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Cement Asbestos Shingles

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Asbestos Cement Siding

Look Familiar? Yes, This is Asbestos Cement Siding.

Public Domain; Courtesy National Park Service

Cement Asbestos Siding: The Good

  • Highly fire resistent.
  • Resists termite damage and rot.
  • Easy to clean (though beware of using pressure washers, as this may crack the product).
  • Easy to paint because it does not soak up paint as quickly as more porous siding, such as wood clapboard.

Cement Asbestos Siding: The Bad and The Ugly

  • Very brittle (don't hit it with the lawn mower!).
  • Dangerous if pulverized by sawing, sanding, breaking, etc.
  • Difficult to find replacements.
  • Cannot be refurbished. For example, wood clapboard can be sanded and repainted, or cedar shake siding can be sandblasted and re-stained. Can't do this with asbestos cement siding.
  • It's just plain ugly and cheap-looking, and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who has a soft spot in his or her heart for asbestos cement siding.
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