Identifying Asbestos Attic Insulation

pile of asbestos fibers

Asbestos attic insulation can be found in many homes. Unfortunately, it has been linked to forms of cancer and lung disorders. Here's how to tell if your home contains asbestos insulation and what to do about it.


Asbestos is actually a natural fiber, so if your attic insulation looks like wool, there is a slight chance that it will contain asbestos. There are many different kinds of wool-like insulation that are man-made and do not have asbestos, but if your attic insulation looks like wool than it is best to be safe and have it tested by a professional.


This kind of insulation is almost certainly dangerous, and if your insulation fits the description, try to limit your exposure to it and do not let children into the attic. Vermiculite looks like popcorn or small pebbles and is usually brown and/or grey with some metallic colors mixed in. Don't bother testing this kind of insulation, as vermiculite can sometimes cause a false negative test. Just go ahead and have it removed. This goes for any kind of insulation that was simply packed in between rafters. Always let a professional remove your asbestos attic insulation, as a non-professional may inadvertently leave a trail of asbestos fibers during removal.