Slate House Siding

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I was chatting with a house painting contractor recently who had an interesting question. ” I’ve been asked to give a bid on painting a house with asbestos shingle siding (probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s) and a number of shingles are cracked or broken.

I doubt if one can buy these shingle anymore and I was wondering if you know of any satisfactory replacement product. Would any special precaution be needed in removing the old broken shingles?


The shingles have never been painted, would they require a special primer or special paint?”. Personally, I like to have a little asbestos in my cereal in the morning—great fiber.


I’m kidding of course, but once again, common sense should be our guide. The siding he’s talking about is likely called Transite and was manufactured in Canada from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.


It is a cement board product that used asbestos as a binder for the cement. This product was made as roof shingles and siding that tried to look like wood shingles.

Veneer Panel Stone Siding

It is on hundreds of thousands of older homes. Asbestos cement siding was popular in an era when InsulBrick was also an option for replacement siding for old houses.

42. Making a Point

This was that tar paper looking brick, very fashionable. The truth is, you can partially track the downfall of neighborhoods by when replacement siding materials like Transite, InsulBrick, aluminum and now vinyl were installed.


It’s a sign that homeowners are unwilling or unable to maintain their homes properly. The maintenance problems don’t go away, they just get covered over and aloud to worsen, sight unseen.

15. Beachfront Appeal

The good news is that it’s non-friable in place. This means it generally doesn’t have loose fibers that can escape, causing lung damage. Repairing damaged and broken pieces is possible as long as you are cautious.

11. Visual Height

There may be some loose fibers around the broken pieces. You must thoroughly wet down the broken pieces with water before you carefully remove them.