Owning an older home in the Delaware Valley raises the possibility that its siding may contain asbestos. Houses constructed prior to 1979 could have this hazardous material in the siding. Asbestos was commonly used as an insulating and fire-retarding additive in building materials. However, not every manufacturer used it, and building age alone does not automatically mean your home has asbestos. When you’re wondering how to identify asbestos siding, you begin by determining your home’s age. If the siding materials appear suspect, then you’ll ultimately need a laboratory test to confirm the presence of asbestos.
Examining your siding does not call for any specific tools. To inspect the building and collect a sample, you should use a:
- Dust mask
- Utility knife
- Resealable plastic bag
How to Identify Asbestos Siding
- Determine the age of your home by looking at the property deed or any other records about its construction.
- Inspect your siding.
- Look specifically for any printed information that identifies the siding manufacturer or date of installation.
- Most siding created after the 1960s did not include asbestos.
- Count layers of paint because many layers indicate age and therefore a greater chance of asbestos.
- Examine areas around replaced windows and doors if they have newer siding next to them.
- Compare the newer siding to older siding areas and look for evidence that indicates age.
- Asbestos was particularly prevalent in siding that resembles shingles or was made to look like wood grain.
- If your siding has these characteristics, then asbestos could be present.
- You may choose to take a sample of siding from a damaged area of siding.
- Put on a mask and scrape away some siding material into a baggie.
- Contact an accredited testing lab in your area to analyze your sample.
Talk to a Siding Specialist
If your siding is in good condition and intact, then your risk of exposure is low. Damaged asbestos siding, however, could release the hazardous fibers that cause lung disease. The siding specialists at PJ Fitzpatrick have experience identifying asbestos siding. We’re available to discuss your asbestos concerns and perform siding repairs or replacements. Contact our company for an estimate today.