Adding or installing new insulation can help with a host of environmental issues such as mould growth and noise pollution. But there’s also a caution to throw in where it comes to older homes – vermiculite insulation which can be contaminated with asbestos. Let’s look at what it entails.
Thinking About Insulation?
With the new year, winter has settled in with cold weather and some bitterly cold winds lately in the GTA. If it’s feeling drafty in your home it’s probably a good idea to some thought to your insulation – particularly if it’s been a while since you have.
Drafts aren’t the only sign of inefficient insulation. There are many others.
- Cold floors and walls in the winter
- Airs heats up rapidly indoors in the summer
- Excessive condensation around windows – which can lead to mold growth
- High energy bills
- Uneven heating and/or cooling
The best places to start adding insulation are any unused basement or attic spaces. Damp, cold air from the basement can lead to mould. Heat rises and will simply leak out of a drafty attic space and lead to waste and a chilly upper level.
Once you’ve decided to add or replace insulation, there is one important question you need to consider first:
- What’s in those walls?
Many people buy an older home and never give the insulation another thought. But, when it comes to attics in particular, it was once popular to use vermiculite insulation. Vermiculite was often used in attics and around structures like chimneys because it can be poured in from above and nearly levels itself.
Now, vermiculite itself isn’t problematic. However, much of the vermiculite insulation used in North America for decades came from the mine in Libby, Montana – a mine it was later discovered was tainted with asbestos. The mine was shut down in the 1990’s but not before thousands of houses were contaminated.
- Vermiculite insulation has a pebble-like appearance and is shiny and grey/brown in colour.
- And – if your home was built before the mid-1980’s or so it may contain asbestos or asbestos containing materials just about anywhere.
We Can Help
The best course is always to deal with existing environmental issues before undertaking new work – especially when it comes to something like insulation that necessitates opening up walls. Asbestos and mold are both serious threats to human health.
Our experienced technicians offer professional, certified services to help you deal with these environmental issues, including
In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.
Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.
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