Asbestos siding, also called cement asbestos board, is a heavy, durable tile that was installed on the exterior of homes to protect them from the weather. It was also installed inside homes around furnaces or boilers, and in commercial settings, as a long-lasting fire proof wall and ceiling covering. Asbestos siding should be tested by an accredited inspector.
You should have your siding removed by an asbestos abatement company if it contains asbestos, and if it might be disturbed. If disturbed, the asbestos could enter your lungs, and cause diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Stucco siding may also contain asbestos and should be tested before doing any work that might disturb it.
Asbestos removal can be done in different ways depending on the type of material, the location of the material, and the ability of workers to safely access the material. In general, during siding removal, the abatement contractor sets up warning tape around the work area, establishes a decontamination area, and sets up access (ladders, fall protection, and lifts). The abatement workers enter the work area with respiratory protection and protective clothing. They wet down the siding, lift it off, and seal it in doubled heavy plastic bags. They sample the air at a variety of places including inside and outside the work area, and send those to a lab for testing. Siding work may also have the added hazard of working at heights, which can add to the time and complexity of the job.
After the job is complete, you will generally need to install new siding.