Although its manufacture was banned in the U.S. by the EPA in 1973, asbestos cement siding is still around, and inspectors are likely to encounter it on their inspections of exterior cladding. While its hazards are limited if this material is undamaged, proper maintenance is key for avoiding structural issues related to water intrusion, as well as the health risks associated with damage to this type of building product.
Failed caulking details and huge vulnerable seams between siding abutments at the exterior of a home in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands were discovered at a recent home inspection. It’s very important to protect open seams at the building’s exterior from water intrusion which can, and will, lead to water/insect damage in short time. Caulking abutments is advised, or installing a metal flashing detail behind open seams does the trick too.