Asbestos Siding Removal

A sign says "danger asbestos."
What You'll Need
Pry bar
Water hose
Sheet plastic
Safety goggles
Disposable coveralls
Duct tape

Before 1989, it was legal for companies to produce asbestos siding as well as several other asbestos products. Once the health side effects of being around asbestos were discovered, they banned the material and started phasing it out. It was apparent that many people were having some serious health problems because of the asbestos that surrounded them.

While it has not been used as a building material for many years, it is still present in many older homes. If you own a home that was built before 1989, there is a chance that you have asbestos somewhere within it. Asbestos siding may be on the outside of the home and it needs to be removed. If you fear that you have asbestos siding and you want to remove it, here are a few steps that you will need to take.

Step 1 - Determine If You Have Asbestos

The first thing that you need to determine is whether or not you are dealing with asbestos. If the siding is not asbestos, the process to take it down will be quite a bit simpler. You will not have to wear all of the protective gear or handle it so carefully. You can take a sample of the siding and send it to an EPA approved laboratory for testing. They can accurately tell you whether or not it is indeed asbestos.

Step 2 - Prepare for the Job

Once you determine that it is asbestos, you need to properly prepare for the job. You need to spread a sheet of plastic onto the ground by the house where you plan on removing the siding. Put on the proper attire to work with asbestos. You need goggles to cover your eyes, as well as gloves and boots. Wearing disposable coveralls will allow you to get rid of them once you are done. You should also get a respirator with the appropriate HEPA filter to breath through. This will allow you to properly handle the asbestos without any risk to you.

Step 3 - Wet the Area

Before you start working, you need to thoroughly wet the area that you will be working with. Take a water hose and spray the entire side of the house. Saturating the area helps to keep the asbestos fibers from getting into the air. Throughout the process, you should strive to always keep the siding wet.

Step 4 - Pry Off the Siding

Use the pry bar and the hammer to start taking off the siding. Use the hammer to remove any nails that are holding the siding in place. Use the pry bar to get up under the edge of the siding and take it off of the side of the house. Try to keep the siding in full pieces if possible.

Step 5 - Box It Up

Line some cardboard boxes with plastic and put the siding pieces inside of the boxes. Close the boxes and seal them up with duct tape. Now you can properly dispose of the asbestos without allowing any of it to seep out.