What is a home without a roof? Well, it’s not a great shelter, is it? The roof protects the inside of your home, its structure and most importantly, you and your family from the outside world.
Over the years roofs have been made from all sorts of materials – from straw to metal, concrete to sticks. And while some of these materials are more durable than others, some of the materials used to make roofs were actually harmful to our health.
The material we’re focusing on today is asbestos which, according to this Denver roof repair expert, could be a serious problem. Between the 1940s and the late 1990s, many homes were made using asbestos or asbestos materials, before it was known that asbestos may lead to health complications.
Many homes in Australia today still have asbestos roofs and other asbestos materials in them, which could pose a danger to your health. Before we talk about the process of removing and replacing an asbestos roof, we’re going to give you a bit more information about asbestos and why it was used to build homes, and why it’s dangerous. Keep reading to learn more.
What is asbestos and why did we use it to build homes?
Asbestos is a natural mineral that is found in rock formations. It is made up of millions of tiny fibres that are extraordinarily strong, and also have a range of features and benefits that are desirable in the building and construction industry. For example, asbestos is very insulative, heat resistant, lightweight and durable. It can be used on its own, or mixed with substances, like cement and other adhesives, to create super strong building materials, like cement sheeting.
It was commonly used in roofs as both insulation and cement sheeting. And there are still homes and structures out there in Australia, with this kind of asbestos.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
In the 1980s, the dangers of asbestos started to become known. Asbestos was linked to causing several incurable diseases, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. When people ingest or inhale the asbestos fibres – which are very hard to see with the naked eye, they can become lodged in the body and are not able to be removed. The reason they are unable to be removed is that they often travel very deep into the lung tissues because of their microscopic size.
Though it had been used for many years before this discovery, part of the reason the dangers of asbestos were not known until this time was because these illnesses have a long latency period. This means that symptoms of these illnesses generally don’t appear until many years after the asbestos exposure.
Once it became linked to these illnesses the use of asbestos in Australia was phased out and banned completely in 2003.
Many homes in Australia still contain asbestos or asbestos materials, and while this might sound scary, it is important to note that when asbestos is in a non-friable condition and undisturbed, it does not pose a risk to health.
However, to really understand the risk of asbestos materials or your asbestos roof, you need a professional to assess it through asbestos testing – Asbestos Australia Removalist – who are experts in identifying and removing asbestos in homes all over Australia.
Removal and Replacement of Asbestos Roofs
If your home is inspected and tested and found to have asbestos materials that need to be removed in the roof – whether it’s insulation or asbestos cement roof sheeting, these are the steps for removing and replacing an asbestos roof.
Step 1 – The asbestos professionals arrive
Upon arrival, your asbestos removalists will be wearing protective gear from head to toe. That’s how serious asbestos removal is. The protective gear is designed to ensure that none of these tiny fibres can make their way into their bodies. They will also have specialist high tech removal tools with them, and the humble ladder, because they need to get up on the roof somehow.
Step 2 – Your house will be confined
Asbestos removal is very serious, and part of the process involves confining the house as much as possible to avoid the spread of the asbestos fibres. One of the things that makes them so dangerous is the fact that they can become airborne easily and stay airborne for extended periods. They can even travel quite far – so it’s important to make sure the house is as confined as possible. As part of the confinement, signage will be put up around the property to ensure everyone knows that asbestos removal is in progress.
Step 3 – The removal of the asbestos roof
When the area is safely confined and marked, the removal of the asbestos will commence. If your asbestos roof only has a little bit of damage, the likely course of action will be to still remove the whole roof, once part is compromised, it’s best to be thorough and remove the problem as much as possible.
During the removal process, the asbestos cement sheeting will be removed as intact as possible to avoid exposure, and the dispersion of asbestos fibres in the air. The process is slow and done very carefully to ensure maximum safety for you and the removalists as well.
Step 4 – The asbestos materials will be seal
Once the asbestos roofing materials are removed, it’s time to prep them for safe disposal. This involves the removalists securely sealing the materials – usually in layered plastic which is vacuum sealed before they are then placed in disposal bags especially made for asbestos materials.
The materials are disposed of in a licenced asbestos disposal location – they cannot just be chucked in any old bin!
Step 5 – Replacing the roof
Once all the asbestos materials are removed, it’s time to replace your roof with a brand new one. You will likely work with a roofing specialist rather than an asbestos removalist for this step! Your new roof can be made from all sorts of safe materials like metal, concrete, and various tiles!
Work with a professional for your asbestos roof removal
When it comes to any work on your roof, it should be done by a professional, especially when it involves a dangerous material like asbestos.
Make sure you don’t DIY an asbestos roof removal!