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Roof Replacement

Guide to Repairing or Replacing Your Asbestos Roof

October , 2023 | 6 min. read

By Mitch Owens

victorian style historic home with asbestos roof

If you've found yourself facing the challenge of an asbestos roof, you might be swimming in a sea of questions and concerns. How risky is asbestos, really?

What are the legal nuances tied to asbestos roofing? Do you repair, encapsulate, or completely replace it?

Don't worry, you're not alone, we've got you covered.

With 3 decades of experience in the roofing industry, RoofCrafters understands that a roof is more than just a protective cover. It's a long-term investment in both your home's safety and your peace of mind. To help you better understand asbestos roofing, we've created a comprehensive guide.

In the sections that follow, we'll dive into:

  • Understanding the Risks of Asbestos Roofs
  • Legal Obligations and Regulations
  • Repair, Replacement, or Encapsulation: What's Best?
  • The Financial Commitment Involved
  • How Your Roofing Choice Affects Your Home Insurance

So, take a cautious breath. (especially if you're standing beneath that asbestos roof right now.) And prepare to become well-versed in all things asbestos roofing.

Understanding the Risks of Asbestos


Let's cut to the chase. When people inhale asbestos fibers after they become airborne, it is hazardous. Prolonged exposure can lead to serious lung diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Asbestos in roofing material is usually less friable than other forms of asbestos. But the risk still exists, especially as the material ages or gets damaged. Thus, you should take dealing with an asbestos roof seriously and not attempt it as a DIY project.

Legal Requirements and Permits


Before you start, it's crucial to know the laws about removing asbestos. Laws about asbestos can differ based on where you are. In most cases, you should hire certified professionals to abate the asbestos. They will also know the proper disposal rules. Lastly, don't forget to inform your local building authorities. If you don't follow these rules, you might have to pay big fines or face legal action.

Asbestos Roof Inspection and Testing


If you suspect your roof contains asbestos, the first step is to get it tested. Do not try to collect samples yourself; disturbing the material can be dangerous. