Cost of removing asbestos siding

lyfiaJanuary 5, 2007

Does anybody know what the cost is of removing asbestos siding by hiring somebody? (I searched and only found posts saying it was expensive) We are looking at a house to buy that has it and want to factor that part into the price and get it done as who knows when there will be tougher laws and the house may need it removed. Also we don't have the time to do it ourselves.

Plus we'd be doing an addition to the house and would want matching siding.

The house is located in a small town in East Central TX.

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It's highly unlikely there would ever be laws requiring you to remove your siding. Encapsulation always was, and is, a safe & legal way of dealing w/ asbestos (i.e. sealing it with paint or other type of sealant). Its not a danger unless the fibers are loose and airborne. They call it asbestos siding but it is really cement board siding with asbestos particles mixed in. Since the cement board does not really crumble or break down (like asbestos insulation does) there's not much chance of fibers being released-- especially if theres a layer of paint over it.

Cement board similar to the siding can still be obtained (minus the asbestos of course). Cement board is an excellent durable product bc it holds paint very well (doesn't expand and contract like wood).

Your area may be different but around here, no one removes their old asbestos siding-- just spiffs it up with paint. A good paint job in beautiful colors can go a long way.

You might want to consult with an house inspector to validate this information.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 1:12PM
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I'm sorry you misunderstood, I never thought they'd make laws requiring me to remove it. Rather make law's making it even more restrictive to remove it if it would ever become damaged and we'd need to remove it. Plus I'd rather see the original lap siding.

We have cement board on our current house and although nice and easy to care for it just doesn't look like real lapsiding.

Can you just put new siding up over it if it ever became damaged?

Also since we'd like to do an addition some would have to be removed and I'm sure that would include abatement no matter what.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 1:52PM
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The reason it's expensive to remove is that proper removal uses restrictive techniques, and it's hard to imagine that any future law could make it much more expensive than it already is. I think the issue is whether you need to do anything (other than maybe paint it). In many cases you can side over it, but it will still be there and will need to be disclosed when you sell. I'm not advocating you remove it. Just accept that this is one of the flaws of the house...a flaw that's shared by millions of other homes.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 3:39PM
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Well to do an addition we would have to remove some of it. So how much exactly are we talking about when somebody says it is expensive.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 5:48PM
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It would impossible to say. Each state & even each county has their own code for removal of non-friable siding. We were recently quoted $4.75 per sq ft to remove it. It would be a deal IF we knew what was left of the 1880 clabs. We can however remove it ourselves & dispose of it at the local landfill for $60 per ton. Not sure which way we are going to go with this project.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Friable means the material can be broken by bare hands to release asbestos.
Asbestos bearing cement siding rarely falls into this class.
You can treat the siding with sealer followed by paint top seal it and create a new surface.
If you really want to remove it the most cost effective method remains DIY.
The contractors have carry a lot of insurance, and the risk to the workers is increased by the repeated exposure (thus the requirements for jump suits, masks, etc.).
In mnay places a homeowner can do the work with the only real rules being about packaging for disposal. Double bagging (sometimes in labeled bags) is a common rule.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 4:38PM
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Thanks kimberlyinva for sharing your quote. At least it gives me an idea.

Although the homeowner can do it we don't have the time to do so. For the rest of the house maybe at some point in the future, but not where it needs to be gone for the addition. Also my thinking was to just have it all done once.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 2:45PM
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"In many places a homeowner can do the work with the only real rules being about packaging for disposal. Double bagging (sometimes in labeled bags) is a common rule." That is the only requirement here. It is not unusual to see vinyl siding applied directly over the cement shingles.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 7:46PM
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When I did it, I had to pull a homeowner removal permit from the city (Portland, OR) stating when I was going to do it and take a 2-hour safety class. It required only wearing a respirator, and laying plastic on the ground under the immediate work-area. The removed asbestos panels had to be double-wrapped in thick clear plastic and sealed just so... and I had to dispose of them at a special landfill. Only a certain percentage of the shingles were allowed to be broken, etc., but truthfully, no one reopened the sealed packages at the landfill (that would kind of defeat the purpose of sealing them up, right?). The city has the right to come inspect your removal technique here, but no one showed up during the time I removed mine.

Since I did it myself, I can't give you an estimate. It is non-friable asbestos, so doesn't require the whole tented-white bunny suit removal process that pipe insulation does. A professional contractor doing this might have to go through additional steps for employee safety/OSHA.

The best advice to figure out the price would be to have some licensed contractors come and give you bids. Bids are free, and you would get a firmer idea of cost. For me, there was much more work/cost involved with restoring the window trim and clapboards underneath and then the prep/paint. For example, the asbestos installers had hacked off architectural bits like the "ears" on the window sills since cutting the brittle asbestos shingles around those details would have been difficult.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 10:13AM
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I know this post is 3 yrs after all of the other post, but to all of the persons out there like myself that feared having to pay extravagant cost of removal. The company GAF makes a substitute to use to replace the broken pieces. It is called Weatherside by GAF...

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 6:22PM
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If you have damaged cement board with asbestos in it, do you have to remove all or can you just remove the damage ones in Minnesota? We recently had a major hail storm and had our insurance adjustor out to check our roof out and he saw damage on our siding and is willing to pay for the whole side to be replaced. So then we got a quote from contractors. They said they had it tested and it is asbestos siding, because it is they have to do the whole house and beside that they can't match our siding. The insuance company said they won't pay for the whole replacement. What do we do?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 6:12PM
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"When I did it, I had to pull a homeowner removal permit from the city (Portland, OR) "

You lice in a socialist haven.

Now you get to pay for it.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 7:15PM
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By what authority does the contractor "have to do the whole house"? Check that information before you let them squeeze you.

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:41PM
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