When fiber cement siding was initially developed, asbestos was used as a binding and reinforcing agent. This substance was once quite common in the manufacturing of construction products, including the aforementioned siding boards and exterior tiles that could be used on both residential and commercial structures. Today, however, asbestos has been banned due to its carcinogenic properties and cellulose is used to produce fiber cement siding instead. As you continue reading, you will learn more about why asbestos has been taken off the market.
What exactly is asbestos?
Although most people are aware of the fact that asbestos is dangerous, many do not know what this material actually is. Asbestos is a soft substance that is highly resistant to corrosion, heat, and electric currents. These features made it ideal for use as insulation and as a reinforcing agent in not only fiber cement siding, but various plastics, fabrics, and paper products as well. It bears noting that all of the things that made asbestos attractive to manufacturers are the same things that lead to its toxicity.
What causes asbestos to be dangerous?
The fibers that comprise asbestos are not visible to the naked eye, making them extremely easy to breathe in. Once the fibers get into a person’s lungs, they can cause a variety of health problems, primarily cancers. Both lung cancer and mesothelioma are strongly linked to asbestos inhalation. Until the 1960s, exterior home coverings frequently contained asbestos, so if your house was built prior to that era, the odds are good that you’ll need to have an asbestos removal team make sure no asbestos fibers remain on your home before you have new siding installed on it.
How can I make sure asbestos is safely removed from my house?
If you think your home may still have asbestos siding or tiles on it, the first thing you should do is learn your area’s regulations surrounding asbestos removal. North Carolina and South Carolina, like all states, have their own legislation pertaining to asbestos. Within these states, certain municipalities may have different rules. The best thing you can do before you start an exterior remodeling project is to contact your local city hall to find out what your city’s codes dictate. Once you know the proper asbestos removal process for your region, you need to make sure you hire a qualified crew to get rid of the material completely. You may need to stay at a hotel or a relative’s home for a few days while the process is occurring.
What should I replace asbestos siding or tiles with?
Once all of the existing asbestos has been taken off of your house, you can use any material you want to as a replacement. More and more homeowners are choosing modern fiber cement siding because of its durability and strength. This product will last for decades and can withstand a wide variety of weather events, including hurricane-force winds and fires.
If you are interested in learning more about fiber cement siding, call the Hatch Homes office. We fully stand behind this product and would love to install it on your home once the asbestos removal process is finished. With many satisfied clients throughout the Carolinas, you can trust us to do a beautiful job on your renovation.