The following pictures are of three different siding materials that look quite a bit alike. Knowing what each is and the pros and cons of each may be important when you purchase that next home.
As you can see, each of these siding materials are similar. The top, cement asbestos has been given a bad rap. Asbestos is a problem when it is friable (fibres floating in the air where they can be breathed) but as long as it is intact and kept painted, it is one of the best and longest lived sidings ever invented.
The second siding, asphalt shingles, was popular in the forties and fifties (earlier in some farm communities). This stuff is fairly rare in Whatcom County, but it does exist. The picture was taken in Bellingham. It doesn't last much longer than an asphalt roof (generally in the twenty year range) and doesn't like hot weather because it softens and is susceptible to damage.
The third siding, striated cedar, is pretty common here in Bellingham and is often mistaken for cement asbestos. It is a quality wood siding that, if maintained properly, will last a lifetime.
Thank you for reading this.
David Helm, Bellingham, Washington home inspector