In the old days, asbestos was one of the most sought-after building materials. That's because it came with plenty of good qualities such as durability, fireproofing properties, and energy efficiency. However, asbestos was later phased out as a building material when it was discovered that disturbing it released some fibres, which when inhaled, pose significant health risks. If you live in a home that has been around for decades, chances are some parts still contain asbestos.
The roof is just one area you will find asbestos. If your home has an asbestos roof and you are wondering whether or not to replace it, here are a few things that will help you make you the right decision.
Must You Remove Your Asbestos Roof?
Asbestos is typically not dangerous if it's not disturbed because that way, the asbestos fibres cannot become airborne. What's more, while laws may vary depending on where you are in the country, it is usually not mandatory for you to remove the asbestos-containing material in your home and the decision in most cases will be yours. However, just like any other roofing material, your asbestos roof may start chipping, breaking, or cracking as it ages.
The normal wear and tear as a result of exposure to the elements may also result in damages. When this happens, the asbestos fibres may be released into the air posing serious health hazards to you and your family. Therefore, while it's usually recommended that you don't disturb asbestos that is in good condition, you may want to plan for removal.
Is Repair an Option?
Repairing your damaged asbestos roof instead of replacing it with a different roofing material may be impractical. That's because it is difficult to pull off or nail in the individual asbestos tiles or shingles without disturbing the material. This simply means that repairing your asbestos roof may only work to release the asbestos dust into the air. What's more, getting shingles that are the exact match of the ones being removed is impossible because asbestos is no longer being sold.
Can Over-roofing Be a Solution?
If your asbestos is still in good condition, a more practical and cost-effective way to deal with it instead of replacement is over-roofing, sometimes known as over-cladding. The entire roof will be contained with a specialised material both internally and externally to ensure it doesn't pose any threats to you or your family regarding health. However, remember that the clad material is not damage-proof and may have to be repaired over time.
The best way to deal with your asbestos roof is to have it removed. A re-roofing service can come inspect the roof before the removal commences. Keep in mind that the removal work should be left to licensed asbestos management professionals. Also, you will need a team with proper permits to remove your asbestos roof.