Unfortunately asbestos has become synonymous with cancer. It was used as a cheap building material back World War II, years before it was discovered that the dust presented huge health hazards to anybody breathing it in. Many older houses are still roofed with asbestos, and if yours is one of them then you need to tackle the problem sooner rather than later. Because of the high risk to health it must be done by professionals under controlled circumstances. Here’s some more information about asbestos:
The Damage it Presents to Health
Asbestos is not dangerous per se when it is in good condition, but when the fibres start to deteriorate they can become airborne - this is when it becomes a very real and present danger. High exposure to these fibres is linked with various cancers such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. These diseases can sometimes take up to 15-20 years to take hold, and they are largely incurable. Asbestos has also been linked to other cancers such as breast, ovarian and prostate.
How Do I Go About Re-Roofing an Existing Asbestos Roof?
There is no doubt that a professional should be consulted. Any repairs or replacements need to be performed and overseen by someone trained in asbestos removal, so this is not a job for wannabe DIYers. You may save money but it could cost you or a member of your family your life – so it’s not worth the risk. It is expensive – you will just have to accept that. But it’s an essential task if you want to protect your wellbeing as well as your families. It is recommended that asbestos in a good state of repair should be left alone, but if it is showing any signs of deterioration then it must be removed and replaced.
Are There Any Other Options?
You’ll need to get the state of your asbestos roof appraised by a professional. If they declare that it is in a reasonable state of repair then they may recommend what is known as ‘abatement’. This is a process whereby the fibres are encapsulated with a sealant, or sometimes the asbestos is covered up completely to prevent the fibres being released. The downside is that the asbestos is still there, but the advantage is that it costs a lot less than a completely new roof. Bear in mind that the abatement will make the removal, when it needs to happen, a lot more complicated, and therefore expensive.
Speak to a Professional
If you have asbestos anywhere in your house then you need to appoint a professional who will visit and take samples to ascertain the extent of the risk to your health. He or she will provide you with a quote for abatement or replacement, making sure any work complies with health and building regulations. You will also need to pay for the disposal of the old asbestos which will be combined in the quote.
Asbestos is a risky and costly business but it needs to be dealt with head on – never ignore it.
You can also read: Asbestos in Ancient time: History