Removing Asbestos Siding- DIY or Hire A Pro

asbestos removal handymanSo you have discovered that you have asbestos in your siding. There are a couple of things to consider before you start wearing your protective gear around your house.

If the asbestos siding has not been disturbed then it doesn’t have any health risks associated with it. But if it has been or if you plan on covering it with a vinyl siding on top it will be once you start nailing into the siding.

About Asbestos Siding

This siding is made of asbestos fibers mixed with cement. It is very brittle and can crack and break easily when trying to remove it. The asbestos fibers can be released into the environment. Some states allow you to remove asbestos siding on your own, so check with local building codes first. The first step you want to take is to confirm it has asbestos by sending a sample to a EPA lab.

Since there are many health related issues associated with this toxic material it is recommended to have a certified asbestos removal company remove the siding.

Removing Old Asbestos Siding


If you have decided to go ahead with your asbestos siding removal project on your own there are some key steps you need to follow:

  •  You will need to get an an asbestos removal permit.
  • Asbestos Removal Warning signs should be posted in the work area. Lay down a 6ft wide strip of 6ml
  • Plastic sheeting surrounding your work area,  and heavy duty plastic bags to hold the siding once it is removed. The siding must be kept wet as you are working with it to reduce dust and particles from flying into the air.
  • Wear a HEPA filter respirator approved for asbestos
  • Disposable coveralls with a hood, rubber gloves, boots, and googles need to be worn
  • Never bring contaminated work clothes into your home
  • Asbestos removal warning signs should be posted visibly for all to see
  • Close all doors and windows during the removal process
  • Keep the asbestos siding wet while removing the siding, use a mixture of water and liquid soap to spray on the siding
  • Start at the top and work your way down
  • When doing asbestos siding removal don’t break, drop or throw the siding
  • Use 6-mil thick plastic sheeting to wrap the siding then dispose of in plastic bags, tape with duct tape to seal. M
  • Mark garbage bags with hazardous waste
  • Know where you are going to dispose of it before hand, check with local toxic waste disposal companies
  • Dispose of all work clothing including boots, goggles etc.
  • Wash all tools used
  • Bath after removing asbestos, and before re-entering home

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Checklist of Items you will need:

  • a pry bar to dislodge nails and siding    e831b40b29f3013ed95c4518b74e4692e373e0d204b0154695f9c27ea7ecb1_640
  • nail head cutter
  • scissors or knife to cut plastic sheeting
  • 6-mil polyethylene plastic sheeting
  • HEPA approved respirator
  • disposable coveralls, rubber boots or shoe covers, gloves and safety glasses
  • asbestos disposal bags
  • duct tape
  • garden hose with sprayer
  • liquid dish soap

Pros and Cons


  • less expensive
  • you can remove it on your own time frame


  • possibility of being exposed to asbestos
  • dirty time consuming job
  • requires permit
  • could be difficult to complete in 1 day
  • responsible for proper disposal of asbestos

While there are some good reasons for doing this on your own, the con’s outweigh the pro’s. Handling hazardous waste isn’t considered a DIY project, although some can handle these types of projects. Hazardous waste isn’t something you want to fool around with, especially when it comes to the health of you and your family. Incorrectly handling asbestos can lead to exposing neighbors to it as well. Read this post about asbestos exposure and the twin towers.

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