Have you just discovered vermiculite in your property and are wondering if the presence of it constitutes a hidden defect? Many different courts have ruled and the presence of vermiculite contaminated with asbestos is not considered a hidden defect. The Quebec court ruled in 2009 and wrote: “The mere presence of non-compliant material in a building, or even a residence, does not automatically mean that the building is affected by a hidden defect”.
The courts also rely on Health Canada’s claim that: “[Vermiculite insulation] can be dangerous if moved during maintenance, renovations or demolition. However, there is currently no demonstrated health risk if the insulation is sealed into wall panels or floors, insulated in an attic, or absent from ambient air. ”
In short, the use of non-conforming materials does not in itself constitute a defect which reduces the quality of a building or prevents its owner from using said building. However, the presence of vermiculite can decrease the value of a property until vermiculite decontamination work is undertaken.