Skip to Content

Nailing Into Asbestos Siding [Everything You Need to Know]

Nailing into your asbestos siding can seem like a difficult task. But to remove or replace the siding, you should know how to nail into it. 

What are the things you should consider while nailing asbestos siding

First of all, you’ve to inspect the asbestos siding. Because damaged asbestos siding is quite dangerous to nail. After that, get your tools for the work. Next, we suggest you drill holes into the siding. Then put in the recommended nails. And lastly, just nail them in place.

Now, there’s more to know. Because nailing into your asbestos siding incorrectly can cause health issues. That’s why we’ve provided everything you should know. 

Therefore, for your own safety, please don’t hesitate to read till the end! 

When Can You Nail Into Asbestos Siding? 

Now, asbestos siding is a bit more difficult to handle than other sidings. To be fair, experts recommend keeping it as it is.  

Because even if the siding is known to be pretty hard-

It can still crack and flake as years go by.

To prevent that from happening, some house owners aim to put another siding over it. Or in some cases, they remove and replace it. 

Now, to cover, remove or replace the siding, you need to nail into it. However, you can’t nail into asbestos siding whenever or however you want.

Because if you didn’t know – asbestos siding can’t be nailed if it’s rigid. Because there’s a chance that it’ll crack and break afterward due to pressure. 

To be honest, it’s not a good sign if that happens. Because the dust from asbestos will start spreading through the air you breathe. So, what happens if you’re exposed to asbestos.

Well, you’ll certainly suffer from some health issues. Therefore, don’t nail into rigid or damaged asbestos. 

If you want to get the siding changed, ask for help from a professional instead. Because it’s better than risking your health. 

However, if your asbestos siding is in good condition, you can definitely nail into it. 

But there’s a catch- 

Directly putting pressure while nailing into the siding can cause it to break. That’s why we’ve mentioned a better way to put nails into your siding. 

How to Nail Into Asbestos Siding Safely?

Now, we assume your asbestos siding isn’t damaged. Because why else would you proceed to nail into it. 

So, to help you out, we’ve discussed some necessary steps- 

Step 1: Inspect the Asbestos Siding Thoroughly

Well, you might think your asbestos siding is in good shape for nailing. However, there can be small cracks. And these are pretty hard to identify at first glance. 

That’s why you’ve to inspect the siding again. But this time, observe every detail about it. 

Now, if you see any cracks, let the siding be. However, if there are no visible damages move on to grab the tools. 

Step 2: Gather the Essential Tools

You don’t need many tools for this work. And to be honest, that’s a relief! 

So, the tools you’ll need for this job are:

Now, you can grab nitrile gloves for this job. Yup, the same ones you used for connecting plenums to your air handler. It’ll keep you perfectly safe while you’re doing your work. 

As for the respirator, we suggest using the one that’s equipped with HEPA. They’ll surely come in handy. 

On that note, here are some of our top picks regarding the respirator:

Reusable Half Face Cover, NASUM M201 Face Cover Check Latest Price
3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Check Latest Price

So, grab the tools quickly, and let’s start working! 

Step 3: Wet the Siding

Now, if you’re all prepared with the tools, start filling your spray bottle. You can use normal tap water for this.

Wetting the siding will help you contain the dust while working. 

By the way, if you didn’t know- 

This little trick can keep you safe while cutting asbestos siding as well. 

Plus you can even use shaving cream to contain the asbestos dust. All you’ll have to do is-

Mark the spot you’ll drill. Then apply the cream to that area. However, make sure you put just a dollop of the shaving cream. 

And then drill through that place. This is quite an old technique. But hey, it still does the work! 

Step 4: Start Drilling Holes for the Nails

Now, it’s time to get your drill machine. Because this way you can easily put in the nails. 

Therefore, drill a couple of holes for your nails. But make sure the holes are ¼”. 

Furthermore, don’t make deep holes. We suggest drilling half the size of the nails you’ll use. Otherwise, you’ll have problems when you’re trying to nail them into the siding.

Now, you can use a helping hand for this process. Because as you know drilling the asbestos siding can produce dust. 

Yup, even after spraying water or using the shaving cream, dust can appear. That’s why it’s best to keep a hose running on the hole you’re drilling. 

Also, try leaning backward a bit when you’re drilling the holes. This way you can avoid coming in contact with the dust. 

Step 5: Put in the Nails & Start Nailing 

Once you’re done drilling, you need to grab the nails. 

Put the recommended nails into the siding. Then use a hammer to seal them in place. 

However, make sure you aren’t hammering too much. Putting a little bit of pressure will do the work. 

So, that’s it! You’ve done a good job till now!! Don’t forget to give yourself the credit you deserve!!

However, this job might not be for you. Thus, in that case, just hire someone who has expertise in this field. 


Question: Is it safe to drill into asbestos siding?

Answer: Yup, it is. But you’ve to maintain some safety precautions. For example, wear a respirator, gloves, and goggles. Furthermore, wearing ear protectors will be helpful too. Moreover, wet the surface with water before drilling into it. 

Question: Is nailing into asbestos siding hard?

Answer: Well, yes, it’s a bit difficult. Because the siding itself is quite hard. Therefore, handling it is pretty tough. Because you’ve to worry about the dust too. However, if you drill the siding first, the nailing part gets easier. 

Question: Is it possible to directly nail through asbestos siding?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible. However, we suggest drilling a couple of nail holes first. This will help you do the nailing job easily in no time. Also, there will be less risk of inhaling the dust. Therefore, you can nail into the asbestos siding both safely and easily. 

Take Away

So, that’s all you’ve to do for nailing into asbestos siding. Hopefully, you’ve realized how the work is done. 

How did you nail into your asbestos siding? 

We hope you do the job properly without getting injured!