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Where to buy tools used for cutting or removing asbestos cement or fiber cement shingles, siding, or roofing.
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Watch out: However very old, weathered and worn asbestos cement shingles, such as on a roof or sometimes on a wall that has been painted and is peeling, or roofing or wall cement asbestos shingles that are mishandled during demolition (breaking into many small pieces, running hand or power saws to cut the material) risks creating airborne asbestos-contaminated dust which could be a health and environmental hazard.
When we installed asbestos cement shingle siding we rented a guillotine chopper that cut the material while producing a minimum of dust.
A modern version of this fiber cement cutter that is hand-lever operated and does not require electricity is the Bullet Tools 920 Pro Magnum Shear I-20 Electricity Free 20 Inch Flooring and Siding Dust Free Cutter (photo at left) - this is a great tool, but a bit steep for a homeowner or do-it-yourselfer at around $900.
A modern fiber cement shingle cutting tool used for the same purpose is the Malco® TSFC Tubo Shear fiber cement cutting tool also used to cut cement backerboard and similar products.
The Malco fiber cement and backerboard shear is powered by a separate cordless or wall-power connected electric drill.
Malco also produces the TSF2A, a heavy-duty pneumatic shear cutting tool for the same purpose.
Similar shear tools are produced by quite a few other manufacturers including the tools listed below. At Reviewers (scroll down past the links) we list sources to purchase these tools.
Added demolition and disposal cost of cement-asbestos products
Also in some communities special measures and added costs are involved because of a requirement for air-testing during removal and possibly costs to dispose of the material in an appropriate landfill. (After all, originally this material came from the land.)
Thanks to reader Van Moore for technical editing and requesting clarification.
What we found worked best for removing asbestos cement or fiber cement shingles was to carefully pull the securing nails using a pair of end-cutting pliers, called by some folks nippers or a "nail biter" - sold at hardware stores in various sizes.
Buy a tool whose handle and cutting face will be at right angles to the work surface and whose cutting face is flush (with the cutting angle filed just on the inside of the cutting edges. Working CAREFULLY we found we could usually grab the nail head protruding just proud of the fiber cement shingle and pull the nail straight out.
We use two sizes of end-cutting pliers made by Channellock, like the Channelock 358 8-inch End Cutting Plier tool shown in our photo just above.
"Grab the nail head and yank" straight out seemed to work best.
Details about procedures to remove damaged fiber cement or asbestos cement siding or shingles are found at ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING REPLACEMENT.
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