Asbestos Siding

I have an inspection booked for tomorrow on a older home with asbestos siding.( per the seller) My client is the buyer and has expressed concern about this. He stated that the seller told him that you can install new siding over existing.
My question is…wouldn’t the install of new siding over asbestos siding require
some type of disturbance to old siding-as in some type of nailing or furring strips at least? I haven’t been around any re-siding jobs, so I am not sure what is required.(I do know that the distrubance of asbestos is not a good thing:) )
What do you all think, is this the seller trying to put a good spin on a potentially bad situation or what?

To apply siding over the asbestos siding, you would create a fiber release when you nailed or screwed the new siding into the asbestos siding. The only way to determine that the siding is asbestos is through laboratory analysis. I worked for 15 years with asbestos abatement contractors and know what it looks like but I don’t refer to it as asbestos unless it has been analyzed by a lab. Lab analysis utilizing Polarized Light Microscopy cost about $25 per sample but you shouldn’t just break off a piece and send it to a lab for analysis. There are certain protocols that need to be followed when sampling PACM (Presumed Asbestos Containing Material). Depending on state laws, a siding company may not re-side a home that might have asbestos siding. It may not be a big issue ,but cover your a$$.

Thanks Linas-thats pretty much what I thought.

If the siding is not damaged or broken just paint it. My parents 1940’s home is sided with asbestos siding, painted with lead based paint. If your client is worried contact a local siding contractor in your area and ask them how they normally handle it.


And if this is not appropriate, strap it with furring and re-side it.
Asbestos siding is a non-fryable product if it is asbestos content and nailing through it will only split it and break it, but will not create dust that will release harmful fibers.
JMHO of experience factor. 1984

Marcel :slight_smile:

We have a lot of post ww II housing stock with “asbestos” siding in place. Very weather durable material that wears well and holds paint well. I shoot it with an XRF frequently, have for years now, and most times it is NOT lead based paint. No need to have wasted the “best” paint on something that would never rot! They are not very impact resistant, and a pain to drill. It takes a punch tool/ cutter to properly work with the material, to make your nail holes, etc. Folks around here purchase the Canadian made replacement cement product, felt strips and nails, for repairs. You can usually rent the punch tool where they sell the cement replacments.

Around here vinyl siding is the preferred exterior make over material. Most installer “enclose” the asbestos behind a layer of fanfold (1/4" insulation, unfolds like an accordian) It’s pretty effective at trapping the corner pieces that breakoff and can otherwise interfere with the lock of the vinyl courses. Also, little dust if any makes it past the fanfold, even during installation. Some place a bead of caulk continuously around the sill plate as they secure the fanfold, keeps any pieces from vibrating down and peeking out the bottom. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it. Like lead paint, ACM is not a hazard as long as it remains “intact”. In my opinoin it is less hazard left intact on the dwelling and sided over versus removing and hauling to the landfill. Furring strips are never used around here.
my two cents

Appreciate all your help! I will know more tomorrow after I see the place. If it were me, I would probably paint it. Keep the character of the old house and all. (of course cheap and easy appeals to me also, at least as far as home repairs) This home should be quite fun:roll: -buyer is also worried about structure and electrical. I fully expect to be there awhile and get some great defects pic’s.:slight_smile:

John, what’s XRF?

that’s lead paint lingo for x-ray fluorescence,
a handheld analyzer to measure lead paint

How much for the XRF? They were about $10,000 when I got my Lead Inspector and Lead Risk Asessor Certification about 10 years ago.

didn’t mean to steer this thread off course jwisecup. anyway, about 16 grand in 2000, plus replacement isotopes about every two years for me at a couple of grand installed. I was quoted 26 grand for the current version with all the bells and whistles.

The Chicago Public Schools had a push to clean up the flaking paint problem and spent $95 million years ago, to scrape loose paint and paint over the lead paint. Contractors made lots of money painting over ceilings that had moisture intrusion problems until the city figured out that they should fix the roof leaks before addressing the paint issue. Lots of $$$ to be made if you know where to look.

No Surprise here Linas,
You know the “City that werks”…:roll:
Did you know that a Chicago public school employee “that paints” can only paint to a specific height in the (building) system… Call it job protection… How about all those very old schools with lead, asbestos in use… I feel sorry for all those kids that don’t realize they get a double dose of it… First at home then at school…and you wonder why these kids are failing…and need all these drugs … Pour more money at it…not for the kids but for the “system”… :mad:
No wonder I am so DUMMBB…:wink:

A Cook County employee / painter…$75,000 a year!!! We have no money… No wonder!! ( Per there own records)… Benefits you and I will never have…

Sorry on a rant… :mrgreen:

And now we can’t get an election count.

While on the topic of asbestos siding. I sometimes come across this myself and never refer to it as asbestos siding since it can’t be confirmed until sent in for analyisis. Do you all use a statement to protect you a$$ets when you believe it to be asbestos?

“Exterior walls were covered with shingles of a type which has a high probability of containing asbestos. Confirmation of the presence of asbestos in the shingle material will require analysis by a qualified laboratory”.

I “borrowed” most of this from an assortment of places, I think…

Suspected asbestos siding was observed in good general condition with no observed dust, flaking or loose elements (confirmation of asbestos content can only be made with laboratory analysis. Trimming vegetation away from the side of the home at all points is recommended to prevent damage from contact, and reduce the potential for water or insect penetration.

Asphalt or cement roofing and siding that contain asbestos are generally considered “nonfriable” and are not hazardous when intact and in good condition. In other words, just having asbestos siding and roofing on your home does not pose a hazard to your health. Experts recommend that asbestos containing roofing and siding in good condition simply be left alone.
It is important to realize, however, that over time heat, water, weathering or aging can weaken siding and roofing to the point where they can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder and, thus, considered dangerous. The act of removing asbestos siding and roofing can release asbestos fibers into the air where they can present a health hazard, if inhaled. Homeowners should avoid breaking, sanding, cutting, drilling and sawing the materials. If repair is necessary, asbestos siding can be patched with exterior caulking and can also be painted with latex paint. High-pressure washing and other abrasive cleaning methods should be altogether avoided.

Encapsulation, or containing the asbestos siding completely beneath another layer of siding is also a potential method of dealing with aging or damaged shingles without the need for removal. Consultation with qualified contractors familiar with asbestos siding concerns and methods of proper encapsulation is strongly recommended in this case.

Very nice, I appreciate it and will install into my handheld for future use.