How to Cover Cement Asbestos Siding With Vinyl

T.J. Allen

Once a staple in the construction of homes, asbestos siding now is more of a liability. However, if handled properly it becomes a manageable issue. Government regulations allow for and encourage asbestos containing building materials, also known as ACBM, to be left in place and maintained rather than to be removed.

Typical asbestos siding.

This is good news to the homeowner who may be looking at a costly abatement project to have asbestos siding removed. The cost of maintenance and covering the asbestos siding is an attractive and viable option.

Assessing the Asbestos Siding and Preparation Work

  1. Check the condition of all the asbestos siding. Seal any cracks with the weatherproof adhesive caulk.

  2. Measure the distance from the bottom of the siding to the top. Subtract 4 inches from this measurement. Cut the 1-inch by 2-inch strips for the walls at this length.

  3. Measure around all door and window openings and cut 1-inch by 2-inch to fit as a box around each.

Attaching the Strips and Insulation

  1. Select one of the exterior walls as a starting point. Run a line of 1-inch by 2-inch strips at the top and the bottom of the wall by putting the adhesive caulk on the strips and tack nailing them to wall. Be sure the top line and the bottom line are the same distance apart as the measurement used to cut the wall strips. Repeat this step for every exterior wall.

  2. Put weatherproof adhesive caulk on one of the wall strips. Put this strip on the corner of the exterior wall where the top and bottom strips have been secured. Using the nail gun tack the strip in place by nailing the strip about one third of the way from each end. Repeat this step along the wall at two-foot intervals until you reach the other end of the wall. Repeat this step for every wall.

  3. Place weatherproof adhesive caulk on each strip for the window and door openings and tack nail them around their respective openings, creating a box.

  4. Cut the insulation boards into two-foot wide sections. Attach these sections as filler between the 1-inch by 2-inch strips by applying the adhesive caulk and then pressing the foam sections to the walls. Measure and cut according to each section. Make sure all areas have been covered.

  5. Let the project dry overnight and then inspect for any loose 1-inch by 2-inch strips or foam insulation. Reattach any loose material with caulk.

  6. With the screw gun drive a 3-inch screw into the 1-inch by 2-inch strips every two feet. After all materials are correctly adhered to the house then you are ready to cover with vinyl siding.

  7. Tip

    The nails are only to hold the 1-inch by 2-inch strips in place until the caulk dries. You may need to place strips across the foam insulation to hold it until it dries. Consider covering the foam and the strips with house wrap for further insulating.


    When nailing the 1-inch by 2-inch strips you may break free some of the old shingles. Make sure you have a liberal amount of caulk between the caulk and the strip. If a shingle breaks, the caulk should hold it in place. If not, you will have to dispose of the shingle. Check with your local landfill about disposal of broken shingles.