Hoping you can shed some light on this concern of mine. I recently went into a bidding war on a century-old home and won! However, I recetly discovered that the home has asbestos siding.
After much internet research, I’ve seen many different responses, all of which seem to suggest that asbestos is dangerous. I understand that asbestos can not be altered by cutting the asbestos, or even scrubbing or painting as the asbestos can become airborne and compromise everything.
Can you please clarify for me what you know to be true? Should I be purchasing a home in this day and age that has asbestos siding?
First off, don't panic! Asbestos contained in siding, known as cement asbestos , is far less of a risk than when used in other applications, as the asbestos fibers are bound within the siding's cement composition and can not be easily released into the air.
Cement asbestos siding is non-organic and so it does not decay and actually holds paint quite well which, by the way is NOT dangerous contrary to what you have been told!
As for handling it, you do need to take a few precautions. Cutting asbestos siding is the only danger, which is minimized with use of specialized tools that shear rather than cut the shingles. Also, I recommend against installing new siding over top of the existing asbestos material, as the process will damage the latter and cause asbestos fibers to be released.
Remember also that while removal of asbestos siding is not regulated, disposal of the material may be so also be sure to check with your local trash collection service to ensure that the material can be disposed of properly.
We can't find much evidence that cement asbestos siding would negatively impact your home's value. It is not dangerous and while it may not be the trendiest siding product out there, it is super durable and does its job of protecting your home's structure quite well.