Is Asbestos Siding Harmful?
Because of the advantages asbestos siding possess, most of the homes and buildings built in the 1920s contain asbestos in their siding or roofing. While many marveled at this magic mineral which is resistant to fire, heat, chemical and electrical damages, it was proven to cause more harm than good, hence the need to either replace or remove such siding.
What is Asbestos Siding?
As the name implies, asbestos siding (cement siding) is a type of siding which contains some amount of asbestos fibers.
Dangers of Asbestos
Despite the advantages of using asbestos siding or roofing, it poses danger to all occupant of such a building if the fiber should be exposed to air. Long-term exposure to asbestos has been shown to cause medical conditions such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Contact a legal professional to learn more about your rights.
Asbestos Precaution for Homeowners
For those living in homes with asbestos (either in the ceiling, walls, or floors), the EPA advises that the following precautions be taken to avoid asbestos exposure.
- Do not sweep, vacuum or dust any debris that may contain asbestos.
- Areas with damaged asbestos materials should be off limit to children.
- Do not level or sand asbestos flooring. Install new floor covering if the need to replace the flooring arises.
- Leave every undamaged asbestos-containing material alone. It is safer that way.
- Avoid scraping or drilling holes in asbestos-containing materials.
Replacing Asbestos Siding
Replacing asbestos siding is quite expensive, so, you will have to decide what your goal is. Do you want to remove and replace all siding? Or you want to remove and replace them selectively. Whatever your decision is, it is safe to hire the service of certified asbestos abatement contractors as there are laws guiding the removal, replacement, and disposal of asbestos.
DIY Asbestos Siding Removal
Due to the danger posed by asbestos, many house owners have resolved to remove it from their building, whether as siding or flooring. But that shouldn’t be the case, you can live a long, happy and healthy life with asbestos in your home provided the fibers remain encapsulated. If you do decide on removing them, then these few tips should help.
- Close off the work area to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers.
- Get all the necessary equipment for the removal and disposal.
- Protect yourself with equipment like work gloves, respirator, rubber boots, and a Tyvek suit.
- Be sure to wet the siding thoroughly before inception.
- Keep the siding wet throughout the process to minimize any airborne fibers
- Each piece of siding should be removed carefully. Try as much as possible not to break or chip the siding in the removal process.
- Prying the siding might be easy or difficult, whatever the case is, make sure you use screwdrivers or pry bars.
- Use contractor’s bag for disposal and do not overfill the bags as they weigh a lot.
Is it Safe to Cover Asbestos Siding?
Yes, it is. I do not recommend removal or replacement except it is necessary. You expose yourself to more risk by disturbing the asbestos. You have got no fear if it is properly encapsulated. Covering it is yet a good strategy. You can cover them with plastic sheeting, vinyl siding, paint, or foam board
Is Asbestos Hazard Covered by Home Insurance Companies?
Some home insurance companies do not write insurance policies on homes with asbestos siding because of the cost of hazardous material clean up. But if your home insurance policy covers it, then, they are liable for any asbestoses-related disaster that may occur.
Is it My Landlord’s Responsibility to Remove Asbestos from My Apartment?
Your landlord is not obligated to remove the asbestos, but he must inform you of its presence in the building. That is why you should do a thorough check on the apartment you are about to buy. Tenants can also take legal actions against the landlord if he denies you the right to remove the potentially airborne asbestos.
List of Companies’ Siding Known to Contain Asbestos
Although the use of asbestos has been limited to a certain amount, it is yet legal in some products. Some of the companies’ siding products containing asbestos include;
- GAF Ruberoid Aristo Insulating Siding
- National Gypsum Classic Shake Siding
- Flintkote #70-W Straight Edge Siding
- Boise Cascade Insulate Asbestos Siding
- Johns Manville Transite Siding
- Celotex Careystone Roofing and Siding