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How to deal with an asbestos-containing garage roof

If you’ve just discovered that your garage’s roof is containing certain Asbestos-Contained Materials (ACMs) or the slightest suspicion that this could be something to be concerned about, there’s in no doubt thinking about what to do regarding it. And you’ll want to find out if it’s able to be easily removed at a minimal cost and no damage to your roof.

Prior to 1999, when the then government prohibited the use of asbestos in new construction asbestos cement sheets were the most common choice for garage roofing, particularly during the 1960s and the 1970s. They offered a variety of advantages, from strength to cost-effectiveness and versatility as well as their insulation as well as the properties of weatherproofing and fireproofing.

The roofing sheets are cement mixed with between 10 to 15% asbestos, usually a white form of asbestos known as the chrysotile. In roofs asbestos may be found on panels as well as gutters, felt, or the entire roof.

A complete ban by the government on all asbestos was enacted in the early millennium. It also included asbestos that was white and Chrysotile. This was after a partial ban in 1985 that prohibited the importation of the blue and brown versions. It was because of the incredibly dangerous nature of the substance when inhaled and also the obvious connection to mesothelioma and asbestosis and lung cancer All of which are potential fatal. Asbestos is believed to be such a risk to health and safety that it’s no longer utilized within the UK.

In spite of its status in the past it’s not unusual to find asbestos on garage roofs on properties constructed prior to 1999. However, it’s good to know that this issue is solvable with several possible solutions.

How to tell if your Garage roof is contaminated with Asbestos

If you think the garage roof might contain asbestos There is only one method to confirm this by having the material sampled and tested by a reputable asbestos firm. If you’re trying to determine if you really need an asbestos inspection, keep in mind that it’s impossible to determine whether a product is asbestos-containing simply by taking a look, but there are a few possible indicators or signs that indicate they could be, such as:

1 Roof panels made of corrugated

This is an indication, is not a definitive fact asbestos roofing sheets usually corrugated. However, asbestos-free cement roofing sheet may be corrugated too.

2 Garages were built prior to 1999.

For any garage roof constructed prior to 1999 there’s the good chance that it may contain asbestos, particularly for structures built in the late 1960s or 1970s the time when asbestos was most common.

3 Moss or lichen growth

A lot of lichen or moss is a typical feature of an asbestos garage roof but this isn’t necessarily the situation. The more moss you see the more old the roof is likely to have, as well as the more likely there is a chance asbestos may be present.

4 Cracks and fractures within the roofing panels

A major determining factor that isn’t a specific one is finding out if asbestos is present on garage roofs is the manner in which it has deteriorated over time. Roof panels that are made solely of concrete are more likely to appear crumbly, whereas asbestos-containing roofs tend to have cracks. If you notice cracks on your garage’s roofing panels, this could be possible evidence of asbestos.

5 Small dimples on the surface or small craters

If the corrugated roofing sheets contain small dimples, craters and similar designs, it is another indication that the material is in use.

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, schedule an asbestos test with an asbestos-certified company immediately.

How to handle an asbestos-rich garage roof

If an asbestos survey or test prove that the garage roof actually contain asbestos, you have several options to you. Deciding which one is the best is dependent on several aspects, including the condition and age of the roofing panels. However, it usually boils down to the choice between replacing and removing, or encapsulating, your roof

1 Removal and replacement of the roof

This is generally the most appropriate option when demolition or refurbishment work is in the works, and it is beginning to leak, or when the roof has been damaged and, for instance holes or cracks, or other signs that it has previously been disturbed, and isn’t suitable for sealing.

A specialist asbestos roof removal firm will have to remove the roof with care so that it does not cause risks to your health in the process of removal, which could release harmful asbestos fibers. It is then possible to install an upgrade and a contemporary garage roof.

If you’re getting construction work completed in tandem the asbestos firm must remove your asbestos roof prior to it can begin.

2. Encapsulating the roof

The encapsulation of the roof with asbestos is typically suggested on a case-by -case basis. It is usually done when it is more risky to remove asbestos-containing roof material rather than leave it as-is or when asbestos has not been harmed and is in good condition to be left it in its place.

Encapsulating prevents fibres from getting released if the roof is deteriorating or is damaged as time passes.

The procedure is to seal the roofing to stop any release of asbestos-containing material.

3 Let it remain in situ and have an asbestos-management program in place

If the materials containing asbestos are in good order and there aren’t any planned projects, then they can be kept in situ and managed through an asbestos management program and periodic re-inspection checks.

Can an asbestos-based garage roof influence my house?

The presence of asbestos on your garage roof will not make your home’s worth any favors. It’s particularly in the event that the roof isn’t sealed or encapsulated, especially if it’s been damaged, which could have impacted the asbestos and creating an health risk.

It’s not mandatory to request an asbestos study when buying an investment home. But, a lot of people do, and property surveyors always detect asbestos-containing structures on the garage roof. This means it could be flagged when you sell your house, or it could mean that you need to cut some money from the cost to cover any future costs or, even more importantly than that, the deal may fall out of the water completely. This is yet another reason to get rid of or encapsulate the roof of a garage with asbestos.