Should you go DIY for Asbestos Roof Removal?

November 1, 2014

In our daily lives, we are often exposed to minimal quantities of asbestos, which doesn’t really cause health problems. Similarly, when the asbestos is found on the roof of your home, the real danger arises when these asbestos materials are damaged over time and begin to release toxic fibers into the air. Asbestos roof removal (Perth) becomes imperative under such conditions.

What is asbestos and how is it harmful?

It is a mineral fiber, which was usually added to several products (years ago), to make them sturdier and provide fire resistance and heat insulation. When you breathe in excess levels of asbestos fibers, there are chances of lung cancer:

  • Mesothelioma – a cancer that occurs in the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity. The more fibers you inhale, the more the risk increases.
  • Asbestosis – the lungs are scarred with fibrous tissue.
  • Smoking – if you are a smoker and are inhaling asbestos fibers regularly, there are high chances of lung cancer manifesting.

The major problem is that symptoms of these diseases are not visible right away– they take a long time to appear, usually 20 to 30 years after the first exposure.

Where is asbestos found?

Asbestos is rarely used in products these days. If a certain product contains asbestos, there is a clear warning indicated. Till the 1970s, quite a few insulation materials and building products used in homes contained asbestos. Apart from roofs, you can find asbestos in:

  • Millboard, cement sheet, door gaskets, and paper that is used for insulation around wood-burning stoves and furnaces. Any cutting, tearing, drilling, or sawing through the insulation can release asbestos fibers. Repairing or removing appliances might do so as well.
  • Stove-top pads and gas-fired fireplaces using artificial ashes and embers contain asbestos.
  • Houses dating back to the period between 1930 and 1950 might have used asbestos for insulation.
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints may contain asbestos (the use was prohibited in 1977).
  • Steam and hot water pipes in old houses are usually coated using an asbestos material or shielded with an asbestos blanket or tape.
  • Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.

What to do if you find asbestos in your home?

When it comes to roofing, a lot of homeowners feel they can tackle it themselves. If you suspect that a particular material contains asbestos, don’t touch or poke it. Check for indications of wear and tear, abrasions, or water damage. Rubbing and hitting the material can cause fibers to be released into the air, so don’t try anything like that. If you are thinking of remodeling your home, it is imperative to find out if asbestos materials are present in the roofing material. As a layman, you are not skilled in the techniques used for asbestos removal or repair, so you might cause further damage that will expose you to more asbestos fibers. Your health is of prime importance, which is why asbestos roof removal (Perth) should always be done by an asbestos professional.

How can asbestos professionals help?

As is evident, they are trained in handling materials that contain asbestos. You can hire a general asbestos contractor or a professional who is qualified to tackle specific products that contain asbestos – it all depends on the material used for the roof and the technique used to correct the issue. They will come to your home to conduct an inspection, take samples of the material, test its condition, and provide advice about what can be done to minimize the damage. As stated before, if the material is in good condition, it is not fatal, and can be left undisturbed without harming anyone’s health. Sometimes, the issue can be dealt with via some repair work that consists of:

  • Encapsulation is one solution you can try that involves using a sealant to treat the material that forms a coating on it or binds the asbestos fibers together so they can’t be released.
  • Covering the material also works, when something is placed over or around the material that contains asbestos.

In case a professional has suggested asbestos roof removal (Perth), don’t neglect the advice – do it right away since it concerns the health and safety of your family.

Before you engage the services of asbestos professionals, it is vital to check their credentials. This is an area of work where skill and knowledge are extremely important, so you must hire only trained, experienced, and reputable people. Sometimes, accreditation is required by state or local laws. It is best to ask for references from prior clients before hiring them. Talk to them and find out about the quality of services and if they were satisfied. You can shop around for rates to get a clearer idea about how much it can cost for asbestos roof removal (Perth).