How to Remove Asbestos Siding

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The Environmental Protection Agency banned any new use of asbestos in 1989. A home built before that date continues to pose a potential health risk. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibers used for their strength and ability to withstand high heat. The fibers pose a health hazard when they become airborne and enter the lungs.

  • Determine whether your house has asbestos siding. Send a sample of your siding to a laboratory that tests for it, or if built before 1989, assume that it is made of it.

  • Decide whether removing your siding is your best choice. You may want to leave your siding in place if there is no damage to it, since asbestos only poses a danger when it is airborne. If the siding will be disturbed during a remodeling job, you should remove it.

  • Follow federal and state guidelines for the removal and disposal of any asbestos material. There are designated landfills approved for hazardous waste so check with your local and state environmental agencies.

  • Consider the liability. In most states, it is illegal to hire anyone to assist you except a contractor certified by the state for asbestos removal.

  • Evaluate the health risk involved in handling asbestos siding. You will have to wear disposable coveralls and gloves, rubber boots, goggles and a specific respirator for asbestos removal. Have bagging materials, stickers and other disposal supplies designated by the regulations in your state.

  • Weigh your options. Due to the dangers, regulations, liabilities and cost involved in removing your siding, you may want to have a qualified professional do the job for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • The World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency have categorized asbestos as a carcinogen to humans.
  • Removing asbestos is difficult and requires special training. Improper removal may cause a great health risk to you.

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