Anybody have any good report verbage for what appears to be asbestos siding on exterior.



The exterior siding has been recognized as one that may contain Asbestos and would recommend it be tested to verify it’s content.

Marcel :slight_smile:

[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.

Asbestos siding may not necessarily present a health problem to the occupants of a house. Shingles are brittle and can be broken, split, or damaged. Repairs may be made by replacing asbestos shingles with cement shingles lacking the asbestos binder. To improve the appearance of cement or asbestos shingles, power wash, caulk at windows, doors, edges, etc. and repaint. If there is any question about the safety of the siding you should contact a qualified asbestos abatement contractor.

Generally, asbestos containing materials do not have to be removed from any residential property. In fact, asbestos containing material does not have to be removed from any residential structure unless it will be disturbed during renovations or demolition activities.
As long as the asbestos containing material is in good condition, intact and will not be disturbed, it does not pose a significant health risk. The only time an issue should be made of asbestos is when it’s exposed and friable, flaking or crumbling, and that it’s likely to become airborne.
**Removal should never be attempted by the homeowner. **
**This action requires special equipment and detailed training, and is the last choice among alternatives because it poses the most risk of fiber release if not done properly. If removal is necessary it should be determined and performed by **a qualified asbestos removal contractor.

Don’t panic and walk away from the purchase of a good home, just because it might have some asbestos containing material in it. Educate yourself about the asbestos issues. There are many sources of information available: the library, the internet, government agencies, and asbestos abatement contractors are a few. There are two primary methods of dealing with asbestos containing material: **Encapsulation **(seal it in place) and Abatement (remove it).

Thanks, both sound good. I was told not to mention it the report but I thought that would do no justice for the buyer.


Who told you not to inform the buyer about the condition of the house? You would be doing your clients a great disservice if you withheld vital information.

The clients can make their own decision based on the education you give to them, and any misinformation, or lack of information, can lead to a bad decision.

The one issue I am foggy on is how does it get removed properly?
I know if I was buying the place I sure would get rid of it in favor of something bettor.
No inspector speak answers allowed.

Asbestos siding does not pose a health risk unless (of course) it’s friable and falling apart. When I find broken or chipped Asbestos looking material, I simply recommend that it get encapsulated with a non-asbestos material. Most homeowners simply cover over it. It would be a massive expense to have the Asbestos siding professionally removed.

Cement asbestos is not a hazard provided that when it is removed it is not cut creating dust. The best way to remove is to remove it by hand.

A little description of what is required for Homeowners attempting to remove asbestos siding or roofing materials.

Asbestos Siding and Roofing Removal Guidelines
for Homeowners

Based on a number of health studies, the inhalation of asbestos fibers is known to cause several respiratory diseases and research shows that asbestos in any form may constitute a potential health hazard. When untouched, asbestos siding and roofing present a minimal health hazard because the asbestos fibers are bound in a cement type mixture. However, because inhalation is the exposure route of concern, it is important to prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. The health hazard occurs when the siding or roofing is drilled, sawed, sanded, or broken and the fibers are released to the air.
The removal of siding and roofing can be legally performed by home owners, general contractors, or licensed abatement contractors as long as each does not violate the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and work complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations delineated in 29 CFR 1926.1101. NESHAP regulations prohibit any visible emissions of asbestos fibers. As of October 1, 1995 changes in the OSHA regulations require a “competent person” to supervise all asbestos projects and a negative initial exposure assessments must be performed before employees trained in compliance with 29 CFR 1926.1101 can perform asbestos roofing and siding work. It should be noted that if the home owner has tenants then the homeowner is responsible for occupants other than the immediate family and the same regulations that apply to contractors applies to the homeowner.
Before deciding to proceed with what is believed to be an asbestos removal project, be sure that the roofing or siding actually contains asbestos. This can be verified by sending a small sample for laboratory analysis. If the siding/roofing does contain asbestos, be sure to become fully appraised of regulatory requirements before beginning the work. If the material is or becomes friable, (meaning it can be crushed by hand pressure) then it can only be removed by a licensed abatement contractor or the home owner doing the work himself. It is important to note that even under the best circumstances these procedures can be physically demanding and potentially dangerous. Breathing through a respirator places an additional stress on the heart and lungs. Employers are required to have employees medically tested and approved by a doctor to use a negative pressure respirator. For individual homeowners it would be prudent to seek a medical opinion prior to wearing such equipment. Protective clothing can become hot and restrict motion, requiring added care to be taken when working on ladders and in high places. Eye protection may result in reduced visibility. Caution must be taken around live wiring and electrical power when using the misting (water application) techniques to prevent visible emissions of asbestos fibers.
The homeowner (or contractor removing the material) is responsible for determining the condition of the asbestos material. If the asbestos siding or roofing is “non-friable” (meaning that it cannot be crushed to powder by hand pressure), the law considers it to be a solid waste which requires special handling and can be disposed of in landfill approved for that purpose with consent of the owner/operator.
There are strict regulations governing how asbestos is to be packaged, labeled, and transported to landfills permitted to accept asbestos.
Arrangements for adhering to these provisions should be made prior to starting the job of removal.
In making a decision regarding the removal of asbestos roofing or siding, the homeowner should utilize the following tests to determine the associated health risks. If any part of the siding or roofing material can be crushed into powder by hand pressure, it is to be considered potentially dangerous. If no powder can be generated by hand pressure, the material is probably relatively safe. The removal procedure to be utilized is governed by the type and condition of the asbestos material. If there is any question as to the type of roofing material confirmation should be made by laboratory analysis.
The following strategy can be used as a guideline in developing a plan of action for removal and disposal of asbestos siding and roofing:

