Just about everyone has heard the term “asbestos siding,” but not all homeowners actually know what this substance is, especially if they grew up post-1980. Asbestos was a material that was frequently used in construction projects of all kinds in mid-century America. It was subsequently discovered, however, that the substance can lead to a wide range of health problems, including mesothelioma and other cancers. If you are concerned that your Carolina home may have asbestos siding, it is important to learn as much as you can about the material and how to deal with it. In this guide, you’ll discover some useful FAQs.
What sort of siding was asbestos used in?
One of the first questions homeowners usually ask themselves about asbestos is what sort of siding it was actually used in. The answer, unfortunately, is that it was utilized in many different manufacturing processes. If, for example, you have cement siding shingles on your house, asbestos could have been mixed in to add fire retardance and overall durability. Or, if you have older vinyl siding, asbestos tiles may still be lurking underneath of it.
How can I know if asbestos is present?
The only way to one-hundred percent ascertain if asbestos is present in your siding is to have it tested. There are two ways to test for asbestos. The first option is to purchase a do-it-yourself testing kit. This is the least expensive choice, but it is generally not recommended by experts. Instead, the best route is to have a professional visit your home to take a sample from one of the asbestos siding tiles or boards on your exterior walls. This sample will then be sent to a reputable facility. If it tests positive for asbestos, you will need to take the appropriate next steps.
How do you deal with asbestos?
There is not a single answer to this question. As a matter of fact, the response largely depends on the regulations and laws in your area. Different states and even some cities have different rules regarding the removal of asbestos. In some places, for example, the asbestos siding must be removed by professionals who will tent the area and ensure all of the waste is correctly disposed of. In other areas, though, asbestos siding can be removed by homeowners or left on a home as long as a new material covers it.
If you don’t know what you legally have to do with asbestos in your region, don’t hesitate to contact your local City Hall or your police non-emergency number. Officials should be happy to help you understand how asbestos needs to be handled. If you discover you do need to work with a professional removal company, ask if the city has any recommendations. If not, talk to friends and family members who have older homes too. They may have already had asbestos siding taken off.
Although asbestos can certainly be dangerous, it is important for modern homeowners to understand that the primary risk exists when asbestos particles circulate in the air, allowing them to be inhaled. If you have asbestos tiles on your house, the best thing you can do for the moment is to leave it alone and untouched. Once you find out what your local laws are, you can take the proper steps with the necessary precautions.