What You Should Know About Asbestos Shingles
It wasn't that long ago that scientists discovered asbestos is a dangerous material. Prior to that, asbestos was part of many products that went into a home. Siding, flooring, insulation, cement and shingles are among many items made with asbestos. It was believed that asbestos would make them more durable and long lasting. Now it is clear that asbestos is dangerous. Due to the long-term nature of shingles, there are still asbestos shingles on houses today.
How can I tell if my shingles contain asbestos?
The only sure way to know if your shingles contain asbestos is to have a sampling done. It is not recommended you remove a sample yourself. Hire a trained asbestos handler. Asbestos use in home construction began in the 1940s, and concluded throughout the eighties. If your home was built during that time, your shingles may contain asbestos.
Should I remove my shingles with asbestos?
The bottom line concerning homes with any asbestos, including shingles is, if it is in good condition, leave it. It is when asbestos begin to break down that the real trouble begins. It becomes powdery and can be inhaled. So if your roof and shingles are fine, you should leave them. If they are decaying, they definitely should be replaced.
Can I remove my asbestos shingles myself?
It is not at all recommended. It can be extremely dangerous. Hire a certified asbestos handler to remove them. The removal and disposal of asbestos has very strict guidelines. If you do remove them yourself, follow the guidelines very closely. Respirators must be worn, a vacuum system for the dust should be in place, and the surface must remain wet to reduce dust.
The shingles must be sealed in bags, drop cloths used and sealed in bags, and any clothing you are wearing. These are just a few of the regulations. There are other rules to follow for the disposal.
Why should I be concerned about removing shingles with asbestos?
The dust is inhaled and poses very serious health risks. It causes cancer of the stomach, intestines, rectum and lungs. It can also create lifelong breathing problems. A cancer called mesothelioma is one of the most dangerous and common diseases that can develop as a result of asbestos exposure. This is why you should never attempt to remove it on your own.
If your shingles have asbestos and are in need replacing, do yourself the favour of a lifetime and hire a asbestos removal professional. Even if you simply suspect it, it is worth the health and safety of your family to have your shingles investigated.