Given the potential health risks associated with asbestos mishandling, it’s natural for you to harbor concerns. Whether you’re well-versed in the intricacies of asbestos siding replacement or are just beginning to explore the concept, being well-informed beforehand can significantly boost your confidence and peace of mind as you embark on your project. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of asbestos, asbestos siding, and the essential factors to consider when contemplating an asbestos siding removal.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the various aspects involved in an asbestos siding removal and replacement, including installation procedures, cleanup processes, and associated costs. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to kickstart your project with the assurance you need.
Having Asbestos Siding
If you find yourself residing in a home with asbestos siding, it’s quite natural to have some lingering apprehensions. The mere thought of potential risks and health issues associated with asbestos might deter you from approaching your asbestos-clad exterior.
But there’s no need to be overly anxious! Asbestos, although once widely utilized in various products during the mid-20th century, has been phased out from the market for a considerable period.
Asbestos siding is most commonly found in older homes that were constructed in the 1950s and ’60s. So, if you happen to dwell in one of these vintage properties and are faced with asbestos siding, you might be contemplating its replacement.
It’s reassuring to know that construction experts have come a long way in understanding how to safely handle asbestos products and ensure your well-being. Nevertheless, you may still have some valid concerns about the safe and secure replacement of your asbestos siding, with the utmost care for you, your family, and the preservation of your cherished home.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos, in its natural form, is a mineral composed of pliable fibers known for its exceptional resistance to heat, electricity, and corrosion.
Throughout the heyday of the construction industry, asbestos gained immense popularity, primarily for its role as a highly effective insulator. Moreover, it found its way into various other materials such as papers, cement, plastics, and more, providing them with added strength and durability.
However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that asbestos is a well-established carcinogen. When asbestos particles are inhaled, they tend to linger within the body, potentially leading to debilitating diseases like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asbestosis, and the formidable mesothelioma.
The presence of asbestos in construction and manufacturing industries can be traced back to the late 1800s, with its peak of use extending into the mid-1900s. Regulations aimed at controlling asbestos production and usage began to emerge in the 1970s and ’80s. However, it’s important to note that asbestos production and use were not entirely banned.
Even today, asbestos can still be found in various products, including home siding, tiles, cement, automotive components, and as a fireproofing agent, albeit with more stringent regulations and safety measures in place.
What’s an Asbestos Siding?
Asbestos siding is a cement-based construction material consisting of Portland cement infused with asbestos fibers to enhance its structural integrity. Portland cement stands out as one of the leading manufacturers of cement, renowned for its quality and versatility.
In the past, asbestos siding enjoyed widespread popularity due to its exceptional strength and fire-resistant characteristics. However, its use dwindled significantly, with near extinction by 1980, though remnants of it can still be found in older-model homes that continue to stand today.
What to Do when Removing and Replacing Asbestos Siding
There are some things you can do before replacing asbestos shingles and siding safely. Below are some things to remember:
The foremost consideration when dealing with asbestos siding is the careful handling required. Whether you opt for the services of a professional asbestos removal company or rely on your siding contractor, the paramount concern is ensuring the well-being of your home.
During the removal process, the work crew is mandated to don proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), encompassing items such as face masks, respirator masks, and safety glasses, to safeguard their health.
Furthermore, the removed siding must be meticulously bagged and hermetically sealed. Asbestos cannot be casually discarded into a dumpster or landfill, as specific protocols must be followed for its disposal.
An essential precaution is to maintain a safe distance from the project area when skilled professionals are engaged in asbestos siding removal. It is advisable to stay indoors or keep your distance from your residence, unless otherwise directed by your contractor.
Don’t Remove Asbestos by Yourself
We strongly discourage homeowners from attempting to remove asbestos siding on their own, even though some may consider doing so independently. Without the meticulous adherence to essential safety precautions, there’s a substantial risk of inhaling asbestos particles, which can potentially lead to severe health issues.
It’s important to note that asbestos siding, in its intact state on the exterior of your home, does not pose an immediate danger. The real hazard arises when the siding is being removed, and asbestos particles become airborne, as this scenario can indeed become perilous.
Additional Costs Should Be Considered
The inclusion of additional labor and precautionary measures required for asbestos siding removal can significantly impact the total expenses of your project.
When contemplating whether to hire an asbestos removal company in advance of your siding replacement or entrust the removal to your siding contractor, it’s essential to consider the financial aspect. Typically, this decision could add an extra $300 to $400 per square of siding to your project. To provide clarity, one square of siding refers to a 10 ft. by 10 ft. area, equivalent to 100 square feet.
Therefore, it becomes crucial to have a precise understanding of the total cost of your siding project and to maintain realistic expectations regarding potential supplementary expenses.
Learn the Proper Asbestos Siding Replacement Procedure
In conclusion, if you’re contemplating asbestos siding removal and replacement, prioritize your safety and well-being by entrusting this task to qualified professionals. Asbestos poses significant health risks when mishandled, and the potential costs involved in a DIY approach can far outweigh the benefits. Be well-informed about the asbestos removal process, the associated expenses, and the importance of adhering to safety measures. Your home and family’s health deserve the utmost care and expertise. Don’t take unnecessary risks; let experienced professionals handle your asbestos siding project with confidence and peace of mind.