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
Here is the picture of the siding:
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
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.
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.
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.
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, ymmv, $0.02(US), etc., ...
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.
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...
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.
I have an old house and all the siding is asbestos. I've had to cut some
in the top row of the siding, just under the eaves...I've very carefully removed
siding, one piece at a time (12" x 24" pieces), and put it in a garbage can full
water and sawed (underwater) off 2" sections. I think that's pretty safe. I
dealing with this stuff, but I haven't found a replacement non asbestos siding
matches up with it (so I can replace pieces one at a time as they crack or
need to be cut).
The asbestos siding cracks very easily when you try to remove it, it seems to be
brittle, hard but brittle. I try to keep it wet when I have to remove it. The
good thing about it is that the house is in a southern california brush fire
that gives some measure of comfort.
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