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Unread 01-22-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
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Question Grey fluffy wall insulation - Asbestos?

Behind the plaster & lathe on the exterior walls of my 1932 Portland,OR bungalo is grey fluffy (feels like baled cotton) insulation. Anybody know what this stuff is?

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Unread 01-22-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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probably rockwool, a mineral wool insulation... Not sure about any asbestos content however....
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Unread 01-22-2007, 11:04 AM   #3
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Also, it's loose - blown in (not a roll or panel); if that helps...
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Unread 01-22-2007, 12:21 PM   #4
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It's kinda hard to guess what it may be. Could be RockWool like Alex said. Could be paper too - during the 70's people put a treated paper in as insulation. Take a picher of it and we'll try to guess..
I don't know what they put in - in the 30's. I was'nt here yet...
mm (aka "Paco")
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Unread 01-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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I have always pulled this stuff out of the walls and replaced with bat insullation. Never wondered if it had asbestos in it. If you really need to know you can get it test (usually for under $50.00) Look in the phone book for testing labs. Ask them and they might now if insullation has asbestos in it.
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Unread 01-22-2007, 12:32 PM   #6
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I would be willing to bet a yes on the asbestos. The insulation you are describing was commonly used around here in attics during the 50 and 60s. When we had the big flood in 94 it was a nesty mess to deal with. We didn't ahve time to worry about the content at the time, just had to fix things ASAP.

Denise Gunnels, Realtor

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Unread 01-22-2007, 06:22 PM   #7
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It could be cellulose, a common blown in product if its really fluffy. If its recent it could actually be cotton.
If its itchy like fiberglass then its probably a mineral wool product like rockwool which I dont think contain asbestos.
The only Asbsestos containing insulation I know about is vermiculites.
Ive had a handful of blown products tested over the years and never had an asbestos positive come back. Everyone gets everything tested these days so a local lab shouldnt be hard to find- not so easy 10 years ago until Radon came along.

If you are sensitive to fiberglass then a respirator, goggles and some tyvek would be a good idea. I would seal the room from the house and add some positive ventilation. Keep the kids away.

Construction is a dirty and dangerous business...

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Unread 01-22-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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Sounds like cellulose. See tons of the stuff around this area. It's basically recycled newspaper I believe treated with flame retardent and blown in inthe 70's and 80's. No asbestos, but sticks in your nose real good if you don't use a dust mask. A shop vac works real good to get it out of the walls... I've used garbage bags IN the shop vac to make it easier.
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Unread 01-23-2007, 01:14 PM   #9
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garbage bags in the Shop-Vac? seems to me you'd have to rig it so you'd get air flow.

I prefer either the yellow high-efficiency bags or regular bags with high efficiency filter. The latter is cheaper in the long run. There is a Goretex filter for about $30 that can be cleaned and re-used. wet or dry.

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