Basically, if you don't plan to change the siding or if you are ok with putting vinyl on at some time down the road, you are safe. Unless you touch asbestos - it is safe. These site has some info about asbestos and installing vinyl over it
Many old buildings have flooring made with asbestos and the only time this would be an issue would be when the fllooring was taken up, the asbestos siding on my house is 60 years old and in perfect shape. This siding is only dangerous when it is cut with a dry power saw, or crushed into small pieces. If you have the house painted, be careful not to sand or scrape into the asbestos especially when using power tools. If some of the siding gets broken, it is simple to remove the boken piece and replace it with the new composite product that looks exactly like asbestos when painted. I have never seen the siding decompose......
My wife and I live in a beautiful house with asbestos siding. We also have a 3 year old. It is well-painted and has some useful properties. It is a decent insulator - better than most vinyl - and it also probably saved our house when our neighbor's place caught fire next door.
It is very expensive to have it removed by a licensed professional.You can put vinyl siding over top of it, though I've heard mixed perspectives on that. Interior asbestos is a much bigger health concern than exterior asbestos. Still, my understanding is that most cases of asbestos-related lung cancer affect people who've worked with around it on a daily basis - people involved in concrete manufacturing, mining, and other industries, where you have lots of dust floating around in enclosed spaces.
The internet may be easy to search, yet be sure to check local regulations in 01970. Feel free to contact us if you have more concerns.
For every problem, there is a solution.
The problem with most of us answering this is we are not experts in Hazardous Materials. If I answer now, only to have new information come out tomorrow conflicting with that information you may hold me responsible for bad information.
One thought, if there is asbestos in the siding, there may well be asbestos in other sites as well such as old flooring, heating or plumbing systems.
My advice on these subjects is to become fully informed from the most reliable sources. While I've heard what others have said, about disturbing asbestos, I encourage you to research the subject from the EPA and other government agencies who claim expertise on this we as agents don't have. Best of luck.
All the best to you.
My 1870's home first stood with vertical board and batten, later covered with a brown brick pattern asphalt siding. Asbestos cement siding was added probably in the 40's or 50's. The original color appears to be a shade of ivory; followed by a bright mint green; then by a coat of clay-color (taupe, more or less) paint that I added in 1990. The mint green had no peeling or damage, only a few areas where the paint seemed to be wearing off. The now 25 yr old clay color is also free of any chipping or peeling, but has faded some over the years. The only prep for the next paint job will be to wash the siding with a hose, and start painting when it is dry.
I got mighty tired of all the OMG's back in those days: Health hazard!! House un-salable!! Don't go near!! At least it has quieted down some. I think most people who have authentic old fiber cement siding appreciate it durability. Not to be confused with Masonite siding (made from wood fiber and chips) - which would rot and soak up water after a number of years...
In fiber cement , the fiber is encapsulated in cement and the siding subsequently painted, so unless you are grinding it up and breathing the dust, the entire fear factor was, and is, ridiculous.
Fiberglass is a bad thing to breathe in, too, and yet we freely purchase loose batts of it and wear thin dust masks. No over the top warnings, even if there should be. Just sayin'....
Want to bet that the new fiber cement siding is definitely not as good as the old? Some or all of it has Wood Particles in the mix. Why? Because it deteriorates. It won't last forever like the old fiber cement because it is designed not to. Ok - my speech is over...(ha).
Claire Reynolds || http://www.weatherteknj.com/Handyman-Services-Dunellen-NJ.html
SIDING, I BELIEVE THE ORIGINAL SIDING WAS ASBESTOS. IN THE 1980S, MY PARENTS
HIRED A COMPANY TO INSTALL VINYL ? SIDING ON TOP OF THE OLD ASBESTOS LAYER.
THIS HOME IS IN POOR CONDITION WITH THE NEW SIDING BEING THE MOST ATTRACTIVE
PART OF THE HOME. ALSO, THE ROOF NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED ! COST OF TEARING
DOWN THIS HOME WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE, DUE TO ASBESTOS CONTENT. MY
PARENTS LIVED TO BE 80 AND 90 WITHOUT BEING AFFECTED BY ASBESTOS. IF YOUR HOME IS IN GOOD REPAIR/WITH NO INTERIOR DAMAGE OR LEAKY ROOF DAMAGE AS WE HAVE IN OUR OLD, INHERITED HOME, I WOULD ADVISE ENCASING THE HOME WITH A GOOD TYPE OF SIDING THAT WILL LAST FOR MANY YEARS.
JENNY/HOMEOWNER, CARROLL CO., VA