I wonder if anyone knows if leather was used as part of window insulation in the 80s. The house was built in 1981.

The material goes past the flange of the old window and maybe through the rest of the siding but not sure. It is definitely hard to cut by hand than paper and feels leathery. Both sides seem similar in texture.

Has anyone seen this before and knows what it is? Also, is it dangerous (made of toxic materials such as asbestos etc.)?

enter image description here

  • 1
    Early 1980s might guess tar paper. Usually was used as a house wrap underneath siding. I can't see it well in the picture, but it was a black heavy type paper.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 18:04
  • Did tar paper feel like leather?
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 18:14
  • I too am going with tar paper. This is a heavy paper impregnated with tar. Sometimes felt was used instead but still impregnated with tar. Your first photo makes it really hard to see because of that plastic film though.
    – jwh20
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 18:14
  • 1
    By the 1980s in the US (and many other parts of the world), the use of asbestos was fully banned. Someone would have had to have had a very large stockpile of material to still be running through something that would potentially have asbestos in it in 1981. I would agree with @crip659 that it's probably tar paper. Take it out of the plastic bag and get a clear pic of it. Even if it's asbestos laden, so long as it's not turning to dust it's not dangerous just sitting there. It's not like it's an unused fuel rod from a nuclear power plant.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 18:14
  • I guess it is a type of exterior painting (ethylene-based) with a very strong smell/odor during application and forms a rubber/plastic-like protective layer. The vapor of it is toxic, therefore, cautions are required when applying in a confined space. Once dry, it is safe and waterproof except it won't prevent the crack of the base material.
    – r13
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 18:29


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.