  • Obtain quotes and recommendations from at least three removal contractors for removal and disposal of the siding or roofing.
  • When obtaining the quotes, ask that the removal and disposal prices be listed separately in the event the homeowner wishes to do only a portion of the job himself.
  • The homeowner may opt to remove the material himself, if the siding and/or roofing is in good condition. If the material is found to be friable, the homeowner may still elect to do the removal work but should exercise extreme caution to minimize exposure risks.
  • Contact the permitted facility where you intend to dispose of the asbestos material.
    Removal Procedure

The process of asbestos removal involves several steps starting with personal protection, and advancing through packaging to terminal disposal. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Protective clothing, eye protection, and respiratory protection should be used by persons involved in asbestos removal activity. If disposable clothing such as a tyvek suit is used, it should be treated as asbestos containing waste when disposed. If medically fit, at a minimum a half-face air purifying respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA-type) asbestos cartridges should be worn. A dust mask does not offer adequate protection.

  2. For commercial projects the use of barrier tape is required. For residential work performed by homeowners, the use of barrier tape is strongly recommended if in a congested area with little space between houses.

  3. The use of plastic barriers over windows, doors, vents, etc…, would depend on the final disposition of the structure from which the material was being removed. If the building was inhabited, or going to be inhabited, the use of barriers might prove to be a good approach to fiber control. For an unoccupied, uninhabited structure it would not be necessary.

  4. Place polyethylene on the ground surrounding the building to catch small pieces inadvertently broken off siding or shingles as they are removed. The Air Resources Division of the Department of Environmental Services recommends 10% as the maximum allowed breakage factor.

  5. Start removal at the top and work down the sides of the building. In this manner, nail holes are exposed and nail heads can sometimes be pinched off to facilitate removal of shingles.

  6. The removal methodology should utilize wetting techniques (misting) to minimize dust and fiber migration. This can be done effectively by adding 1 oz. of dish detergent to 1 gallon of water and applying the mix with a garden sprayer. Caution must be taken when misting in the vicinity of live electrical wiring.

  7. Carefully remove the siding or roofing and gently place the material into double layered 6 mil thick polyethylene bags, or double lined cardboard drums or containers. The name of the generator and address at which the waste was generated must appear on each disposal container.

