Asbestos Siding, should I pay $$$ to remove or just cover it up?

7 Replies

Hey BP! New real estate investor! I am closing on a home at a great price relative to comps in the area. Structurally sound, great area, small starter house (around 760 sq ft), little to no damage to the interior of the home. However, it has asbestos siding. The siding is in great shape with no signs of deterioration. When I asked the inspector whether I should pay an abatement team to remove it, he recommended I just have vinyl siding placed over top of it. I am looking to renovate the interior and then rent the home out as soon as possible. Will the asbestos siding scare away potential renters? If I need to get rid of it, do I remove it or cover it up?

Ask more people around your area. I don’t think you need to remove it. We just painted it on one house. On another we covered it which vinyl.

Thanks Shawn! I'll ask around and see what other folks have done. From visual inspection, it appears to be somewhat common in my area, a lot of homes built in 1920s, 30s and 40s. 

Is it damaged? If not , paint it. If it is, cover it. 

If it looks good , leave it alone . it lasts almost forever .  Its not a problem . 

In my market I thought the code (and for FHA) was that if it was cracked it needed to be replaced, but otherwise it is fine. I have since helped clients acquire multiple properties with an FHA loan that had broken shakes and had multiple rental inspections with whole and broken shakes and had no issues. You'll likely want to consult the regulations at your municipality.

Hey Matthew, congratulations on closing your investment property! I'm a licensed builder in MI (soon to be a re-licensed agent as well) and have seen several homes with the original asbestos siding. In all cases in which I was involved we covered the asbestos with fan fold (1/4" thick exterior insulation) and put vinyl over it.

In my opinion as long as you cover up the exposed asbestos and can not gain access to it you should be fine.  

Good luck with your renovation!

Contact a professional asbestos removal team in your city. That’s what I did and they advised me (free of cost, over the phone) on what I had to do with a potential asbestos (not tested) issue in a house I was looking at to be legal and up to local code.

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