Should I buy a house with asbestos siding?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

While asbestos-cement siding that is 50-years old or more is often still in good condition due to the longevity of the material, there are two issues you inherit when you buy a house with this material:

  1. Some insurance companies will not insure a home with asbestos siding, so it may increase the difficulty and cost of acquiring homeowner’s insurance.
  2. While asbestos siding is not considered a problem unless the asbestos fibers separate from the  cement bonding agent in the siding and become airborne, any remodeling of the home that requires removal or disturbing the siding must be done by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. In the photo above, a 1920s house was resided with asbestos-cement siding, likely sometime in the 1950s. You can see the earlier “novelty” wood siding at the area where there is missing and damaged asbestos siding. Because of the safety precautions necessary for repairing the damage or removing the siding, it will be expensive.

   To learn more about asbestos-cement siding, see our blog The house has asbestos siding. What should I do?

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

What makes a house fail the home inspection?

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

    Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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