There are many parts of old homes that could contain asbestos. From window putty to floorboards and roofing, knowing the risk of asbestos in your property is critical to remaining safe. The siding on your home could also contain asbestos. Vinyl, natural wood and even stucco could contain asbestos and thus require a safe removal process.
When remodelling your home, asbestos fibres could be released in the air as a result of stripping old siding. This is why you should have a specific process for repairing or replacing such materials. Here are useful tips for safely removing asbestos siding from your property.
1. Know the type of siding used on your home
Surprisingly, many homeowners aren't aware of the type of siding materials that may contain asbestos. Many aren't also aware of the actual material used for siding in their homes. If your property was built prior to the 1990s and it uses wood, vinyl or stucco siding, it likely contains asbestos. You can identify the siding material used in your home by carrying out a little research. For example, wood siding appears just like the wooden floors or surfaces in your home. You may notice distinct fibres on the siding surface or the typical texture that natural wood has.
Stucco may be more complicated to identify, but you can tell by checking for the distinct layers present on most stucco surfaces. In the case of stucco siding, you may notice an outer layer, an inner coating and a cement base. The material your siding is made from will determine the level of risk that you may experience when carrying out home repairs.
2. Assess risk
Speaking of risk, your next step should be to determine the amount of asbestos fibres that are likely to be released into the atmosphere during a renovation project. Because asbestos was widely used as an insulator material, many types of siding contain asbestos. Stucco siding installed prior to the 1970s is likely to contain the highest amounts of friable asbestos. This is because cement easily dissipates microscopic fibres into the air, and you'll need to exercise caution when removing stucco from the side of your home. Natural wood and asbestos siding should also be handled with equal caution to minimise the release of fibres to the surrounding air.
3. Prepare the work site
After assessing risk, you can proceed to prepare the work site for siding removal. The goal is to minimise the spread of fibres. This can be done by covering up the area or handling materials with caution so that undisturbed fibres aren't released into the atmosphere. After removal, make sure the old siding is disposed of in dedicated asbestos disposal sites.
Contact an asbestos removal contractor to learn more.