If You Have Asbestos Shingles Outside, Should You Remove Them Yourself?

Posted on: 29 November 2017

If you're thinking about a major home restoration, you may be looking at the exterior siding and figuring out how you're going to replace it. If your home was built before the 1960s, there is a significant chance that the outside cladding contains an element of asbestos. Is this a restoration job that you should attempt yourself and if so, what do you need to know?

Isn't It Easier Outside?

The good news is that "exterior" asbestos is somewhat easier to remove than its internal counterpart, as you may not have to hire machines to purify the inside air and take additional and very precise precautions. However, this does not mean that you can move ahead with abandon and you still need to be very careful whenever dealing with this type of asbestos siding. As a consequence, it can be difficult to determine how much it's going to cost you in the long run, whenever you are comparing your costs to those provided by a licensed, asbestos removal contractor.

Looking at the Big Picture

You have to take into account many different factors when sizing up this type of job, including the dimensions of your home, the total area of siding to be removed and if your home is relatively close to an authorised disposal site. You have to be very careful with this latter element, as you may face a considerable fine if you don't dispose of the materials properly.

How to Do It Yourself

If you are going to try this yourself, you have to get the right kit and equipment, including the best quality respirator that's specifically designed for working in or around asbestos dust, as well as full bodysuits. You have to get hold of disposal bags that are designed to hold the asbestos material that you remove and you will need proper equipment, ladders and scaffolding to make sure that you are working safely and productively.

You need to remove the shingles individually, so that the dust is kept to a minimum and will need at least one assistant in order to help you remove the material to ground level. You'll also need to make sure that you discourage any curious onlookers, who might get too close.

How to Make Your Decision

Many homeowners in this situation understand the gravity of what they're about to attempt and will usually bring in qualified asbestos services instead. Remember to calculate your own cost carefully and take into account all the risks, before you make a decision.