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Should I Buy A House With Vermiculite Insulation

By May 10, 2022May 13th, 2022Home Buying

Anytime you are buying a home there are a variety of questions that you must ask. Never assume that a construction project was already completed on older homes. It is important to read up on the current laws and building codes in your area as you look to purchase a home. Older homes had different building codes and laws back when they were constructed. So, knowing what to look for is key. Should I buy a house with vermiculite insulation? If you can, negotiate the asking price down to include the removal of the insulation.

Let’s take a look below at the reasons why you would want to negotiate a vermiculite insulation removal when buying a home.

What Is Vermiculite Insulation

When buying a home, you should be fairly quick to identify the type of insulation in the attic. This will all occur during the home inspection. In fact, if you find a house to buy and wonder if it has vermiculite insulation, you will want to know what to look for. It will look like pebbles just piled up as a blown-in material and be light brown or gold in color. Keep in mind that the particles of vermiculite insulation can be very tiny particles or larger pieces that run an inch in length. The majority of the time, vermiculite insulation has a percentage of it containing asbestos.

Cellulose attic insulation.
Cellulose attic insulation.

Will It Stop My Buying Process

It is very possible to buy a house with vermiculite insulation. It is not going to stop you from purchasing your home. However, keep in mind that there are very real health issues associated with vermiculite insulation such as lung cancer. Remember, not all vermiculite insulation has asbestos in it, but some may show asbestos is present. Additionally, in many cases, as the homeowner, you will be required to have the insulation removed.

When negotiating the purchase price of the home, including a reduction in costs based on the projected expenses for insulation removal is key. The costs to have your vermiculite insulation analyzed vary by where you live. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Sample collection and integrity – hiring the right company to test your vermiculite insulation is important. Poor sampling will provide inaccurate results and put you at risk of health issues down the road. Also, do not rely on the seller to hire a company to sample and analyze the vermiculite insulation. Do your own research and get the right professional.
  • Sample structure – keep in mind that asbestos fibers can settle over time and not be consistently present throughout the vermiculite. In order to get accurate results, you must ensure that a sample is take from a variety of places within the area of insulation.

Hire your local home inspection team to inspect the attic insulation. They can also recommend which local company is best for removing vermiculite insulation. This allows you to collect a variety of quotes and pick the best one.

Just Get It Removed

Due to the nature of vermiculite insulation possibly containing less than 1% asbestos as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you would want to have it removed. Even though vermiculite insulation can be safe. You cannot risk having a rodent disturb the asbestos in the vermiculite. This can cause asbestos to be released into the air and available to be breathed in.

How Much Does It Cost

Due to the nature of protecting your health when removing vermiculite insulation, this project typically is very expensive. When buying a home with vermiculite insulation you will want to negotiate a discount off the asking price so that you can afford the removal of the vermiculite insulation and then add in new insulation.

The national average for vermiculite insulation removal ranges from $7,000 to $12,000. That is roughly $4 to $10 a square foot. So, make sure that you are adding that to your negotiations. Also, do not forget to add in the cost of new insulation. The national average for new insulation is $1 to $4 per square foot or $1,500 to $3,500.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you have decided whether or not you want to purchase a home with vermiculite insulation, this could be a great time to learn about how much insulation you should have in your attic. Understanding the various types of insulation available to you is very important.

The differences of insulation materials could determine a drastic change in your electric bill. Make sure that you select the right type of insulation and the right amount for your home.

Next, go ahead and read up on spray foam insulations. You might be surprised to learn that ventilation is not important here. Spray foam insulations are sprayed onto the walls and ceiling of the attic which creates a tight seal and closes any air gaps.

Lastly, you will want to know the ins and outs of your attic. Making sure that all ventilation is installed is very important. As you begin changing any items in your attic you will want to make sure that your ventilation needs are met. Be sure to read up on if your attic needs a ventilation fan so that you can install one if needed.

Insulation inspection in the attic to see if it is vermiculite.
Insulation inspection in the attic.

When Do I Call A Professional

Calling on a professional is a must in this case. To remove vermiculite insulation, there are a lot of tools and equipment needed to protect the person who is doing the removal. Professional contractors who work with insulation can get the job done a lot safer and quicker than any homeowner. The last thing you want is you or your family to have exposure to asbestos so getting rid of this insulation is important.


If you are buying a home with vermiculite insulation then calling on your home inspection team to recommend a professional who can test the material is a great idea. Before closing on the purchase, you want to make sure that you can have it removed if the vermiculite does test positive for asbestos. No one wants to move into a home with health and safety concerns. Give Atkinson Inspection Services a call in the Orlando, Clermont, and Villages areas for a home inspection.