The hard, brittle, shingle siding and roofing that was used on many homes before 1980 often contained asbestos and should be tested before being disturbed or removed.

If asbestos is found to be present, the following safety precautions should be taken if the siding or roofing is disturbed or removed. Asbestos remediation contractors are available to handle the safe removal of asbestos material.

When removing asbestos siding or roofing from your home, you must be properly covered head to toe with respirators properly worn to make sure no exposure is possible. It only takes being exposed to asbestos one time to get mesothelioma and other lung diseases, and any improper handling of asbestos can impact a person’s health down the road.

  • Spread plastic sheeting on the ground around the house where the asbestos siding or roofing will be removed.
  • Wear protective clothing, gloves, goggles, shoe covers, and the proper respirator (N100 or HE) when working with asbestos.
  • Keep those not wearing proper safety equipment away from the area where the asbestos material is being removed.
  • Wet down the asbestos siding or roofing with a mixture of water and liquid soap in a pump up sprayer to limit dust.
  • Use a flat pry bar to remove the asbestos siding or roofing material, starting from the top.
  • Keep the asbestos material that has been removed wet.
  • Put the asbestos siding or roofing material in sealed plastic bags, and dispose of it properly at a landfill designed to handle hazardous waste.
  • Seal any protective clothing and gloves that were used in the asbestos removal in plastic bags and dispose of it properly as well.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Danny Lipford: Now, this is a very brittle type of material I’ve worked with it a lot over the years. And if you try to install vinyl sidings over this, it breaks up, falls down, and can make the siding look so bad once it’s all done.

So, what we’re going to do is to remove all of the siding all the way back to the original sheathing. Then we’re going to pump insulation in these outside walls, because with an older house like this, that has no insulation in the outside walls at all. Then we’ll be installing a housewrap over that for even more insulation value.

Now, it’s kind of misty out here right now which really plays to our favor. Because this siding contains a bit of asbestos, and part of the precautions in removing asbestos is to keep it nice and damp. That’s because the greatest danger of this material comes from breathing the dust.

So, once they’ve suited up in protective gear, they’ll soak the wall with a solution of water and liquid soap to keep it damp—suppressing the dust. As the pieces come off the wall, they’re soaked again before they are bagged and taped, so that they can be disposed off safely.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Hello. I am wondering if you would know what the average cost would be to have a company remove my asbestos shingles for me. My house was built in 1963, and is 1112 sq ft. The shingles cover about 3/4 of the house. I live in Reno, NV.
    Thank you !!!!!

  2. My wife and I are retired and on a fixed income. We live in a 70 year old house. How can we get assistance with removing and replacing the home shingles, which we believe contain adbestos?
    Thank you.
    John and Carolyn Carolyn

  3. WELL I WOULD LIKE TO GET THIS OFF THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE I CURRENTLY LIVE IN, BUT I DONT HAVE THE FUNDS TO GET IT OFF AND RESIDE THE HOUSE BOTH .MY DOG JUST TORE A BIG HOLE IN THE WALL . SO I AM BEING TOLD THAT THERE IS NO HELP. SO I HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS . I AM TOTALLY FRUSTRTAED WITH THIS SITUATION.WHERE CAN I GET SOME ASSISTANCE WAS NOT AWARE OF WHAT KIND OF SIDING THIS IS .THIS WAS ON MY GRANDFATHERS HOUSE WHEN I WAS A KID. HERE I AM 53 YEARS LATER LEARNING THAT THIS STUFF IS POISON TO OUR
    HEALTH SYSTEM

    • Hi, Denny,

      We recommend contacting your area home builders association. Many of these organizations have local community service projects in which volunteers donate their time and expertise to someone in need.
      Use this link to find the home builders association near you: http://bit.ly/2oOa9mN
      Thanks for your question.

    • Why do you need to remove them? You can replace individual shingles with matching cement fiber ones. Asbestos shingles are not harmful if left alone.

  4. Why would men be in white plastic suits with mask on be in my neighbors house and doing something on the roof??? The homeowners where told to leave a few hours and then keep windows, garage door open for awhile when they returned????? The guys also used the yellow tape to tape off around there home…The roof is new or 5 years old(tops)…I believe they had a new hearing system installed also last year.,,What would those guys with the white suits and mask be doing???? Are all neighbors safe if its asbestos??? The guy put something on the roof could have been a roof vent from the size of the box

    • Hi, Kay!
      We’re all about Simple Solutions here at Today’s Homeowner.
      So while we could speculate on what might be happening, the only real way to know what’s going on with your neighbors’ roof is to ask your neighbors. 🙂
      Take care!

  5. Help,
    My daughter who is recently widowed, found out she has an asbestos roof which is really steep and is deteriorating to where she needs it replaced. Can you help guide me to find some kind of assistance for her? She is very limited on money and we understand there is significant cost to removing / replacing this roof. We are in Ohio and don’t know who to turn to to get an estimate or someone to remove it.
    Please help!
    Pam

  6. You can easily replace individual shingles for very low cost. There are ones made by GAF that will match old styles and do not have asbestos… I am not an expert, but it seems there is a lot of hysteria about these old shingles, as I understand it, they are not harmful at all if left in place and it if painted they are sealed and cause no harm.

  7. There are also sealants and coatings that are used on asbestos roofing that encapsulate the asbestos which are less expensive.

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