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Old 01-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #1
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New siding, paint exsisting siding, or powerwash??


I moved into my new home 6 months ago. It is a 1300 square foot ranch built in 1978 (upstate New York). The current siding I believe is a composite type material that I am told contains small amounts of asbestos (not enough to be harmful). The siding does not have a smooth or flat texture - it has vertical grooves. (that is the best way I can describe it without knowing the appropriate terms) The outside is dirty white and there are several small areas where the siding has cracked, and some small areas have broken right off.

I want to do something to make the outside look better. I got a quote for vinyl siding, but I am not sure I want to spend that kind of money right away. ( I will be replacing the windows first ) I have been told that I could paint the exsisting siding, but I am concerned with the longevity of that kind of fix. I plan on living here at least 15 years if not more. I have also thought about having the house powerwashed, but I am very concerned that the exsisting siding may not withstand that kind of pressure. I would like to do vinyl siding eventually, I just don't think it is the right time financially. I guess I am looking for something that might buy me a few more years and make the house appear a little cleaner.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-22-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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New siding, paint exsisting siding, or powerwash??


If you want to do it the right way, you will need to remove the asbestos siding. You will need to look into regulations and rules for removal and disposal in your state.
There will be no way to flash the new windows and it will look very ugly if you reside over it with vinyl. Pieces of it break very easily and there isn't much use to fixing it. You can cut pieces of fibercement and then groove it to match the old siding perfectly though. This is by far the cheapest fix. Use a router and a jig, and cement cutting shears. Make sure to prime and paint before you install.
You may have restrictions on the asbestos in your state. I have heard that if you have asbestos and don't dispose of it and keep your info. that you will get fined when it comes time to sell.
There's no easy fix for your situation. I would recommend not using a powerwasher. There are plenty of siding washes out there that require only a garden hose and they remove dirt and scum that a powerwasher won't remove.

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Old 01-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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New siding, paint exsisting siding, or powerwash??


The old asbestos siding will hold new paint very well as long as you clean it thoroughly first and use high quality paint.
Like Josh said new fibercement panel can be modified to match the old siding fairly closely although you may not find a perfect match to thickness of material but you should be able to come close enough to make a huge improvement over the old broken pieces.
When you get around to changing your windows make your contractor aware of any future new siding plans because there are things he can do to help make everything come together more smoothly.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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New siding, paint exsisting siding, or powerwash??


Don't kid yourself into thinking that cast asbestos siding does not contain enough asbestos to be harmful. Asbestos cement siding has plenty. The saving grace is that it is not considered a "friable" type of asbestos, but it will still release airborne fibers if you fracture it. Many places allow removal of asbestos siding without any particular permitting because it is not friable. Some places will even allow it to be disposed of in a regular landfill with minimal precautions. You need to check with your state's environmental protection agency about rules for your area. Asbestos siding does clean up and hold paint very well. Companies are making replacement panels of materials that no longer contain asbestos. Friable means that it can easily be reduced to powder by hand pressure, thereby releasing fibers that may become airborne and constitute an inhalation hazard. If you are allowed to remove it yourself, put plastic down to catch broken pieces and wear a half face respirator minimum.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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New siding, paint exsisting siding, or powerwash??


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaros bros. View Post
If you want to do it the right way, you will need to remove the asbestos siding. You will need to look into regulations and rules for removal and disposal in your state.
There will be no way to flash the new windows and it will look very ugly if you reside over it with vinyl. Pieces of it break very easily and there isn't much use to fixing it. You can cut pieces of fibercement and then groove it to match the old siding perfectly though. This is by far the cheapest fix. Use a router and a jig, and cement cutting shears. Make sure to prime and paint before you install.
You may have restrictions on the asbestos in your state. I have heard that if you have asbestos and don't dispose of it and keep your info. that you will get fined when it comes time to sell.
There's no easy fix for your situation. I would recommend not using a powerwasher. There are plenty of siding washes out there that require only a garden hose and they remove dirt and scum that a powerwasher won't remove.

Josh Jaros
First, obviously you should check with local code on acceptable disposal and installation procedures. Second, window flashing likely isn't a concern as you'll probably get replacement style windows which utilize the original flashing in conjunction with aluminum capping and caulk. Lastly, if permissable and done properly, vinyl siding can look fine when installed over the existing siding. It is NOT the recommended method, however appearance wise you would not even know the difference...My recommendation would be to repair/paint your existing siding until you can afford to do a proper replacement.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:50 PM   #6
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New siding, paint exsisting siding, or powerwash??


you can buy similar shingles at the home depot not asbestos

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