By now, you likely know that at one time a whole host of building materials were infused with asbestos. Anything from popcorn ceilings to shingles, insulation, flooring, sealing tape, and others contained asbestos. If you know this, you also likely know that such materials are extremely dangerous. Just turn on your TV, do some channel surfing, and you’ll likely find a commercial asking for signatures in a class-action lawsuit against some asbestos manufacturing company.
With all the negative press surrounding the material, it is only natural to wonder if you and your family are at risk. This is probably exactly why you’ve made your way here today. As a professional asbestos removal company, we are here to inform you of what you need to know about the material and how to handle it.
Why Was Asbestos Siding Used?
Let’s start with asbestos siding. Siding infused with asbestos was one of the most popular and widely distributed products throughout the whole asbestos craze. Why? First of all, no one knew the dangers that the material posed. This, unfortunately, wasn’t something that was uncovered until much later down the line. To make matters even worse, asbestos was an extremely useful and beneficial building material. It contained the exact properties that were needed.
- It was fireproof
- It offers a huge insulation value
- It’s resistant to many insects
- It is extremely durable and resilient, offering many years of productive life
- The material can withstand harsh weather conditions
- It can and was manufactured at affordable rates
- Asbestos isn’t a high-maintenance material
- Asbestos was and still is less porous than wood, making it easier to paint and seal
With all the benefits the material offers, one can easily see why the material was so popular. It was as if it was specifically made for the building industry. It’d likely still be in wide rotation today if it wasn’t discovered to be so potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, it is extremely dangerous, as it has been linked to a whole host of nasty lung diseases, including mesothelioma cancer and other lung diseases.
Was My Siding Made With Asbestos?
After discovering the above, you’ve probably found yourself even more concerned and worried than when you first started your journey here. That was not entirely our intention, but we do need to stress the potential hazards related to this material. Those homes and buildings that contain indoor materials with infused asbestos are even more at risk. And just because it is shingles or asbestos siding that you are dealing with, it doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk
First, asbestos is so dangerous because of the fibers it releases. These fibers, although invisible to the naked eye, are released into the air where they can be inhaled. The fibers do not break down and decompose like other fibers. Once inhaled, they just sit on the lung and cause massive damage. These fibers can be easily tracked into the home through open windows and doors. Just because asbestos was used on outdoor building materials, it doesn’t mean you are safe.
So, what does asbestos siding look like? That’s a bit of a difficult question to answer, as the material was infused in many forms of siding. That said, some defining characteristics might help identify the material. Here are some things you’ll want to keep an eye out for:
- Does your siding have a chalky texture?
- Are there low vertical grooves?
- Are there nail punctures at the bottom of the panel?
- What are the dimensions of each siding piece (12” x 24”)?
- Are your siding panels designed in a wavy or wood grain pattern?
What sound does the siding make when you tap it? Asbestos offers more of a sharp ceramic sound when tapped.
Should The Siding Be Immediately Removed?
If you think identifying asbestos-infused siding was complex, the question of removal will only further confuse the scenario. With that in mind, there will come a time when the material must be removed. However, that time doesn’t necessarily need to be now. As was previously stated asbestos offers a long lifespan. Going back to the fiber scenario, it’s the fibers that pose the threat. Asbestos materials do not start releasing their fibers until they are exposed or disturbed.
It could be that trying to simply identify the material as containing asbestos causes the dislodging of such fibers. Therefore, anything asbestos-related is always best left to a trained professional with previous experience and proper removal know-how. If your asbestos siding is undisturbed and in good shape, removal is probably not worth tackling at the moment. This is especially true if the job was something that came up unexpectedly.
Take the time to plan, save, and prepare for it. This approach will afford you the benefit of taking the time to ensure you choose a good, reputable company. We are licensed, insured, and offer some of the highest trained and most experienced techs in the field. Call now to speak with a representative or schedule your free in-home consultation!