insurer could cover a portion of the cost of removing or abating asbestos from the damaged areas.

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Asbestos Floor Tile Removal Cost

Asbestos tile removal costs around $10 per square foot for nonfriable asbestos. Floor tile usually has to be drilled to be removed because its glued or cemented to the floor. Some homeowners opt to install new flooring over it, but this can easily lead to more problems such as redoing the trim and raising the height of the doors.

Asbestos Removal Hourly Labor Prices

The national average cost to hire an asbestos removal professional is $60 per hour for labor alone. Usually at least two workers will be present, which brings it to $120 per hour before any charges are added on for setup, materials, or disposal fees. For complete abatement start to finish hourly rates range between $200 and $600, depending on the projects complexity and the size of your home. On average, you can expect it to take 8 hours or more to complete a typical residential project.

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Vermiculite Testing & Removal

Eliminating the Threat, One Attic at a Time

We all know that moving insulation technology forward is good for the economy . We also know that its good for our ecology. But beyond climate change, there are other threats associated with early attempts to ease the pain for pocketbook and planet by installing insulation.

Vermiculite-Asbestos Insulation: Dangers & Disease

Certain types of vermiculate insulation contain asbestos. According to the United Nations World Health Organization , approximately 107,000 people die each year from asbestos related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma: a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or abdominal cavityAsbestosis: a scarring of the lungs that makes breathing difficult

This is serious business. Health Canada specifically defines the nature of the vermiculite threat.Vermiculite is a mica-like mineral mined around the world and used in a variety of commercial and consumer products because it is fire-resistant and has good insulation qualities. Of concern is vermiculite ore produced by the Libby Mine in Montana from the 1920s to 1990. It was sold as Zonolite® Attic Insulation and possibly other brands in Canada during that time.

Vermiculite has a light-brown or golden pebble like appearance and homes built before 1995 are at greater risk. Start your research with these simple facts. If you are concerned, contact a professional contractor to conduct further testing.

Avoid Disturbing Your Vermiculite Insulation

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If you spy vermiculite insulation, your first step is alerting all family members to avoid entering the attic, removing stored boxes, or agitating the insulation.


Asbestos is at its most hazardous when its friable, or easily crumbled. This allows the tiny fibers to break free into the surrounding air where theyre inhaled. The small pieces of vermiculite used in attic insulation can release many asbestos fibers when disturbed.

If the option to leave vermiculite insulation alone exists, the EPA recommends that you do just that.5 Think of it like a bumblebee. If you dont bother the bee, it wont harm you. However, if you frighten it, you might get stung. If undisturbed, the vermiculite wont become friable. If you move it around, it can crumble further and release microscopic fibers into the air of your home.

Unless you plan to finish your attic and use it as a living space, odds are you dont spend much time up there. If this is your familys situation, the EPA recommends that you avoid:6

  • Storing boxes near any place in your attic that will require you to disturb the insulation to move the boxes.
  • Letting children play in the attic if vermiculite is exposed.

The bonus? Youll save money by avoiding the cost of asbestos removal.

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Diy Vs Hiring An Insulation Pro

If youre looking to remove insulation, its usually a good idea to work with a professional. This is especially true if youre removing insulation because of mold, asbestos, or other damage these materials can be dangerous to come into contact with and potentially hazardous to your health.

After removing old insulation, insulation professionals typically install new insulation of your choice immediately. This helps to ensure that your home is continuously insulated, making your home more comfortable and helping to reduce your energy bills. If youre interested in removing insulation from your home, you should contact an attic insulation professional in your area to discuss your options.

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Asbestos Removal Cost For Commercial Buildings

Larger buildings like old schools, colleges, hospitals, and office buildings present a higher level of challenges for abatement specialists because it is not always possible to completely empty the building for the duration of the abatement work, but the cost of abatement is similar to the price for residential abatement.

The one massive difference for multi-story buildings is that abatement is removed floor by floor, which can push out the end date as much as ten years or longer before all the asbestos has been safely removed. In contrast, most average-size homes can have the abatement process completed in under a week.

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