My house (built in early 1950's) has wood shakes in the front and on
the garage; and asbestos shingles on 3 sides.
I want to have vinyl siding put on. Most remodel jobs in my
neighborhood are done with vinyl siding; only the very affluent do
stucco or fiber cement.
I'm concerned that if I side right over the asbestos shingle, it will
be an issue for a prospective buyer if I ever have to sell the house.
The shingles are in OK shape, but the house looks dated, and it
doesn't cost much more to side than to paint -- and I want to have
some window work done too, some of which involves replacing windows in
tub surrounds with awning windows -- so if not siding, some patching
would have to be done. It makes more sense to just re-side.
Obviously there are cost and disposal issues with removing the
asbestos shingles; and not everyone will do it. Does anyone know if
it's a disclosure issue upon sale if there's other siding on top of
it? (House is in NJ.)
I am looking into buying a 1927 home with an exterior of asbestos/wood.
Since I do not know what I might be getting myself into, I decided to post
some questions on this site :)
1. Does the seller have to pay for a home inspection to disclose any
information about the asbestos shingles? If not and I have the inspection
done myself, what should I be looking for?
2. Is it a dumb idea to invest in a home that could need asbestos shingle
removal? How costly is it for a home that is approximately 1,500 square
3. Some of you have said removal is no problem and it's easiest to just
remove the singles and put siding on and some of you have said it is not
dangerous to just put siding over the existing shingles. How would I know
if it is as a dangerous stage and may need replacing? A home inspection?
Any other information on this subject would be great!!!!!!!
Thanks a lot,
1a. Seller doesn't have to pay for an inspection ever. They have to
fill out a disclosure form. They may disclose, not disclose, or say
they don't know. [I am in the midwest US.] You should definitely pay
for an inspection [this is a given] and tell the inspection service,
before you pay them that they must determine the compsition of the
shingles. Funny thing, I bought a house that has no ecident asbestos
EXCEPT it has a few hundred sq ft of 8"x8" tiles, the thin kind you
glue down, not the ceramic variety. 8x8's are made with...asbestos.
SO I got that goin for me. They come up easy though.
2. Yes. No idea on cost, if you're in a blue state (Massachusetts,
NY), say, 10 grand.
3. I wouldn't buy such a house. Even if it all looks solid, god only
knows what future legislation and lawsuits will bring. There must be
other houses ?
Buyer pays for inspection. I don' tknow if shinkes are covered in
disclosure, they are rather common and not considered a hazzard.
You can be sure they are asbestos, but this is not a problem. Millions of
homes have them.
You can safely remove them yourself and landfill them. Check locally, but I
think they have to be bagged, but no other provisions. Contact with asb
estos is perfectly safe. It is breathing in asbestos dust that causes
It is not now, nor has it ever been at a danger stage. I'd removed them
only because you can do a better siding job and take care of any other
problems that may surface.
Just go into this open minded. A 1927 house may need some work and
updating. Some may have been done. Before making an offer, know what is
needed, know what the cost will be, then make a decision as to whether or
not it is a good value. Some people enjoy working on an older home, others
abhor working on any home. Only you can tell if this house is a good deal
On Sun, 14 May 2006 18:38:18 -0500, "goldilox2677"
I have three rental houses that still have asbestos siding.
It's not considered hazardous unless it's ground or sawn. The asbestos
in it is basically mixed with cement. It's not considered friable (the
white fluffy loose asbestos that's often used in pipe insulation).
Unless there is a cosmetic reason, why worry about it, side it over or
even remove it?
A paint job on asbestos siding seems to last a good 20 years. In many
respects it's great stuff and certainly not a hazard to your health,
unless, again, you grind it, saw it and breath the dust.
BTW, if some shingles are chipped, cracked or missing, they can be
easily replaced. GAF Building Products still sells the stuff, with the
asbestos content removed. It's available in the 12 x 24" sizes in
straight edge, wavy edge and shag edge.
Around 5 years ago, on the "This Old House" program, they did a home
addition, matching the asbestos siding on the rest of the house with
new fiber-cement shingles from GAF.
In NJ the buyer pays for an inspection. Any issues asbestos etc are
noted and the seller has the option of fixing and the buyer has the
option to walk based inspection. Asbestos shingles are not as dangerous
as the fibrous type used as insulation. Get an estimate and try to
work with seller
To JC, regarding the disclosure question in NJ, I would go to the NJ
Dept of Community Affairs website and get a copy of the disclosure
requirements for NJ. A realtor would have it too. They changed the
law on this a few years ago, and it's pretty extensive. It also looks
like it was done by a school kid with no common sense. As an example,
it asks was any work every done on the roof? How stupid is that? I
could see asking, if any leaks were repaired in the last 2 years, do
you know of any existing roof problems, or something along those lines.
