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What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like?

By April 17, 2023Asbestos
Vermiculite insulation is known to contain asbestos.

Asbestos is a material that was used in homes built before the 1990s. Asbestos durability was used in roof shingles, pipe insulation, attic insulation, and flooring adhesives. Additionally, builders used asbestos insulation in the walls of the homes being built. What does asbestos insulation look like? The two types are loose fill and vermiculite. They are fluffy, granular, lumpy, and pebble-like.

Let’s take a look below at the different types of asbestos insulation.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos can be found in rock and soil and asbestos is a naturally occurring material. While building construction materials are created, rock and soil are needed. Unfortunately, before the 1990s asbestos was never removed from these materials.

Asbestos removal should be done with caution. Disturbing asbestos insulation can release asbestos fibers into the air and this can cause health problems. Identifying asbestos insulation should be done by a professional. Also, they should check the wall insulation and attic insulation.

What Are The Types Of Asbestos Containing Insulations?

As mentioned above, the two types that contain asbestos are loose-fill insulation and vermiculite.

Loose-Fill Insulation

  • Composition – As blown-in insulation, it comes in the form of loose, fluffy, lumpy, or granular-like.
  • Backing – Unlike batt and blanket insulation, loose-fill insulation does not have a backing or paper to support it.
Vermiculite insulation

Vermiculite Insulation

  • Name – Vermiculite is sold as Zonolite. Also, it is a common material that is known to contain asbestos.
  • Composition – This type of asbestos insulation looks like pebbles with a grayish-brown, or silvery gold coloring. Also, it comes from naturally occurring materials on Earth.

How Many Safe Types Of Insulation Are There?

Believe it or not, there are three main safe materials that you can use as insulation in your home. Those are cellulose, loose-fill, and rock wool.

  • Cellulose insulation – Made with recycled paper and has no minerals. Typically, it is gray and soft. Installed as a batt or blanket form.
  • Loose-fill fiberglass insulation – Made from glass products and is a soft material. Typically, it is white and fluffy with little shine.
  • Rock Wool insulation – Typically, a loose insulation that looks white, off-white, brownish-white, or a cotton-gray-like soft material. Can be confused with asbestos-containing insulations.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove?

Removing asbestos from your attic or walls should never be done by a homeowner. It is best to call a professional company that specializes in asbestos insulation removal. Depending on the amount of asbestos and areas that need it removed will determine how much you pay. The national average cost to remove asbestos insulation is between $800 and $15,000. The cost can be reduced by choosing a reasonable company that understands the amount needing to be removed.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you understand what asbestos insulation looks like, you can reach out to the right company to remove it from your home. Additionally, if it turns out that you just need your attic insulation removed, be sure to select the correct vacuum for suction and wear protective gear.

Next, when re-installing attic insulation to update your old asbestos insulation, make sure that you have the right attic insulation material that can go around your electrical wires and junction boxes.

Lastly, in some homes or buildings asbestos ceiling tiles were used in parts of the structures. Be sure to read up on how to identify if those ceiling tiles have asbestos in them. This will ensure that you hire the right company to assist with this project.

Loose-fill fiberglass insulation

When Do I Call A Professional?

Using a professional contractor with experience removing asbestos insulation is key for protecting your and your family’s health. Additionally, they can install new insulation with the understanding of how it maintains the integrity of cool air or heat loss. Reach out to your local home inspection team to ensure no other repairs are needed. Also, they can recommend a reputable asbestos insulation removal company.


Asbestos insulation when left alone is typically not harmful. The moment a rodent or roof leak begins to disturb the insulation is when the homeowner can begin developing health issues. Reach out to your local home inspection team for an insulation inspection during a full home inspection. Also, they can recommend a reputable insulation replacement company. Call on Boggs Inspection Services to get an asbestos inspection during a full home inspection in Lacey, WA, and surrounding areas.

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