Is this asbestos siding?

Hello. I'm in Japan and I'm Japanese. I built a 2x6 house in 1995 and installed siding made in USA. By some reason, I'm not able to contact the contractor who built my house anymore, and I have no clue to find out whether the siding is made of asbestos or not. I heard asbestos has been already banned in the US since some years ago, but I have no clue about if the siding manufactured before year 1995 contains asbestos or not.
Here is the picture of the siding: http://spilaris.atspace.com/siding.htm
It's approximately 9mm(0.35 inches) thick and approximately 150mm(5.9 inches) wide, but each shingle is overlapping so I don't know the real width of the original product. I suppose the length of overlapped part is probably some 2 inches. I suppose the siding was manufactured a few months or a few years before 1995 since they were new.
The sidings were shipped from a building material dealer in Seattle in 1995.
I really appreciate if someone could inform me if the siding of my house contains asbestos or not.
Incidentally, in case the siding contains asbestos, should I remove them? Or if I paint on them thick, could I avoid the particles of asbestos flying in the air effectively? Is removing of the siding the only method to avoid them flying in the air? Or is there any other method to avoid them flying in the air?
Thanks in advance.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.jp wrote:

.
Your siding appears to be what we call Hardiboard, here in the USA. It is not asbestos, but is a fiber reinforced cement product that will really stand the test of time. Just keep it painted to maintain its looks. The asbestos containing siding that was once manufactured and sold here in the USA is OK to leave on a house, so long as it is not broken or drilled. The asbestos that you should fear is airborne, such as dust from drilling or sawing.
My opinions only.
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nobody wrote:

Thank you so much indeed. I've been worrying about this issue for weeks and I heave a sigh of relief now. I will keep painting on it.
Again, thanks so much.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.jp wrote: ....

And again, even if it were asbestos siding it's not a hazard in that form...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I suppose it's not a hazard in that form, but once I started to mind it, I felt so uneasy, and worried about it for weeks. I was going to make an extra room in attic, and was going to install a new window. To install it, I have to saw the siding with spreading all those particles in the air to open a hole in the wall. If it's asbestos, my neighbors would upset about it.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.jp wrote:

IMO even that wouldn't be much of a hazard although it could certainly be done in a much less dust-creating-intensive manner. I know, everybody's all up in arms over it, but it's far blown out of proportion imo....
imo, ymmv, $0.02(US), etc., ...
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Well, except that's not what you'd do.. You'd want to simply REMOVE any asbestos shingles/tiles that overlap the area in question, THEN cut the hole, and fill in the intervening space with concrete/fiberglass replacements that you CAN cut.
--Goedjn
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Judging from that discoloration around the window, it looks like it might be LP siding, not HardiPlank. Around 1995, in the Seattle area, you would have been much more likely to have someone sell you LP versus HardiPlank. All the mushrooms growing out of the LP - and the resulting class action lawsuits - are one of the reasons HardiPlank has become so popular in the Northwest.
If it feels almost as hard as cement, it's probably Hardi. If it feels like you could almost push a nail through it with your bare hands, it's probably LP. Either way, it almost certainly contains no asbestos. If you do have LP (or some other pressboard product) make really sure to maintain the flashing, caulking, and paint. The stuff can't take much exposure to water.
Richard Johnson PE Camano Island, WA (An hour north of Seattle)
P.S. Everything expressed here is opinion only...
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Rich-out-West wrote:

It's very hard. It's even tough to screw on it without drilling it first so I think it's the Hardi stuff.

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I've got asbestos tiles at my work and at home. It doesn't worry me one bit. As long as your not chewing on your siding you should be fine even if it does have asbestos. Asbestos is a good for subdueing fires. It was banned in 1978. If it is asbestos just where a mask when drilling holes in it and keep it painted. You shouldn't have any problems.
--
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superflysmith wrote:

The first of the WTC tower's hit lasted longer than the second tower.
The first tower used asbestos as a fire-retardant. The second used an "as good as" replacement.
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I have an old house and all the siding is asbestos. I've had to cut some soffit vents in the top row of the siding, just under the eaves...I've very carefully removed some siding, one piece at a time (12" x 24" pieces), and put it in a garbage can full of water and sawed (underwater) off 2" sections. I think that's pretty safe. I don't like dealing with this stuff, but I haven't found a replacement non asbestos siding that matches up with it (so I can replace pieces one at a time as they crack or break, or need to be cut).
The asbestos siding cracks very easily when you try to remove it, it seems to be very brittle, hard but brittle. I try to keep it wet when I have to remove it. The only good thing about it is that the house is in a southern california brush fire area so that gives some measure of comfort.
John

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