asbestos siding

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Gypsy, May 14, 2004.

  1. Gypsy

    Gypsy Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Bamberg, SC
    Does anyone have experience with asbestos siding? Were buying a place that has it (trying to anyway). The reaction I get from folks when I tell them this seems to range from all out face cringe with accompanying “Oh no” to a shrug and a “it’s not such a big deal”. From what I can gather so far, if the asbestos is not too punky (punky is apparently an official asbestos term which means squishy) I can spray foam over it and just cover it all with vinyl siding. I’ve also been told that if I do this it might break off and bulge under the new siding. I spoke to an asbestos removal company that said I could save myself a lot of money if I get the safety equipment (mask respirator and suit) and tear it down myself and bag it, then they will come and dispose of it. I guess you have to constantly spray it with a garden hose to keep it from flaking away.

    Has anyone tried this? I’m all for saving the money but this stuff scares me a little. Thanks in advance.
  2. LiL OHNNL

    LiL OHNNL Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2003
    New Salem NC
    just put up the foam backing and side right over it. There are so many houses in my area that have this type of siding and have sided right over the shingles. I dont know where your at but getting caught ripping off the asbestos singles on Long Island carries a big fine if you are not an approved contractor. Hope you get the house also. Good Luck

  3. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

    May 10, 2002
    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    Are you sure its asbestos shingles which are hard like slates and pose little or no danger or do you have the nasty old asphalt shingles that look a bit like brick if you are half blind. The old asphalt shingles may or may not have asbestos and can be a problem if you try to remove. Around here, people just foam over them and apply vinyl siding.
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    FolioMark is right on in asking if you are positive the material is asbestos. Certainly very early on there were siding shingles that were asbestos but shorty after the introduction it was determined that a cement based item that resembles the original could be made cheaper and that is what most of the shingles are made . The name just lingered. At some building supply stores you can buy a kit that will let you determine the content of the siding shingles.
  5. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    There are 2 sides to every coin.

    My brothers house has asbestos siding, which he very much would like to replace with some type of log siding. Costs for removal would exceed $5000! And this is a very modest 1 bedroom house.
    He wound up painting over it.....and it doesn't look too bad.

    Many years ago, someone in our community took it upon themselves to remove asbestos siding from their house......and dump it on there back 40. Somehow, the DNR found out about it and investigated. The people got a $5000 fine and had to pay for proper disposal!

    I certainly wouldn't rule out purchase of the house if it has several factors (location, price, layout, decor, etc) that appeal to you. Check with a knowledgeable builder as to the condition of the siding. It could hold up fine for another 50 years.
  6. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

    Apr 16, 2003
    Southern Maryland
    Our house has asbestos siding and we were told it poses no threat unless it is crumbling. We have no plans to cover them or remove them and I don't think spraying them down would be a good idea. If it isn't crumbly you can paint it (we did) and if it is crumbly wetting it would not be much help.

    For identification purposes, our siding is in tiles about 2' x 10' with a woodgrain pattern. The bottom edge is slightly scalloped or wavy. Although it is painted white, the underside seems to be a pale grey. Our house was built in 1930 but these were added later. It is quite common on older houses around here.
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    My brother passed away last fall. It was my job as to settle his estate which ment selling his house with the hard asbestoes siding. Checking his papers I found he had no insurance on the house. Being good friends with with the Farm Bureau agent I had him come out to put insurance on the house until it was sold. They flat refused to insure it due to the asbestoes siding. He related a couple horror stories about the cost they were involved in when fire made it nessesary to get rid of the siding. The lawyer for the estate was able to get another company to cover it, but at the rate they charged, I could see why my brother didn't have it insured. The biggest thing wrong with the siding is the laws that govern it.
    Be sure the price you pay is substanchaly reduced to cover possible problems at a later date.
  8. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2003
    Beautiful Kentucky
    If it were me, I'd leave it as is. If it's unpainted, and you can stand the color--don't paint it, and unless you're absolutely in love with vinyl siding, don't side it. Asbestos siding is pretty low-maintenance. I still swear at whoever first painted the asbestos on our current house, it just means we have the bother and expense of repainting it every few.
  9. stickinthemud

    stickinthemud Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 10, 2003
    SW PA
    Unless you really, really don't like the look of the siding, don't mess with it. That siding (if you're talking about the real thing as described by mistletoad) will outlast vinyl, you, me & the century. It is HARD but brittle. Don't lean a ladder against it unless you have a solid backing under the siding-it will crack.
    Everything I've ever heard/read says there is no problem with the "A-word" from intact siding. So if you intend to add vinyl how will you attach it without driving nails thru the old siding? (And good luck to that- DH says you'll have to drill holes for the nails thru that $%^#% hard stuff. And better plan on buying hardened drillbits by the gross.)
    We painted our siding because it was soot-streaked & ugly. The paint DH put on the front in 1979 faded but was still solidly intact when we got around to having the whole place painted 3 yr ago.
    Removing the a-siding or driving lots of nails thru it or otherwise disturbing it is much more likely to expose you & the environment to the A-word than just leaving it be.
    Now if you are in an area with overzealous bureaucrats out to "help" you, there may be a problem & I'd probably pass on that house entirely.
  10. How many people have ever become ill because of asbestos used in housing? According to professional home inspectors I've used in the past, almost none. Most asbestos related illness was as a result of working with asbestos in a factory type setting.

    If you have asbestos anything (siding, insulation), my advice would be to leave it alone unless you know exactly what you're doing. Talk to someone who really knows about asbestos used in housing... because anyone else will just cringe.

  11. East Texas Pine Rooter

    East Texas Pine Rooter Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    I am a retired general building, and remodeling contractor. The siding will, as it already has, lasted a long time on the walls of the house. Go to your local paint company, and they have color samples that have different colors grouped together that will accent your new home. You can paint the eaves, one of the colors, front door and shutters one color, and the asbestos siding, and brick underpenning one color. Paint the brick, and the asbestos siding with a masonery paint. The paint will last years on the asbestos, as well as the brick. There is no problem with having asbestos on your house, just don't try to grind it, or cut it with a power saw. They have special cutters that break the material for installation. asbestos is a great siding, since you already have it. The only reason to cnange is because it is comming loose, and falling down. If that were the case, you have a worse problem, and a lot of remodeling replacing the rotten wood underneath which was caused from neglect. As for as the asbestos company comming and picking the asbestos up, you need to get a price quote from them. The asbestos has to go to a hazordous waste landfill. The price quote for picking it up, and disposing it, will give you a jolt. You will definately have second thoughts on the direction you will take. Good luck, getting to live life as we no it today in America is a very blessed experience. At my age it is now fun to look back at our daily past ventures, and feel so blessed to get to work under the sunshine, and stars again today.