Although asbestos has long been banned in the United States, homes that were built before the 1980s may still contain it. It was an extremely popular construction material prior to that decade, when many of its dangers were discovered. North Carolina and South Carolina are both bastions of older homes, so this article is pertinent to a number of residents throughout these states. As you read on, you will learn more about asbestos siding and what you need to be aware of if you reside in a house that is not a newer build.
How can I determine if my siding contains asbestos?
It is next to impossible to know if the siding has asbestos in it from simply looking at it. There are some styles, such as asbestos tiles, that have a fairly standard appearance, but because asbestos was so widely used, not all asbestos siding looks identical. It is possible for siding boards to look like traditional vinyl, for example, but to actually contain asbestos fibers.
The only surefire way to know if your Carolina home is covered with asbestos siding is to have it tested by a qualified professional. Your chosen expert will take some small samples of your siding, seal them in airtight containers, and mail them to an approved lab for the appropriate testing. If the samples come back positive for asbestos, you will receive a phone call or a letter advising you of the discovery.
What do I do if asbestos is present?
If you learn that there is, in fact, asbestos in your current siding, there is no reason to panic right away. Some North Carolina and South Carolina municipalities don’t even require asbestos siding to be removed, provided that it is covered with new, asbestos-free materials. This is because asbestos is really only dangerous when the particles get into the air and can, therefore, be inhaled.
The first thing you need to do is contact your local city hall to learn what rules and regulations you are required to abide by in your region. Once you know this information, you can take the appropriate next steps. In all likelihood, you will either have to have the asbestos-laden materials removed by skilled professionals or you will have to install new siding over the existing boards. In the event that your asbestos siding has to be taken down, you can expect your home to be cloaked in a special asbestos tent so the particles don’t get into the air.
The team at Hatch Homes specializes in siding jobs throughout the Carolinas. If you’ve recently discovered that you will be dealing with asbestos during your upcoming exterior renovation, give us a call to discuss what we can do for you. If you just need to have your current siding covered with new materials, we can work with you to choose the perfect solution for your lifestyle. From affordable, durable vinyl siding to increasingly popular fiber cement panels, our trustworthy crew has experience with a wide range of materials. We look forward to speaking with you soon!