But, if you've owned the property for 15 years, apparently you are
now supposed to record and remember if a shingle blew off, or you
replaced a vent seal 10 years ago. It also asks other well thought out
questions, like "Are there any cracks in the foundation?" Any chowder
head knows that almost all foundations have at least some cracks
So, God only knows what it says about asbestos siding.
long term all asbestos is going to be required to be removed.... its
just a matter of time.
TOH had a episode on this. guys in moon suits, hazmat containers, water
hoses to minimize dust. its removable at a large expense.
side over it? at resale time you must disclose it there.
does the home have knob and tube wiring? if its still in use good luck
getting homeowners insurance. most companies refuse to insure a home
with that wiring.
at least get a home inspection, you will pay for it a few hundred
bucks. but thats free in comparision with just one problem found later.
on a home of this age expect zero energy efficency, bad wiring,
galvanized water lines all needing replaced, cast iron sewer lines rust
out, metal porch roofs rust, somew parts are hard to impossible to get.
dont get me wrong it can be a wonderful home just dont get in over your
Home inspection and contractor written estimates on repairs so you know
possible costs in advance
Lets see. Homeowners insurance companies today ask about knob and tube
wiring, they even sometimes send a agent or rep out to inspect the home
and photo it for new customers. State farm and others refuse to insure
a home with knob and tube. No hysteria, just the fact that knob and
tube has open connections that are soldered. No metal box over time the
connections degrade, has caused lots of fires. call your homeowners
company and just ask? report back here what your told.
asbestos anything is a hazard espically if disturbed, by ball hitting
home, repairs, possibly even siding over it etc etc. I recently sold a
home, its part of the very complete mandatory disclosure statement
Years ago non friable asbestos could be left in place, say on ductwork.
paint and forget. now home inspectors search for it, because its a cost
of future renovations. Call your local landfill and ask if they take
asbestos shingles? You will find they arent allowed to, they must go to
a hazardous wate landfill. A normal landfill dumps the garbage and runs
bulldozers over it adding dirt. That would create clods of asbestos
dust bad for neighbors, and landfill staff.
Anyone buying a home today should get a home inspection, sure it costs
a few hundred bucks but can save hundreds of times that money. Buyer
and seller agree on price. Home ispector finds all sorts of troubles
costing 10 grand to fix. Buyer re negoiates price spliiting repair
costs and home price gets cut 5 grand. Home inspections CANT see
everything:( But do catch lots of troubles.
inspectors are a buyers best friend and a sellers worst enemy, since
they cut the sales price.
if your buying even a 80 grand cheap house whats a few hundered bucks?
Why do you make the statement that " long term all asbestos is going
to be required to be removed" u?
Do you realize that asbestos products are not illegal to make or
Congress in the USA did indeed pass a law requiring a moratorium on
sales of asbestos products. That moratorium expired and was never
renewed by Congress.
Thus, contrary to popular myth, asbestos products are not illegal in
Yes, many companies have removed asbestos from their products but only
to reduce liability lawsuits.
Gee, you are just a bundle of optimism.
After reading your post above, I doubt that the original poster would
be willing to buy ANY house.
I've purchased 15 homes in my life, many of them old homes build 1880
to 1942 and never had all of those problems all at once in a single
house. Even if a home is riddled with problems, it's all a
price/benefit tradeoff. If the price is right, the problems are
I've never used a home inspector - don't believe in them.
It's just my own philosophy and my sense of independence but I believe
that if I'm not knowledgeable enough to know the condition of a house,
I shouldn't be buying it. I'd rather be blaming myself for missing
something rather than blaming a home inspector. Thus I've made myself
knowledgeable and advise others to follow the same path.
Most home inspectors that I've met have little knowledge beyond the
superficial. They've taken crash courses, gotten a state license and
then either put out their own shingle or join some existing firm.
If they had real expertise, they'd be working as contractors, making a
much better income.
I've only missed one major thing in all the above homes, probably due
to my enthusiasm to close the deal ASAP. I bought a "winterized" beach
house and failed to note the lack of heat in three rooms. It cost me
$1800 to solve that problem.
However, did it make a difference? Nope, I would have bought the home
in any event and the deal was so good that $1800 made little
difference. A bank had accepted my cash offer at 50% of their asking
price and I wasn't about to try to whittle them down for another
It's all in the deal...
On Mon, 15 May 2006 15:53:17 -0500, "goldilox2677"
Not even close. A typical home inspection is good for people
who are totally clueless about owning and operating a house,
and for satisfying the bank that SOMEONE with half a clue has
verified that there actually is a house there, and that the
house wasn't actually on fire at the time. It's a good
idea to have an inspection done, it's a bad idea to depend
And yes, if this is your first house, you're in over your head.
Think of it as an opportunity for personal growth.
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