Question

Are national funds available for taking off or covering old asbestos siding? How hazardous is handling old asbestos siding?

Asked by B Mac
Dallas, TX

Would re-siding a home enable a homeowner to tap into the $1,500 tax credit for weatherization?

Answer

Rick Goyette

Answered by Rick Goyette

Pawtucket, RI

Emerald Dream Builders

June 9, 2010

One place to start with a renovation like this is to test that your siding does in fact contain asbestos. It could be as simple as comparing it to a photo guide on the Internet, or taking a sample to a testing facility. A confirmation that your siding does not contain asbestos could save you considerable money.

To my knowledge there are no funds available (federal or state of TX) for the abatement of asbestos siding for residential buildings. However, there is a credit for Home Energy Efficiency improvements placed in service before December 31, 2010.

It's always best to start with safety. The removal of asbestos siding has been deemed hazardous and there are several precautions that need to be reviewed before starting a project. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has information available on their website regarding the removal of asbestos siding.

DSHS recommends hiring a professional to advise and/or conduct the abatement and will provide a list of licensed contractors upon request. Removal of asbestos is not a DIY-level project, and many contractors will refuse the work even in down times. I would recommend letting a licensed abatement contractor handle that part of your project.

The bright side to this renovation is that there is a federal tax credit for installing insulation on the outside of your home once the asbestos siding is removed. To be clear, the IRS has stated that insulated siding does not meet the requirement for this credit. The insulation must be installed directly onto the home and the siding is to be installed over it.

The details of the credit reveal that you will receive a 30% credit on any materials purchased to insulate your home, up to $1,500. The materials that can be included in this cost are listed on the Energy Star website.

Requirements for the 2010 energy efficiency tax credit

Typical bulk insulation products can qualify, such as batts, rolls, blow-in fibers, rigid boards, expanding spray, and pour-in-place.

Products that air seal (reduce air leaks) can also qualify, as long as they come with a Manufacturer's Certification Statement, including:

  • Weather stripping
  • Spray foam in a can, designed to air seal
  • Caulk designed to air seal
  • House wrap

Essentially, if the cost of insulation materials is $3,000, you will receive a $900 credit. Quick math indicates that this credit is maximized at a threshold of $5,000. It is also important to note that this tax credit is linked to the same credit in 2009. This means that if you received a tax credit for home energy improvements in 2009 you would only be eligible for the balance of that credit. As an example, if you installed Energy Star replacement windows in 2009 and received a credit of $1,000, then you would only be eligible for a $500 credit in 2010.

To receive the credit, you should fill out form 5965 when completing your 2010 tax return. Unfortunately, you will have to wait until you file your return to receive the funds from this credit. However, the energy savings from installing insulation will start right away. If you want to model this savings, take a few moments and plug your home information into the energy savings calculator provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Good luck on this renovation, and be safe!

 

For more information:

You should also read GreenHomeGuide's Buyer's Guide to Green Insulation.

Tagged In: insulation, siding, incentives

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.