  8. Wash off tools when the job is completed, restricting runoff to the immediate site.

  9. Mist the polyethylene on the ground and carefully put it into the containers.

  10. Dispose of material at a permitted landfill. REMEMBER: landfills approved for disposal of asbestos require 24 hours advance notice to properly handle the waste. Waste shipment records (WSR) are required by landfills and a respirator should be worn when handling asbestos waste.
    The homeowner (or contractor removing the material) is responsible for safely transporting the securely packaged asbestos waste to a permitted landfill.
    In summary, there are three major responsibilities that the homeowner accepts when doing the work himself:

  11. Responsibility for the determination that the asbestos material is friable or non-friable.

  12. Responsibility for the description of removal procedures, as necessary, to town authorities.
    *]Responsibility for proper removal, transportation, and disposal of asbestos material.
    Marcel :slight_smile:

If I was looking for a home knowing all that expense and trouble was involved for what most likely is a small cheap middle class home I would not buy it.
Now how could I recommend my client do so?Hmmmmmmmm

Bob, I don’t think there would be any homeowner out there nor a Contractor that would follow any of the right procedures.

Most homeowners would take the recommendation of encapsulation hide the asbestos with vinyl siding and resell it without disclosure.

That is why it is important on our part to investigate the hidings of the vinyl siding. What is underneath becomes the big question.

Personally, I would not buy a house with asbestos siding unless the Lot, structure, condition overall, outweighed the cost of removing the siding.

If anything, it would be a good negotiating item.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I would not consider it my decision as to whether or not they buy it. My job, as I see it, is to perform and inform the customer. Let them make the decision on buy. I take a fairly strict hands-off attitude about anything outside my inspection obligations. Customers will often try to engage me in helping them make the decision, or ask about the “value” of a home, or “Would I buy this house?” and my answer is always the same. Not my decision.

I agree with you that it is not up to an HI to decide, personally I would not.

Once the client has been informed and educated as to what is legally involved in removing the asbestos shingles, do you think anyone in his right mind would attempt it?
I know I would not, but the last word would come from the client themselves.

We inspect,educate, report and move on. :slight_smile: :wink:


We’ve taken asbestos siding off , as well as covered over the top of it with vinyl. I’d never NOT buy a house because it has asbestos siding on it. I’d be more concerned about the house with vinyl siding , than ANY other siding. Too much has been hidden behind vinyl siding. I notice a lot of home inspectors are cautious of calling asbestos siding “asbestos siding”. Here’s a little tip for all you unsure home inspectors. If the entire house is covered with asbestos looking siding shingles , most likely it is asbestos. I use to install asbestos siding. I’ve also done many asbestos siding repairs. Then the time came when asbestos siding shingles could not be bought for repairs. For repairs , the siding suppliers had what they called a mineral siding. It looked like asbestos siding shingles. NO ONE put asbestos looking mineral siding on the entire house. It was only used for repairs. Scott

Another note and that is on many older homes in my area asbestos siding is most likely to be the second layer of siding, usually over clapboards.

If this is the case then serious removal costs may be involved, #1 would you put a third layer of siding on a house, #2 if disposed of the cost can be somewhere around 800.00-1000.00 per ton, 3 if removal is the course of action you may have to remove the clapboards as well because you cant strip the asbestos siding with out pulling the clapboards with it.

A simple 20 square siding job could turn into a 30,000.00 exterior renovation project.

Peter, did you mean $800-$1000 a ton?

Tipping fees around here are $85 a ton and $125 hook-up fee.
Asbestos fees are in the $200 a ton range and hauled to Scarborough, Maine which adds a couple hundred on the haul fees. This is done by Pine Tree Waste Disposal. They are all over the Country.

Just curious.


Hi Marcel, yes, the last time I checked, and I could be wrong, that was the price for asbestos. Cement/mix may be different.

Either way to do a proper restoration siding job will be in the 10-20K plus range.

PS. this includes double bagging of all asbestos and proper disposal.

Now you tell me Marcel, I removed the asbestos roofing material off my parents house in the early 70’s with a crowbar. :frowning:

Guess the siding will have to be done by someone else. :slight_smile:

When working for cable I can only guess how many times I went through the stuff.
Those long files hypnotize me,but I am surprised there was no mention of hosing the stuff down to cut or minimize the dust on removal.

robert, are you making buy/no buy recommendations to your clients?

unless it’s cracking and friable, there’s no issues with the siding and no health reasons to avoid it.
when it comes time to remove (say to put on an addition), a licensed abatement contractor can remove it. the costs are not that much greater for a licensed guy to dispose than if you were removing non-asbestos siding.