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Hardboard Siding?


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Came across this siding today on a home that was built in 1951. It felt like a hardboard or concrete board. Installed in full sheets approx. 4x8. Grey and white. There was very little texture to it. Buyer asked the wonderful question: "Is it asbestos?"

Any suggestions would be helpful.

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I can't be 100% sure based on these photos, but it sure looks like asbestos-cement composition material from here... but I'm only about 3k mi away.. I call stuff like this 'Possible Asbestos-Containing Material" if I 'think' it might be. Only microscopic analysis at a lab can really tell.

If I was there, I could tell by tapping it, scratching it gently, etc. I see this stuff in boiler rooms over boilers and so forth in old houses.

But then again, it's a long walk from MA to WA.

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Offer to have it tested. Asbestos testing is a great money maker. I found a lab that will test for $7. I charge $65, lower than the enviornmental labs around here. I haven't seen that siding. If I had to guess, due to the age and texture you describe, I'd bet yes. Asbestos was the cats meow back then, they put it in everything.

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It's asbestos board. See it used for foundation skirting a lot on post on pier around here. Someone must have thought it would make great siding, which it does, except for that slight, uh, er, asbestos problem, that is.

It costs about $35. to get the stuff sampled around here with a 2-day turnaround. I usually tell the client that I'll be happy to take a chip and drop it off at a lab and forward the results to them by email for $100. or they can drop a chip off at a local lab and get it done without the middleman for about $35. Most choose to do it without the middleman.



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I'm pretty sure that I've got a sheet of exactly the same stuff sitting up in my shop, a converted horse barn. It was there when I moved in. I just assumed it was asbestos cement board. When I was plumbing my house, I broke off a piece to use as a flame shield when sweating my copper pipes. Worked great.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks for the input. I wrote it up in my report that it is possibly asbestos-cement board and should be tested for further confirmation. We pretty much determined that at the home, however I wanted to get a little clarity for myself.

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