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Asbestos Siding Guide This 2023!

Asbestos siding is a common feature in many older homes. Although it can be safely contained, it still poses a significant health risk if disturbed. This is particularly true during any renovations or construction work that may take place, making it crucial to be aware of the presence of asbestos in your home.

What Is Asbestos Siding?

Cement siding mixed with asbestos is commonly known as asbestos siding. It was a popular choice for house siding materials due to its exceptional strength, especially in terms of fire and pest resistance. However, not everyone realizes that asbestos was also used in external applications, such as the siding of their homes. While the use of asbestos for internal insulation is well-known, its presence in building exteriors is often overlooked.

Asbestos siding gained popularity due to its ability to offer enhanced protection against weather elements and fire, thus making it convenient for insulation and maintenance of homes over time. However, the cost of safely removing asbestos can offset the benefits if the material has been present for a long period. Given that asbestos was widely used in homes throughout the 20th century, it is possible that if you own a house that was constructed before 1990, it may have asbestos siding.

Is Asbestos Siding Dangerous?

If asbestos siding is left alone, it does not pose any danger. However, once it gets disturbed, it may release tiny fibers into the air, which can be dangerous to inhale. Asbestos has been linked to various long-term illnesses, which is why it was banned in residential construction several decades ago.

Although leaving asbestos siding untouched may seem like a viable option, it is highly recommended to replace it instead. This is particularly important for older houses, where the siding may have been installed many years ago and could be in a brittle condition that is prone to crumbling.

What Does Asbestos Siding Look Like?

Asbestos siding can be difficult to identify with just one glance as it often imitates shingle or wood-grain siding. It can come in various forms, making it even harder to distinguish. The most effective way to determine if siding contains asbestos is to inspect its age. Some sidings may have markings that indicate when they were manufactured or installed. If the date is after 1960, there’s a high probability that the siding doesn’t have any asbestos content.

Asbestos sidings often have a distinct shingle-like appearance, which can indicate the presence of asbestos underneath. However, it is important to note that this pattern is not always present, and the absence of this pattern does not necessarily mean that your home is free of asbestos.

Should Asbestos Siding Be Replaced?

If you have identified asbestos siding in your home, it is highly recommended to replace it immediately. Although you may believe that leaving it undisturbed is harmless, it does not take much to create a hazardous situation for your health. Therefore, it is best to take action and replace the asbestos siding as soon as possible.

Suppose you plan to repaint your house, and you need to sand down the siding to remove old paint. In that case, you might accidentally expose asbestos and cause it to release harmful fibers into the air. This can be a significant health hazard, and it is crucial to take precautions when dealing with materials that may contain asbestos.

Before embarking on any significant home repairs, it is important to prioritize the safe removal of any asbestos present. Failure to do so can result in unforeseen expenses and complications during the remodeling process.

Does Asbestos Siding Affect Resale Value?

If your home has asbestos siding, it can have a negative impact on its resale value. However, the impact is not too significant as some buyers may not be bothered by the presence of asbestos in the siding. This is especially true if they have no intention of renovating the property, as asbestos is relatively safe if left undisturbed. On the other hand, there are buyers who will be immediately put off by the mere mention of asbestos. So, if you’re planning to sell your home in the future, leaving the asbestos siding untouched can be a bit of a risk.

It’s possible that you’ll come across a buyer who isn’t concerned about asbestos in your home, but that’s simply a matter of chance. On the other hand, if you reside in a smaller community, the opposite might be true. Once people find out that your house contains asbestos, potential buyers may use it as a bargaining chip to lower the price, even if they aren’t particularly bothered by it themselves.

Asbestos Siding Bottom Line

It’s crucial to address asbestos siding as soon as possible. You need to be aware of its presence in your home and identify which parts of the structure contain this hazardous material. This information will allow you to prepare for any future renovation work that involves heavy construction and ensure that you take the necessary safety precautions.

If you don’t have any intention of selling your home in the near future, you can most likely keep your asbestos siding as is. However, if you’re considering putting your home on the market, it’s crucial to prioritize addressing this issue.

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