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Loft insulation - Cellulose or Asbestos?

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by bendpsmith, 30 Sep 2019.

  1. bendpsmith

    bendpsmith

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    Hi There.

    DIY amateur here but hoping for some help/guidance.
    I was up in the loft in the house we just bought and noticed the insulation was a mix of the odd roll of fibreglass/wool but also this grey stuff. I was originally posting elsewhere to understand what the small nests were (since confirmed as abandoned wasp nests) however somehow managed to stumble onto the topic of insulation. I never realised that asbestos could be used in loose fill insulation. However it now has me worries even though it looks like googled pictures of cellulose insulation.

    Am i worrying over nothing here or should i get an asbestos test kit/surveyor in?

    Thanks for any advice offered.

    Ben

    Insulation 2.jpg Insulation_3.jpg
     
  2. paulrockliffe

    paulrockliffe

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    Looks like that could be in my roof, hope it's not asbestos as I took 80 bags out earlier in the year without a thought.

    What's the age of the house? Those rafters look exactly like mine, which are pitch pine, they're unbelievable quality! I'm taking a lot of mine out as I'm converting the loft and will be making them into furniture eventually.
     
  3. bendpsmith

    bendpsmith

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    Looking at old maps it will be around 1925-1930 build. Yes great solid beams which still look fine and sturdy. Got to love the build quality of old houses.
    It seems rare (via google) to have asbestos insulation and I suspect it is cellulose but i dont know much about this sort of thing so thought i'd reach out before i go trying to board the loft!
     
  4. paulrockliffe

    paulrockliffe

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    Mine is 1906, so I'd be confident yous is pitch pine too. Make sure if any of it comes out it doesn't go on the fire! If I ever get the chance I'd like to get a length of mine tested, my engineer has had me reinforce my roof with C16, designed to support the loads on it's own. I reckon the existing timber isn't far off being just as strong despite being much less deep.
     
  5. footprints

    footprints

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    Loose fill asbestos would be pretty rare in the UK seems it was used a lot in Australia though!
    Best sample it for peace of mind but it does look like pictures I have seen of the cellulose stuff.
     
  6. bendpsmith

    bendpsmith

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    Thanks for the responses. I managed to get details of a lab who test for under £30 which seems pretty reasonable even if only for peace of mind. Going to send off a sample in next few days.
    I sent them a photo and even they said it's likely just cellulose insulation but obviously they can only speak from photos and it's not a 100% definite answer.
     
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  7. bendpsmith

    bendpsmith

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    Managed to get some samples and take photos outside. Also a video of a burn test. Any more thoughts?

    [​IMG]
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  8. Why Not Indeed

    Why Not Indeed

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    My first thought is, "I can't see any pictures". I didn't have any thoughts after that.
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD

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    grey stuff is often recycled newspaper. Soak a bit in water. Does it go soggy?

    I think it was treated to be fire resistant. Take a bit into the garden and see

    Anyway, I would get rid of it all, hoover out the loft, and lay new mineral wool. The brown stuff treated with Ecose does not shed irritant dust or fibres. Wear a mask until the loft is clean
     
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