Siding identification

Hi, anyone know what kind of siding this is? The surface is granulated like an asphalt roofing shingle and the granules are embeded in tar or asphalt. The backing is some sort of fiber board, brown, about 1/2" to 5/8" thick approximately. This siding has been on the house between 40 and 50 years.

siding.jpg

There was another variety of this in Canada in the 30-40-early 50’s called “brick siding” as the outer granules were affixed to simulate bricks and mortar. The fiberboard was simply the carrying medium but salesmen said it was good insulation and would make the house a lot warmer. It does give some insulation …like about R1 for 3/4" thickness and would block some wind…but not near the insulation levels we use today. This may have been the first re-siding product that led into asbestos shingles, metal, then vinyl.

To me it looks like rigid cement shingle siding which may or may not contain asbestos.
Someone that is a little more knowledgeable on siding of this type should be along soon enough.
paging Mr. Cyr, Mr. Beaumont, Mr Roy :smiley:

That’s what it is, asphalt shingle siding. It is getting to the end of its normal life. Look for cracked and deteriorating shingles and loose ones. You can put other types of siding over the top.

Chris:

That was my thought originally but I gave my answer based on the text about the brown fiberboard/granules. And was wondering if there was another variety that did not look like brick and mortar. Will have to wait and see if wrong picture was posted or that we can’t properly see the granules and fiberboard in this picture.

versus asphalt brick siding

Ah! So there was another variety made to simulate wood shingles. I was wondering about the vertical divide lines as you never saw them like that in asbestos cement shingles up here. Never saw asphalt shingle siding that I can recall.

Cement shingles are brittle and break easy, asphalt ones are soft. They look soft in the pic. to me, but that doesn’t guarantee it. :wink:

[quote=Brian A. MacNeish]
versus asphalt brick siding
There was another variety of this in Canada in the 30-40-early 50’s called “brick siding” as the outer granules were affixed to simulate bricks and mortar. The fiberboard was simply the carrying medium but salesmen said it was good insulation and would make the house a lot warmer. It does give some insulation …like about R1 for 3/4" thickness and would block some wind…but not near the insulation levels we use today. This may have been the first re-siding product that led into asbestos shingles, metal, then vinyl.

quote] We have both around here, I’ve painted many of the cement shingles in late 70’s and 80’s. Your right they did make a siding that was also asphalt that resembled brick siding, I think it came in 3x5 sheets. It was on the house I’m in now, someone installed over wood clapboard built in 1880,s.

“Mineral fiber” vs conventional asbestos siding

http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=asb

vs. “rolled asphalt siding” (so called because it was produced by pressing between hot rollers) in brick, stone and shingle patterns:

http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=asph

Generally if it “cracks” it’s asbestos if it “tears”, it’s asphalt.

This is definitely not rigid. The only part that cracks is the tar/asphalt part adhering the granules to the fiber backing. The fiber backing tears apart.

I’ve been to http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/…s.asp?page=asb and the siding on the house most closely matches “mineral fiber” or “rolled asphalt siding”, but I am not sure which one. The real question is does the stuff contain asbestos. There are already two layers of siding on the house, so don’t want to add a third layer.

I sent some samples to an asbestos testing lab, so will just wait for the results.

I was just interested if anyone recognized who might have made this kind of siding.

There was never a mention that the asphalt sidings contained asbestos.

The siding that Brian was talking about earlier is called Insulbrick .
Here is a Web site for it and others .
Have no idea what your siding is will keep looking.
… Cookie

http://www.lestercat.net/house_03/archives/2005/08/ghetto_brick.php Insulbrick

http://www.bia.org/html/frmset_thnt.htm Info on Bricks

http://www.oldhousejournal.com/magazine/2003/june/faux_stone.shtml](http://www.oldhousejournal.com/magazine/2003/june/faux_stone.shtml) formstone.

http://www.builddirect.com/bdu/bdu_siding_1_d.aspx ***[FONT=Times New Roman][size=3]faux stone ***[/size][/FONT]

Is it possible it would be this?

One anomaly that appeared in a 1937 edition of American Builder was Eternit asbestos and Portland cement brick-type siding shingles offered by Ruberoid. This is the only mention of brick-type siding in asbestos that has surfaced. It is presented in a “new product” section of the magazine, so perhaps some technical problem evolved, and it was taken off the market.

http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/images/photos/ahpp_img_mswilburns.jpg

Mid -1960s Mineral Fiber siding closely resembled raked asphalt shingles but was composed of asbestos and Portland cement.

