siding question

hi there,
anyone recognize this siding? It’s about 1/4" thick and the unpainted part is a dark color. It’s almost like masonite board. Is there any asbestos siding looks like this and is dark in color? The pattern is pretty distinct but I can’t find it anywhere. Thanks for any help. I think it’s original siding and the house is about 50 years old.

DSCF0857 (Small).jpg

Hi James,

I have never seen that particular pattern, but that smacks of some sort of fiber cement siding, and due to its age an asbestos base is highly likely. I would not make to much of a song and dance about it however, as if it is good condition and well painted, then any asbestos content is unlikely to become friable (airborn) anytime soon. I would report it as “Fibre cement siding, which may or may not have an asbestos content.”



James, have you tried:

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:
Hi. James;
*Repair many of this in my younger years and is an asbestos siding produced in this era. *
*I am only talking of the 60’s , but the material was out for quite some time. *
*You had a shear cutter to cut it with a built-in hole punch for the nail holes. *
*A two inch piece of felt paper was installed at the seams or butt joints for water seepage. *
*Hope this helps. *
*Marcel *

I agree with Gerry. And that’s very close to how I have it written in my reporting software “The exterior includes fibre cement siding, which may or may not contain asbestos”

Yeah I would report it that way also. There are some broken pieces but obviously the stuff isn’t friable. I was just curious and also wondered how they would dispose of it when they reside the house. Can it just go in regular landfill? Do they need to test it before disposing of it at the dump? I had checked the siding solutions website but the photos were all newer composite siding. Anyway thanks again for all your help.

i agree with Marcel. it’s asbestos. very very popular in out north east area. seen it alot. it was used in the 60’s almost exclusively up here. going over it with vinyl is fine up here, but check your local. did it have an almost “tinny” sound if you knocked or tapped on it? that’s indicative of asbestos foux shingle siding.
i’ve got some pics i’ll post if this thing will let me.

sorry. here’s a couple. one shows what they look like when broken. another shows the “tin knockers” work around the edge.

sidding1 (Small).JPG

sidding1 (Small).JPG

holeincaseing (Small).JPG

yeah that’s definetly the same stuff. thanks

Even if I was sure that it contained asbestos, without testing being done that particular house I would not definitively declare that it is asbestos.

If you stated that it does contain asbestos and there was no testing done they seller could sue you and probably win.

It just so happens that my house has fiber cement board from that era. And infact I covered it with ridged foam board and vinyl siding.

Do I know for sure that it contains absestos - nope. Never bothered to test it.

Do I think it contains asbestos - yup. Don’t care.

You can take a free on-line course regarding fiber cement siding at its the 6th one down. Its about todays product so if I remember correctly, there is not much info about the older asbestos stuff but still a good course.

Paul, i totaly agree with you about not stating something as fact without proof, but i was under the impression that he was asking for his own info. I have to ask, if the client did sue you (or me) for calling it asbestos and it wasn’t, what would they sue for. i mean i see your point, but most of us are LLC (limited liability companies) and here in N.H. that means that no matter what is said or done, the client can only sue for 2.5 times the cost of the service, or for damages caused. seeing how it’s going to cost double that just to get a lawyer, all the other court fees, the lawyer won’t even take it to court if he’s only getting a cut of a small amount. missinforming a client about asbestos didn’t cost them any more than the analytical services to test it. “pain and suffering” isn’t recognized in county courts anymore, so they can’t get that. maybe the best thing is to state the concern of asbestos, let them know that it fine to go over it, and ease their mind of any health concerns.

I have seen it at least 10 times this year. It has to be called out as at least the potential of asbestos content - especially when the paint on the surface starts to peel/flake off. Failure to do alert a client to the potential for asbestos content - especially when it is suspected is, at least to me, bordering on negligent.

I usually include the following:

The siding on the home is cement fiber with potential asbestos content (a positive determination can only be made at a lab.)

Asbestos apparently does not cause any problems if it is not disturbed and, in many cases, may remain in place with the owner aware of certain specific precautions regarding its care and maintenance. However, any disturbance of the material should be done by qualified personnel with experience handling asbestos materials. Other options for treatment include encapsulation (completely enclosing the suspected asbestos material so that no interaction with the air or environment is possible). Further information about asbestos and its proper handling can be found at:

Asphalt or cement roofing and siding that contain asbestos are generally considered “nonfriable” and are not hazardous when in tact 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 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.

That was cribbed from at least one person (probably RR)…

That is a good narrative Joseph. I would never state that something contained asbestos without first having it tested. By stating it may contain asbestos and adding narrative info like above you not only cya but also put things into perspective for a nervous buyer who might hear asbestos and freak.

Ok, how about this senerio;

Client gets report stating that does contain asbestos (no maybe).
Client walks because of it so the deal falls through
Realator updates vendor disclosure
Market slows down over a couple of months
Homeowner get it tested and it comes back negative* - no asbestos
Homeowner sues for damages (not being able to sell his house for its true value at the time)

If its not tested I don’t know for sure. My report will reflect what I know, what do not know, and what I am unsure of.

  • The negative test results could have been for any number of reasons. None of which you have control over. It may have been from bad sampling or a similar looking product manufactured in small quanities that indeed never did contain asbestos or even a modern maufacturing facility making retro looking products, etc.

i hear ya Paul. my point is that using the proper termanology will help avoid all that. like “appears to be similar to other siding known to contain asbestos” or like someone els said “may contain”. stuff along those lines. simply stating it “does have” or something like that would be realy irrisponsible of any inspector and neglectfull of the facts, so in that case yes your a$$ will hit the court room floor. “if you can’t impress them with knowlage, dazzle them with bull$hit”. (quote my grandfather)