How to Cover Asbestos Siding

A sign that says "Danger Asbestos."
  • 1-2 hours
  • Advanced
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Vinyl siding
Foam board
Weatherproof plastic sheeting
Weatherproof paint
Paint sprayer
Electric screwdriver
Galvanized screws
Utility knife

Asbestos siding is a product that was used many years ago before people realized it was dangerous. Most people know about asbestos being used as insulation and that inhaling the powdery substance can cause some forms of lung cancer. Asbestos siding is made of the same product but exists in a hardened state and does not pose the same type of threat as asbestos insulation. This, however, can change if the asbestos siding begins to dry out or get damaged. It is best to just replace the asbestos siding but that can be very expensive. The other solution is to cover the asbestos with siding. The following article will show you how.

Step 1 - Paint

Asbestos siding, though hard, can flake over time which will lead to the possibility of you inhaling the asbestos. Painting the asbestos siding will help prevent this from happening. Choose a paint that is mold and mildew resistant as well as waterproof. The easiest way to paint the asbestos siding is to use a paint sprayer. This will do the job quickly and evenly as well as prevent pieces of asbestos from flaking off into the can of paint or attaching to the brush. You may want to use a natural hair paintbrush to make sure you get under shingles and in cracks. Wait for the first layer to dry and then apply a second layer.

Step 2 - Add Plastic Sheeting

The plastic is used to create a barrier to the elements as well as prevents the siding from rubbing against the painted asbestos siding. Place the top edge of the plastic sheeting at the top of the exterior wall above the siding. Nail it in place using several nails a few inches apart until the top of the plastic is fully attached. Repeat along the other edges. If you are using more than one sheet make sure they overlap and nail them down the seam. Once you reach the bottom of the wall you can use the shovel to excavate the area so that the sheeting covers more of the wall. Trim excess using the utility knife.

Step 3 - Add a Foam Board

Trying to install siding over existing siding along with plastic sheeting requires a level surface. Measure and cut the foam board to match the exterior wall that needs to be covered. Use foam board rated for exterior use that is mold and mildew resistant as well as waterproof. Place the foam board over the wall and screw in place. Attach it to the existing siding with galvanized screws at the corners and then screws every few inches to fasten it in place.

Step 4 - Install Vinyl Siding

The very last thing to do is attach the new siding. It is installed like you would any other siding starting from the top and working your way down. Fasten the siding in place with the recommended screws for your specific siding.