[86]](http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=end#_edn86) Notwithstanding the apparently isolated reference to brick-type siding, the primary surface design of asbestos shingles from every manufacturer was an approximation of wood. Johns-Manville and Ruberoid marketed a cedar texture, which had a raked appearance.

Sears, Roebuck and Keasbey and Mattison were among the companies that presented a waveline wood grain pattern in 1938. In 1940 Ruberoid broke away and advertised a smooth “colonial” siding, which had the advantage of no foothold for dirt.

[87]](http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=end#_edn87) The illusion of wood siding was maintained by butt patterns of wavy, straight edge and thatch - also known as shake - design. Wood grain shingles were initially offered only in white and gray, but the 1940 Ruberoid smooth siding was available in browntone, greentone and varitone. In 1942 Flintkote provided a “mottled” tone in brown, red and green, produced by impregnating color throughout the sheet. During the mid-1950s building boom manufacturers rose to the occasion and began offering a greater variety of colors, among them gray-green and gray-pink. In 1955 J.R. Grobmyer Lumber Company in Little Rock sold Certain-teed insulating siding in forest green, coral, chocolate brown, pastel green and silver-gray.

[88]](http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=end#_edn88)
The 1965 Fall and Winter Sears, Roebuck catalogue featured a new asbestos siding called Mineral Fiber. It came in 9" X 32" clapboard form or 12" X 24" traditional shingle form. This type of siding was similar in appearance to the raked asphalt shingles but it was 5/8" thick in contrast to the 3/16" thickness of asphalt. Mineral Fiber siding was described as a “Scientific blend of two virtually indestructible materials, asbestos and Portland cement.” Ceramic type pigments were blended into the material and each panel was then coated with a layer of acrylic plastic and oven baked to lock the color in.

[89]](http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=end#_edn89)
The Portland cement used in asbestos shingles differentiated them from asphalt materials due to the fact that it allowed for weathering, resulting in siding that became “richer and softer with age.”[90]](http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=end#_edn90) When an asbestos shingle is damaged, the break will take the form of a clean crack due to the concrete, while asphalt siding appears to tear leaving ragged edges much like cardboard. The typical dimensions of shingles were 12" X 24", but a 9-1/2" X 24" size was also available.[91]](http://www.arkansaspreservation.org/historic-properties/national-register/siding_materials.asp?page=end#_edn91)

Marcel:)

It looks like its in very good shape concidering its been on the house 40-50 years.

Now I knew that (in the past LOL). haven’t seen it for 20+ years. Used to have to insulate though it or remove whole panels to gain access to wall cavities. If people were going to remove or cover it soon, we’d actually cut out individual “bricks” and drill through the fiberboard into the wall cavity. After filling the cavity, we’d stick the brick back on with tar.

Hi to all,

I don’t think that this is a cementatious product as it is so thick and appears to have a milled step at the top, I believe it is a variation on a product called Insulbrick which was sold as a siding/insullation product back in the 40’s and 50’s

Regards

Gerry

Gerry;

Insulbric dates back to 1932, is it possible if it were that, it would have lasted this long?

You would think it would have delaminated by now.

Wish we had pictures of the products Manufactured in that era.
Wonder if there are any History books on siding from way back.

Marcel :slight_smile:

There is no Portland cement in this siding. I just got the asbestos test results back from Western Analytical Lab and they report this siding contains no asbestos (so it’s all getting ripped off the house now)!

Any of the siding that was not in direct sun light much of the time is still in reasonable shape. However, on the south side of the house, the siding is completely disintegrating. People can remember this house having this siding when they were kids, and they are in their 40’s now.

I think it is something like Insulbrick. I am just calling this stuff “asphalt-coated fiberboard siding”.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and research.

Here’s more pictures of this stuff.

  • far left: back of siding
  • middle left: broken piece showing some of the fiberboard
  • middle right: north-facing shaded siding
  • far right: south-facing sun-exposed siding

back.jpg

siding-in-the-shade.jpg

sunny-side.jpg

broken-piece.jpg

I think I’m going to name it “Insulshingle” since it’s definitely the same compostion as “Insulbrick”. It was quite easy to name.

Here is another suggestion I just found on google. :smiley:

ghetto brick

](http://www.lestercat.net/house_03/archives/2005/08/ghetto_brick.php)
In the mid-20th century, before there was aluminum or vinyl siding, asphalt shingle siding was the alternative replacement siding. Some of this siding was …
www.lestercat.net/house_03/archives/2005/08/ghetto_brick.php