Can You Power Wash Asbestos Siding?

  • By: Promise
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You cannot power wash asbestos because it is made of fiber and pressure washing it can cause water to seep through the fiber which can damage your asbestos siding.

Asbestos siding is a mixture of Portland cement mixed with asbestos fibers. What the Portland cement does is bind the asbestos strongly.

Because of this, asbestos is fireproof and most times, they help limit the spread of fire. Another is that asbestos siding is resistant to insect damages which can cause rotting.

These sidings are easy to clean and they are also very durable. In fact, asbestos sliding is one of the best materials used in buildings. They have this wood-like surface and can be easily passed for wood. They also last super long and keep houses intact for a long time.

Can You Wash Asbestos siding?

You can wash your asbestos given the fact that you do not pressure wash your asbestos to avoid damaging it. In fact, the best thing to do is to clean the asbestos.

Asbestos is made of fiber and pressure washing can cause water to seep through which can damage your asbestos siding.

So, if you are washing, it means applying force to it and as such can cause your asbestos to lose its surface and expose the fibers.

Can You Power Wash Asbestos Siding

It is absolutely wrong to power wash asbestos siding. Federal and State Environmental Protection laws warn against using machines to wash asbestos.

The fibers are of major concern. When you power wash asbestos, the pressure from the machine will cause the sidings to get cracked and damaged which caused the fibers to fly everywhere.

Imagine fibers everywhere on your property, your neighbors’ property, cars, and everywhere. It’s not just something nice to see.

Fibers are microscopic in nature so you can’t even get to clean them after power washing them. If at all, there is a need to power wash, let the pressure from the machine be very minimal.

An excellent cleaning or construction company won’t advise to power wash but rather clean the sidings with a clean soft sponge or rag.

You can learn how to clean asbestos siding in these steps:

  • Mix a mild detergent with warm water and form a lather
  • Split your house into sections so it can be easy to clean thoroughly.
  • Make sure you wash from bottom to top and rinse immediately to avoid streaks that will be very difficult to remove.
  • If you have molds on your siding, use a bleach spray to clear off the molds.

Reasons Why You Should Not Power Wash Asbestos Siding

1. The Fibers are Toxic

Fibers are a major material of asbestos and when it is power washed, the fibers fly everywhere. These fibers are toxic and those who are allergic can cause experience serious allergy reactions and other, serious sneezing episodes.

2. It Can Cause Health Problems

You can be exposed to lung diseases such as Asbestosis: Excessive Intake of fibers or being around areas where asbestos is being made can result in health problems such as lung diseases and the all known disease of asbestos called asbestosis.

3. Littering the Environment

Imagine coming home to meet white particles everywhere; on your property, on your cars, on your lawns. This can be very annoying especially because the fibers are microscopic so it will be very difficult to clean off. This can go as far as causing rivalry between you and your neighbor.

4. Your Asbestos Won’t Last Long

When you power wash your asbestos, it automatically damages the surface and even if you amend it, it can never be the same again. The durability of your asbestos siding reduces overtime till a point it starts falling off or hanging by a thread.

Can You Power Wash a House With Asbestos Siding?

It’s not ideal to power wash your house with asbestos siding. The pressure from washing will definitely affect your asbestos siding. Pulling cancer-causing fibers everywhere and eventually spoiling your house.

How to Clean Mold Off Asbestos

The most common problems in asbestos are molds. If you use asbestos siding, you’ll definitely have issues with molds.

Molds are a variety of fungi and the most common type found in homes is called Mildew. You might see this at the edges of your walls, bathrooms. They mostly appear in humid environments.

These molds are siding, always greenish in color, and sometimes can be brown, yellow, white.

So, when you see this mold, the next thing to do is to clean off these molds. To clean off these molds, you need

  1. Distilled Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Bleach
  4. Detergent

After getting these materials, put them all together and gently scrub all the areas where the molds are. Keep on cleaning till the stains come off completely.

Another chemical that can be used to kill off the molds is ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.

Now when you see some molds that are particularly green or black in color and have begun to damage walls or surfaces where they are, then you need to call in a professional to check it out because cleaning agents or chemicals cannot solve that.

Can you Bleach on Asbestos?

While it is not wrong to clean asbestos with bleach, you should be careful when it comes to the kind of bleach you use. The best kind of bleach to use is unscented mild bleach. Using strong chemicals can be adverse to your health or generally in your home.

Molds are not difficult to clean so you don’t need to get a chemical bleach that’s so strong and choking.

If at all you need to get that kind of strong bleach, then it is very advisable for you to dilute with water so it becomes mild. A cup of bleach can be mixed in 3 or 4 buckets of water.

When using bleach for your molds, be sure to open your windows and doors to let in the fresh air. For more information on drilling asbestos, you can read about whether you can drill into asbestos or not.

Final thoughts

As much as asbestos is a very good replacement for woods in building construction, it requires adequate care and constant checks. There are professional asbestos cleaners who you can always call. These professionals know the laws that guide your environment when it comes to asbestos siding constructions and cleaning.

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