If you have asbestos siding, you may have some fears lingering in the back of your mind. You may try to avoid going near your asbestos siding out of fear of the potential harms and side effects asbestos can cause.
Don’t fear! While asbestos was more popularly used for various products in the mid-20th century, it has been off the market for a while.
Asbestos siding is most common in older homes built around the 1950s and ‘60s. So, if you live in an older home from this time and have asbestos siding, you may be thinking about replacing it soon.
Construction experts since then have learned how to handle asbestos products properly and keep you safe. But, you may still have some concerns about how your asbestos siding can be safely replaced while keeping you, your family, and your home safe.
Southwest Exteriors has been a siding replacement contractor in San Antonio since 1989. Although we don’t see asbestos siding much, we have a handful of asbestos siding replacements each year.
Because asbestos can pose a hazard to your health if not handled properly, it’s understandable for you to have concerns. Whether you know what an asbestos siding replacement entails or not, having all the information you need before helps you feel more comfortable and confident in your project.
This article will outline what asbestos is, what asbestos siding is, and the crucial things you need to know about an asbestos siding replacement.
After reading, you will know more about what goes into an asbestos siding replacement for installation, cleanup, and cost. Then, you can feel more comfortable starting your project with the information you need.
What is asbestos?
According to Asbestos.com, asbestos is a mineral “composed of flexible fibers that are resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion.”
Asbestos became popular in the construction industry, used as an insulator. It can also be added to papers, cement, plastics, and other materials to strengthen them.
However, asbestos is a known carcinogen. When particles of asbestos are inhaled, they stay in the body. This can cause diseases like COPD, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
Asbestos has been present in the construction and manufacturing industries from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Regulations for asbestos production and use were enacted from the 1970s and ‘80s. However, asbestos production and use was not fully banned.
It is still found in home siding, tiles, cement, automotive parts, and used for fireproofing today.
What is asbestos siding?
Asbestos is a cement-based siding material made of Portland cement with asbestos fibers for added strength. Portland cement is one of the most popular manufacturers of cement. (For reference, James Hardie siding is made of Portland cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. This is what makes it durable and strong.)
Asbestos siding was desirable for its strength and fire-retardant properties. However, it was nearly extinct by 1980 but is still present in older-model homes today.
Asbestos was a durable and long-lasting siding material and most popularly made shingle-style. The majority of damage that occurs to these shingles are chips and cracks, mostly towards the bottom of a home.
What do I need to know about asbestos siding?
If you are looking to replace your asbestos siding, it’s important you know how it should properly be handled and the potential hazards it poses.
1. Asbestos siding must be handled properly when removed
The most important thing you need to know about asbestos siding is how it must be handled. Whether you hire a professional asbestos removal company or have your siding contractor remove it, you want to know that your home is taken care of.
Crews must wear proper PPE or personal protective equipment during asbestos siding removals. This can include face masks, respirator masks, and safety glasses.
When the siding is removed, it must be bagged and sealed completely. Asbestos cannot go straight into the dumpster or landfill.
It is vital to stay away from the project area When a professional crew is removing your asbestos siding. You should stay inside or away from your home, unless advised by your contractor otherwise.
2. You shouldn’t remove asbestos siding yourself
We do not advise you to remove your asbestos siding yourself, though some homeowners do. If the proper preventative measures are not taken, you risk inhaling asbestos particles, which could cause significant health problems.
Asbestos siding is not necessarily dangerous when on the side of your home. When it is removed and particles become airborne, things could be hazardous.
3. Removal of asbestos siding can add to the cost of your siding replacement project
The added labor and preventative measures needed to remove asbestos siding can add to the overall cost of your project.
If you hire an asbestos removal company before your siding replacement or have the siding contractor remove it, it could add $300-$400 per square to your project. One square of siding is a 10 ft. by 10 ft. area, or 100 ft.2.
If you have asbestos siding you’re looking to replace, it’s important you are aware of these few things to have realistic expectations for your project.
Although asbestos siding is not common in homes today, you need to know that your home will be taken care of when replacing your siding.
Remember that asbestos siding must be handled properly when removed. Proper preventative measures must be taken for the contractor’s health as well.
We do not advise you to remove asbestos siding yourself. Instead, hire a professional asbestos siding contractor or a siding contractor with experience with asbestos siding.
It’s also important to note that removing and replacing your asbestos siding will add to the cost of your project in comparison to other types of siding removals.
Overall, we want you to be aware of the hazards asbestos siding can pose to your health if not removed and handled properly.
With Southwest Exteriors, our siding installation crews are trained to handle asbestos siding properly and safely. Although we don’t see asbestos siding often, we want you to have all the information you need to feel comfortable in your project.
We care about your safety and health first, so we want you to know how your asbestos siding should be handled.
If you’re thinking about replacing your asbestos siding, you may be wondering what types of siding are available for your new siding.