Created in the 1920′s as a replacement for highly flammable wood siding, Asbestos / Cement type siding was used on 100′s of thousands of houses across the US by the 1940′s. New Jersey included.
By the early 1970′s, the reported health hazards grew and the government took action by banning their use in 1973.
These shingles are mainly cement with asbestos fibers used for reinforcement. If installed properly and not damaged, they’re acceptable. If the siding becomes damaged, cracked or gets to a “crumbling” stage, such as the photo above, health concerns rise as the dust can become airborne and inhaled.
Still on houses today, I inspect a percentage of houses in NJ with Asbestos / Cement siding, some of which are a concern but not always. If the siding is properly installed, in good shape and maintained, it should be OK. If renovations or additions are done to a house with this type of siding, consult experienced, trained contractors. Similar looking products made without asbestos are available to replace damaged shingles.
Exterior siding is part of a Home Inspection. Our Home Inspectors know the health concerns associated with this siding if damaged and will report on any potential hazards.
Reach us at 1-800-989-3872 or visit at www.pinnaclehomeinspections.com