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.
- What Is Asbestos? (Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance)
- Dealing with Asbestos Siding: Cover Over or Remove? (article)
- How to Deal with Asbestos Flooring in Your Home (article)
- Dangers of Asbestos Contaminated Vermiculite Insulation (article)
- Asbestos in Your Home (EPA)
- Asbestos Shingles and Siding on Your Home (ehso.com)
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.