It never ceases to amaze how many uses for asbestos were found before its decline in the 1980s. Still, it can be found all across the United States, in homes as new as the 1990s. In the past, we’ve gone over home interiors, especially places where insulation and heat-resistance were important, but today we go to the exterior of the home to look at the siding and roofing of a home. Just like with its use indoors, asbestos fibers were mixed with other materials to make heat-resistance and durable, creating asbestos shingles and siding.
Asbestos Shingles and Roofing
Asbestos is no stranger to roofs. Much like it was used as a woven material in roofing felt and patching material similar to that used in asbestos drywall, asbestos found its way to becoming part of a shingle similar to slate. A mixture of cement, asbestos, and other materials (similar in composition to Transite pipes), these durable and heat-resistant tiles could be colored and stamped with tiles. Popular in the first half of the 20th century, they eventually lost out to asphalt strip shingles, which were less expensive and easier to install.
Asbestos Siding on Houses
Asbestos siding is similar in composition to the roofing, being made into a covering as a mixture of asbestos fibers and Portland cement. Depending on coloration and texturing, this siding can look like slate, cement, or other ceramic materials.
Asbestos Shingles and Siding: Encapsulation or Removal?
Asbestos shingles and siding can prove dangerous as they are relatively brittle and prone the cracking if impacted hard enough. There are two major options when asbestos on the exterior of a home is found: encapsulation or removal.
- Encapsulation: This option focuses on sealing away the asbestos. This may be used as minor repairs on damage asbestos, but a common method is to cover the entire roof or siding with a layer of non-asbestos roofing or siding, trapping the asbestos underneath.
- Removal: While more time-intensive, removal of asbestos siding or roofing removes the asbestos issue, so a new layer of siding or asbestos can be installed.
While both options have their merits, it’s important to have professionals handle asbestos. See our blog, Asbestos Encapsulation Versus Asbestos Removal, for more details.
It’s important to note that some homes may have already encapsulated their roofing or siding beneath foam and another layer of siding. If this is discovered, it’s time to call in the specialist. If you need help removing asbestos roofing or siding from your home or business, contact Fiber Control, Inc. We’re experts in asbestos inspection and abatement, as well as dealing with both mold remediation and lead RRP.