Our home siding can be made of different materials so if there is a need to repaint it to make the exterior of the house look better, you might be wondering whether it’s worth spending time on. Maybe, it would be better to simply replace it? Such uncertainty comes from our lack of knowledge of the siding material features and properties.
So if you have asbestos siding right now and you consider painting it, you might have many questions regarding the process. In this article, you will be able to find the answers to the most popular of them.
You will learn whether it’s worth painting over the asbestos siding and how to get ready for the procedure. Also, we will tell you how to clean asbestos siding before painting and what paint is considered the best for painting asbestos siding.
Finally, we will explain whether it is safe to paint over asbestos siding since this is a common concern of many homeowners. As a result, after you read this article, you will be able to get ready for painting your asbestos siding and pick the most suitable paint to undergo the procedure successfully and safely.
How to Paint Your Asbestos Siding?
Asbestos siding should be painted only after you have prepared and cleaned the surface thoroughly. It should be grime-free and dust-free, as well as properly dry since paint won’t adhere to a moist siding! As for the painting method, the best way to paint asbestos shingles is no different than how you would paint any other home exterior surface.
In fact, it can be even easier for you to paint your asbestos siding than painting some other surfaces. See, paint adheres to asbestos really well.
Besides, painted asbestos tends to last longer (often for decades), preserving the paint coat much better than other surfaces without cracking or chipping. So once you have done all the paint job, you will be able to enjoy the results for a long time.
As for the paint application method, you can decide yourself whether you want to apply it with a paint roller or spray it on your siding.
Just keep in mind that using a paint roller can be a bit more complicated and trickier because you will have to evenly cover all the texture and grooves in the asbestos siding (which is easier to do with spray paint).
How to Prepare And Clean Asbestos Siding Before Painting?
So, now you know that there is basically nothing difficult about painting your asbestos siding. But to succeed at paint application, you need to prepare the surface properly. And this is where many homeowners fail. So we recommend you check out a few handy recommendations on this process.
Test Your Siding to See If There Is Lead-Based Paint
You probably know that both asbestos and lead paint were once banned because of the health hazard they carried for in-home use. And since they were forbidden around the same time, it is very likely that if you have one, you may have the other too.
This is why you should check your asbestos siding for both before you proceed with cleaning and painting it.
What you shall do is to start by analyzing a paint sample from your siding to see if there is any lead content. For this purpose, you can use a special test kit which can be purchased online for quite a low price.
Since any possible lead-based paint has probably been used long ago, its layer will be found rather deep underneath. It means that, if there are many layers of paint on your siding, you need to scrape down through all of them carefully in order to get your sample.
In case you do find lead-based paint, it will have to be removed manually with scrapers while the surface of the siding is wet. See, water is needed to wet the surface because it helps you keep lead paint and asbestos particles from flying into the air.
However, you should not neglect basic safety measures too! You will need to wear protective gear such as disposable coveralls and HEPA-rated respirators while removing the lead paint. Also, make sure all the paint chips are collected and disposed of as toxic waste!
Clean Your Asbestos Siding
After you have tested the paint (and probably removed the one that contains lead), the next step is to clean the siding. At this point, keep in mind that no matter what kind of paint you have, you must never clean asbestos siding with heat or dry, abrasive methods!
These cleaning techniques can loosen the asbestos fibers and release them into the air, which is a serious health hazard! Instead, you may want to opt for one of the safe cleaning methods to get your asbestos siding ready for paint application.
How to Clean Asbestos Siding Using a Pressure Washer?
If you are absolutely sure that there is no lead-based paint in your siding, you may clean it with a pressure washer. However, there is one important nuance to remember!
Don’t just pressure wash your entire house using the strongest setting! If asbestos is pressure washed on a high setting, this may lead to the following problems:
- Moisture intrusion
- The release of asbestos particles into the air
Instead, you need to pressure wash the asbestos siding on the low setting only.
Like this, you will less likely to cause those pesky particles to be exposed to the air. And of course, remember to wear personal protective equipment such as coveralls and a respirator mask!
How to Clean Asbestos Siding If You Don’t’ Have a Pressure Washer Or You Can’t Use It?
In case you did find lead-based paint in your siding, or if you have an old siding and you are too worried about disturbing the asbestos particles in it with a pressure washer, what shall you do then?
In this case, you only have one option to safely clean asbestos siding. You will have to scrape it down and wipe away all the dirt and grime manually.
