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How To Remove Asbestos Siding For Disposal

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If you live in a home built prior to 1970, it likely has asbestos siding. In the 1970s, the EPA banned some asbestos spray applications, but many forms of asbestos are still allowed in construction. 

Asbestos siding resembles roof shingles, and it could have a wood grain texture. It is suggested to have the siding professionally removed, but you can remove asbestos siding yourself by following these tips.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves and eye goggles
  • step-ladder (optional)
  • HEPA respirator (N100)
  • old coveralls
  • rubber boots
  • duct tape
  • plastic sheet or tarp
  • pry bar and  hammer
  • knife
  • spray bottle
  • liquid dish soap  
  • plastic waste bags
  • asbestos removal containers or large boxes

If you aren't certain you have asbestos siding, put on safety gear, cut  a sample, and take it to a lab. Check local laws to find out if a permit is required for asbestos removal. Contact you local landfill to schedule a drop off for the siding to give them time to dig a trench.

Remove the Siding

Cover the ground under the siding with plastic sheets or tarp. If you have to use a step-ladder, plastic may be too slippery. It is a good idea to post signs so those without safety gear won't come into the area.

Rinse the siding with a garden hose to keep the dust from getting into the air when you remove the siding, but don't let it dry. Mix some dish detergent and water in a spray bottle. Use the claw end of the hammer to pull out nails first to reduce dust and to prevent breakage. 

Insert a pry bar under the edges of the siding to detach it. Mist the back of each piece with the dish soap solution, and toss it on the plastic or tarp. 

If  a piece breaks before you remove it, spray it with the dish soap solution. Keep removed siding pieces dampened in the mixture. Try to work on a cloudy day or in the shade to prevent the pieces from drying fast.

Pack the Siding for Transport

Lay plastic around the sides of the containers and pack the siding pieces. Secure the box with duct tape, load the boxes in a plastic waste disposal bag, and mark "asbestos". 

Twist the top of the bag, and secure it with duct tape. Transport the siding in a flat bed truck with a cover to the landfill, and wait for employees to unload the material. You can also hire a disposal services company to take care of it.

Clean Up

After you transport the material, remove your clothing, seal it in a  plastic bag, and discard it. Wipe down safety goggles and boots. 

 If there is remaining debris, double bag it and clean with a damp rag, but don't vacuum. Wear the respirator until you shower, then remove the filter.