What You Need To Know About Asbestos Siding

If you’ve made it this far, you likely have some concerns about asbestos. You’ve probably heard that the building material was widely used in home and building manufacturing before the 80s and poses extreme risks. You might have even heard that the material is still in rotation today, although its sale and manufacturer only account for 1% of the industry’s sales. You’ve come to the right place! As a professional asbestos removal company, we are here to help make you aware of what needs to be known about the once popular building material. What kind of risk does it pose? What materials were asbestos infused with? How can you possibly identify asbestos? All excellent questions and things you’ll need to know about the material, especially if your home was manufactured before the 80s.

Asbestos Siding And Its Potential Dangers

First and foremost, you need to know that asbestos was such a popular building material because it offered such beneficial properties to the industry. If the material wasn’t so potentially dangerous there is no doubt that it would still be widely used today. In fact, despite all the bans, potential dangers, and negative reputation, the material is still used today. All that aside, it is the fibers from the material that pose such a threat. Before we delve completely into all that, here is a quick list of some of the unique properties offered by the material:
  • It is extremely fire-resilient and is still used as fireproofing material today in some buildings
  • It offers extreme amounts of insulation
  • The material is more resilient than most modern building materials
  • Along with being fireproof, it is virtually all-weatherproof
  • The material affordability makes it practically affordable
  • It’s one of the easier building materials to clean and maintain
  • It is also less porous, which contributes to the easy maintenance, but also makes the material much easier to paint
Thanks to these unique properties, asbestos was the ideal material for vinyl siding. And it was highly used in the manufacturing of siding until the late 70s. In the late 70s and early 80s was when governing agencies started realizing the potential health risks posed by the material’s fibers. It was later discovered that these fibers have contributed to a whole handful of nasty lung diseases, including mesothelioma cancer.

What Does Asbestos Siding Look Like?

You are no doubt questioning what asbestos siding looks like and you should because it can be extremely dangerous in the right situations. The only problem is that identification can be extremely difficult. It honestly takes a trained eye and experienced hand to properly identify the material. That said, there are some more unique properties and characteristics that will help the material stand out. Here are some key identifiers, you’ll want to consider when evaluating your home or building siding:
  • The texture will be somewhat chalky
  • There will more oftentimes than not be vertical grooves
  • It likely has punctured nail holes near the bottom
  • Pieces are usually manufactured in 12” x 24” shingles
  • The siding usually features a wavy pattern and wood grain design
  • There will be no manufacturing code stamped on the backside of the material

Why Is Asbestos Siding Dangerous

Now, let’s delve into the real threat here. What exactly is it that makes asbestos siding so potentially dangerous? As previously stated it is the fibers. Once the fibers become exposed or tampered with, they will become airborne, where they will likely be inhaled in the airways. The fibers do not decompose like other fibers. They virtually just sit right there on the lungs and cause irreparable damage. Sometimes, removing the material only poses a greater risk than leaving it in place. Simply put, when it comes to asbestos, it’s a material that’s best left to the pros. Give us a call today!

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