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Replacing Asbestos Siding With Everlast Composite Siding

Asbestos siding was first developed in 1907 by Ludwig Hatschek, an Austrian engineer.  He discovered a way to shape this naturally occurring heat- and corrosion-resistant material into sheets.  By the 1940s it had become a popular construction material in the United States, where several hundred thousand homes sported it as exterior cladding.  Because of the health hazards it poses many house owners are replacing it with Everlast Composite Siding.

Health Hazards

The earliest reports of diseases associated with the use of this siding came out between the late 1960s and the early 1970s.  Today, asbestos is one of the materials listed in the Toxic Substances Control Act that may lead to respiratory problems such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer, to name some of the most common ones.

It is considered relatively safe in its solid form.  However, when the asbestos material is damaged in any way, certain portions of it crumble and release a very fine invisible powder into the surrounding.  This is what causes the various lung problems when it is inhaled.  

Due to these dangers, house owners with asbestos exterior cladding cover it with another safer type of siding material.  This appears to be a good solution because it protects the asbestos underneath from chipping or crumbling.  Unfortunately, this only temporarily solves the problem.  As asbestos ages, it becomes friable.  This will cause it to release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air.  Thus, replacing and disposing asbestos containing material is better than just covering it up with some other siding.

The Best Replacement Option

Many house owners today are considering replacing their asbestos-containing siding with some other less hazardous siding material.  Unfortunately, many cement-based sidings today still contain asbestos or asbetiform substances.  These are generally fiber cement siding.  Some are hesitant to use vinyl because it does not have the same heat resistance and insulation properties of asbestos exterior cladding.

The best siding to replace asbestos with Everlast Sidingis Everlast Composite Siding. This material is a combination of stone and a proprietary polymeric resin.  It has the same heat and corrosion resistance.  Its thickness and composition also provides similar insulation without the health hazards.  Unlike siding that utilizes asbestos, it is highly resistant to impact and does not produce any powdery substance when damaged (a very rare occurrence).

Protective Equipment and Proper Disposal

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set forth very strict personal protection and disposal procedures when handling this hazardous substance.  Those who are planning to replace their old asbestos external cladding on their own should prepare the requisite personal protective equipment, disposal containers and labels before starting.

Personal protective equipment when removing asbestos containing materials include a respirator, eye protection, disposable coveralls, rubber boots and disposable gloves.  The respirator to be used should be rated R-100, P-100 or N-100 by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.  Such respirators are capable of filtering out asbestos fibers.  The disposable coveralls and gloves should be disposed when departing the work area.  It is important to have several sets available.  They should never be reused.

It is very important to washAsbestos all equipment and tools prior to leaving the work area.  Careful inspection should also be done of all work surfaces to ensure that no contamination is left.  Such contamination is not always easy to spot.  Asbestos abatement companies have people specially trained in this.  Another factor to be careful of is skin exposure.  So that asbestos is not spread inadvertently, exposed skin areas need to be washed off.  These precautions will help lower exposure to this toxic substance.

When disposing asbestos containing material, it should be carefully bagged in airtight containers and sealed.  Labels should be attached to its exterior that will indicate that the container contains asbestos.  Furthermore, removal and disposal of asbestos is also better done by asbestos abatement contractors.  These people are trained and equipped to handle this hazardous job safely.  Several states advise against doing this as a do-it-yourself project as a community safety precaution.

In Summary

Asbestos containing building materials become dangerous as they age or when they are damaged.  They should be replaced as soon as possible by safer materials.  Everlast Composite Siding is the best choice when seeking an asbestos siding replacement.  It has all the desirable properties of an asbestos-containing siding but without the health hazards.  The replacement process is also best done by trained professionals in order to ensure personal and community safety.
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