Asbestos has been used for many years in a wide variety of applications. It is actually a naturally occurring substance consisting of tiny fibers that are soft, flexible and resistant to heat and corrosion from both electrical and chemical sources. In short it’s great for insulation, siding and even as a roofing material.
However, by itself it is soft; it needs to be mixed with cement or another material to ensure it has the necessary strength to be used effectively.
Unfortunately the fine fibers of asbestos can be easily breathed in and will then stick in your lungs. This can then lead to a number of diseases ranging from non-malignant asbestosis to lung cancer.
You may be surprised to discover that asbestos could have been used in the building of any home dating from 1990 or before. In fact it wasn’t until 2003 that a complete ban came on asbestos came into force.
What To Do With Asbestos Siding
Although asbestos has the capability of causing diseases it shouldn’t be a problem on the side of your hoe unless it is disturbed. It is only when you attempt to remove it or hammer nails through it that you’ll release the fibers which can cause health issues in the future.
Of course if you’re siding is old then you’re going to want to replace it for aesthetical reasons. You may also find that it is becoming brittle and cracking; potentially releasing the fibers into the atmosphere.
In short asbestos siding or cladding is not a good idea. The best solution is to get it replaced with vinyl cladding. You can check out vinyl cladding prices to see how much this is likely to cost you.
There are two options when it comes to dealing with your asbestos siding:
1. Clad Over It
The cheapest option is to wrap your building in foam and then add your new vinyl cladding on the top. This will prevent the asbestos siding from releasing any more fibers. However, the process of joining the new cladding on will require you to nail through the asbestos; this will release the fibers.
You will need to check with your local planning regulations to ensure this is possible.
2. Remove It
A better option is to remove all the asbestos and then add the new cladding as normal. This option is more expensive but removes the issue with asbestos permanently. If you’re considering selling or even likely to add something to the side of your house in the future removing the asbestos siding will make your life easier.
Of course it also removes the health risk completely.
You need to treat asbestos products with a high degree of care. The idea solution is to have a professional remove the asbestos and take it away for safe disposal.
However, if you do decide to remove it yourself you’ll need to use a respirator that’s approved for asbestos. You’ll also need to wear clothes that can be removed outside of your home and destroyed afterwards.