Looking at a house that appears to have asbestos cement siding. I'm wondering if this is something I can do myself with care. I've read the following.

Disturb as little as possible. Don't Crack tiles Wear a suit and respirator Use a vacuum with HEPA filter when needed Wrap the tiles in plastic and tape. Lay plastic on the ground

I wondering if I follow all these rules if I can do it myself. As i understand it, you can also cover the siding, but some claim that nailing through can be worse than removing.

  • In my state A home owner can do there own removal and our local land fill will accept it as normal trash if double bagged. Check the local regulations if your state allows this I would get rid of it, if not maybe cover depending how much you have to spend on the project. Removing the asbestos will help in the future when the house is sold. make sure to get a proper respirator and follow the steps DMoore suggests (a tyvek jump suit is a good idea).
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 12, 2017 at 20:32

3 Answers 3


This is not rocket science. Some keys:

  1. Keep area wet.

  2. Make sure that you are wearing a proper mask and cover up.

  3. Make sure that no one else is near the area.

  4. Make sure to bag them properly.

  5. Make sure you vacuum all loose particles with vac plus hepa filter.

  6. Make sure you bring materials to proper place. For instance 6-7 years ago I was doing a home and the only hazardous waste facility nearby was charging me an outrageous price per bag. To the point where I might as well paid 8k to have someone do it. Well obviously the remediation and waste companies were in cahoots. But I have had to travel a good 75-100 miles to dump waste and I have seen laws around this sort of practice. But you are talking about a very high revenue and highly regulated industry. And most of the regulations are almost meaningless as they aren't actually geared to do anything to someone who doesn't follow them, they just want to make sure you paid to be "trained" to follow them.

Note: Several remediation companies in my area will no longer do work for me. After charging me a ton of money for removal of things like asbestos or lead paint I would go on my state's website to find that they didn't follow the very basic rules the state outlined. So I gave them the choice between me sending them to the state or not paying and they chose me not pay. Just saying there is a need to do this stuff right but it is an obnoxious industry. It would be very easy for the state to say - here are the gloves, clothing, mask, plastic for the tent, whatever you need for each situation and then a person could decide to do it or not. Most of the remediation people we get are contractors that passed a two day class or have been with the company less than 6 months. So yes anyone can do this if you follow guidelines and rules. Here is the website for Missouri asbestos removal. Other states have similar sites - some better some worse.

  • Didn't read the first one, but that makes a ton os sense, most particles won't get airborn
    – user379468
    Jan 12, 2017 at 21:20
  • I have done my own asbestos removal (popcorn ceiling in 1950s house) and agree that it is not difficult to figure out. Feb 15, 2017 at 13:51

Above posters are correct in suggesting that removal and repair are easy if done sensibly.....

HOWEVER- depending on your state and city, there are limits on how much asbestos material you can personally remove and dispose of. Some states and minicipalities allow significant handling and removal by a homeowner, others don't. In addition, some states require that volumes of asbestos waste above a specified limit go to HazWaste landfills (which may only allow disposal from certified contractors). In some cases you may work your way around a lot of these restrictions, but you'd better know what those restrictions are beforehand.

Check your community's hazardous materials website and ask questions before you get started; all you need is some cranky and ill-informed neighbor accusing you of contaminating the neighborhood with your DIY project.


@KnobScratcher pointed this out, but it's worth repeating: In the more populated areas, your problem will be disposal.

There are a potentially huge list of issues here. The simplest and easiest thing for you to do is to take a sample and send it off to be tested. In the U.S., your municipal or county government will be able to provide you with information about where to have it tested. (Typically, the inspectors will know a lab, or know someone who did it once and put you in touch with them.)

This test should be pretty cheap, no matter where you live. Asbestos isn't that dangerous in a lab setting, nor all that hard to recognize.

Once you know it's asbestos, think about how you're going to get rid of it. If you pay someone (which will be expensive), they'll haul it away. But if you take it down yourself, what are you going to do? It won't be trash - it's construction debris.

Depending on where you live, you might find it's as expensive or moreso to pay someone to dispose of it as to pay a contractor to remove it. This is because "dispose of these unknown bags" is riskier than "take this down, and dispose of it knowing what it contains."

Finally, keep in mind that there are a lot of people working in your refuse chain. Trash men, landfill workers, etc. Don't just "hide it" in the trash and try to sneak it onto the weekly truck- you'll be endangering a lot of other people if you do.

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