Asbestos siding was installed on many buildings in the U.S. in the 1940 and 1950s, including many homes and schools. This type of asbestos-containing product is usually in the form of shingles that are made of a mixture of asbestos and cement. The cement binds the fibers of asbestos, and even after the shingles have aged for decades, the shingles are generally not a danger if they are not deteriorating or damaged. However, many of these older buildings are in disrepair or are being demolished for various reasons.
Asbestos Embedded in Cement
The asbestos cement used to make asbestos siding was invented in the early 1900s by the major, now-bankrupt asbestos company Johns-Manville. The asbestos cement was first used for components such as chimneys and in roofs. Siding shingles with asbestos was a later invention.
Most of the asbestos shingles used in U.S. buildings have a type of asbestos called transite. The transite fibers won't be released from the cement into the air unless the shingles are:
If Your Home Has Asbestos Siding
If your home has asbestos siding, it can be left as-is if it's not in bad condition. Some contractors have misled homeowners into thinking that any and all asbestos siding must be removed. This is not accurate.
If you're considering an exterior renovation to your house, such as an addition, and the siding will need to be removed or cut into, it's best that you contact a certified asbestos-abatement contractor about it.
Encapsulating Asbestos Siding
Another option is to encapsulate asbestos siding. This is done by painting the siding with a masonry primer that contains latex, then putting on at least one coat of latex paint. The asbestos siding should not be sanded or scraped in this process; just washing with soap and water and then a water rinse before the primer coat is best.
Covering Asbestos Siding
Asbestos siding can also be covered with insulation board and then vinyl siding. The asbestos siding will then be protected from the aging and deterioration that might make it a hazard.
Find Out More about Asbestos Siding
If you're concerned about asbestos siding, contact mesothelioma treatment centers for further information.