Safely Remove Asbestos Siding
LESLIE: We’re on our way to Texas now where Eddie’s got a signing – a siding question. Sorry, Eddie. What can we do for you?
EDDIE: I’m working on a house. Got a 19 – it’s an, oh, 55 model home …
EDDIE: … that the oil company built and it’s got these asbestos – well, I’m thinking they’re asbestos; I’m not real sure. But it’s those little shingle like siding that’s on it.
EDDIE: And I’m wondering I need to try to take that off or if I can just overlay over top of it.
TOM: What kind of siding do you want to put on, Eddie?
EDDIE: That lap siding like stuff that …
TOM: Vinyl siding?
EDDIE: No, it’s not vinyl. It’s the old permaboard type.
TOM: It’s a – is it composite siding?
TOM: I would steer away from composite siding; frankly. It doesn’t have a good history in terms of durability.
TOM: What you might want to look at is hardy plank siding, which is a cement – it’s like the asbestos siding but it looks like clapboard, except it’s not made of asbestos; it’s made of concrete. And that’s incredibly durable stuff. I would – I would not recommend a composition siding. There’s been a long history of problems associated with that in this country.
In terms of whether you take it off or go over it, it’s always better to take it off. You should know that when you’re talking about asbestos tile, the risk of exposure is fairly small. Generally, you wet that stuff down before you take it off; use breathing protection. And you try to take it off with as little breakage as possible. You can, by the way, take a big nail set and punch the nails through after you get started with it and they’ll come right off. You don’t even have to break them into a lot of pieces because the nails can drive right through the stuff because it’s fairly soft. And that’ll loosen them up and you’ll be able to pull it out. But I think you’re better off taking it all off.
The one thing that you might want to look into before you do that though, Eddie, is – if there’s any special requirements in terms of disposal of that in your part of Texas. Because in some parts of the country, you have to bag it and take it to a special disposal area. You should find out if you have to do that or your town will take it away for you so that you don’t – you’re not going to end up with this pile of asbestos you don’t know what to do with.
LESLIE: Yeah, and if you dispose of it improperly, you could end up getting fined by your community.
LESLIE: So it’s always better to make a call.
TOM: Yeah, but if you take it off, you’re going to get a much cleaner job. You know, you’re not going to have excessive thickness at the windows. You’ll be able to get a very water-tight seal. And that’s definitely the best way to do it. I don’t like going on top of siding. It’s generally a very sloppy thing to do.
LESLIE: Well, are you thinking of adding a deck to your house? It’s a great way to add square footage to your home without a huge renovation.