- Take a hard-bristled brush and soak it in a solution of dish detergent and warm water. As an option, you can use a mild, abrasive cleaner
- Start by scrubbing the siding with the brush in sections, rinsing as you move
- After you finish washing it, rinse your siding and allow it to dry for two or three days
This is a gentler method which means that fewer asbestos fibers will be released into the air (if released at all). Nevertheless, you should still wear protective gear during the process.
Now you know how to get your asbestos siding ready for the upcoming painting procedure and what to be aware of before you start so that the whole process will be not only efficient but also safe.
Is It Safe to Paint Over Asbestos Siding?
Since asbestos poses a health danger for humans, homeowners often wonder whether it is safe to paint it or do anything else to it at all. In general, if you need to refresh your asbestos siding, it is safer to paint over it than to remove it.
See, asbestos removal can disrupt the asbestos fibers, releasing them into the air — at which point they will become dangerous to anyone around.
However, you must always remember the most essential safety measures that must be followed when you work with asbestos! You have to be very careful when preparing the surface of your siding for being painted.
That’s because scrubbing, pressure washing, sanding, and other harsh ways of treatment can increase the risk of asbestos exposure! This is why it makes sense to hire professionals to prep the surface and paint it for you instead of doing it yourself, especially if you are not experienced in this kind of job.
Safety Tips For Painting Asbestos Siding
Since asbestos can be dangerous when treated improperly, you should use precautions when painting asbestos siding. In particular, always keep in mind the following rules:
- Never sand or scrape the asbestos siding!
- Use a dust mask whenever you are working with this material!
- Wear disposable coveralls or clothes you can throw away after painting
- Wear a respirator to make sure you don’t breathe in asbestos fibers
And again, if you are not sure that you will manage cleaning and painting your asbestos siding on your own, it’s best to delegate this tricky task to professionals who will do everything efficiently and safely.
Best Paint For Painting Asbestos Siding
When it comes to painting asbestos siding, homeowners often wonder whether there is any difference in the type of paint that should be used. Before we answer this question, we want you to keep in mind that regardless of the type of paint you use on your asbestos siding, you always have to make sure you apply a good primer.
A proper primer for this kind of siding should be:
- 100% acrylic latex
This will allow you to create a smooth and even finish on your siding, as well as seal any cracks and prevent peeling.
Speaking of paint that will work on asbestos siding best of all, there are two best options for painting asbestos tile surfaces. They are encapsulant and latex paints. Below, you can learn more about each of them.
What Is Encapsulant Paint?
Encapsulant paint is the type of paint that was initially designed to control hazards from lead-based paints. In addition, it also works great to create a protective barrier on the asbestos siding.
In particular, this kind of paint will allow you to prevent such issues as:
- The release of asbestos particles
You just need to apply at least two coats of encapsulant paint and allow it to dry thoroughly. Then, it’s recommended that you put on a satin latex finish to protect your house from any moisture exposure.
What Is Latex Paint?
Instead of encapsulant paint, you can use 100% acrylic exterior latex paint. Latex is great because it resists the alkali in asbestos cement siding. It also allows air and moisture to pass through. This means that any dampness on the siding can escape, preventing paint blisters and cracks from developing.
As for the paint color, there are no limits to the palette since any color will look great on the asbestos siding. In fact, it often happens that the paint looks much better on asbestos than on other types of siding!
So, we told you a lot about painting asbestos tile siding today. In particular, you learned whether it makes sense to paint it. Also, you found out how to get this kind of surface ready for paint application correctly and safely.
In addition, we shared a bunch of handy tips that will help you work with asbestos siding with no hazard for yourself or your family members.
Now you know how to make sure that your asbestos siding contains no lead paint and what steps to take to prepare it for being painted. Also, you are aware of the two types of paint that will work best on this kind of siding.
Encapsulation will cost from $2 to $6 per square foot. A professional will also paint your siding with a latex masonry primer and high-quality latex paint. If the siding is really old, it might be better to replace it. But if it’s still doing well despite being old, you might want to paint it. It’s not recommended to scrape it since it will release harmful asbestos particles that you can inhale.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐What is the cost of repairing asbestos siding?
⭐Does it make sense painting old asbestos siding?
⭐Can you scrape asbestos siding before painting?
Encapsulation will cost from $2 to $6 per square foot. A professional will also paint your siding with a latex masonry primer and high-quality latex paint.
If the siding is really old, it might be better to replace it. But if it’s still doing well despite being old, you might want to paint it.
It’s not recommended to scrape it since it will release harmful asbestos particles that you can inhale.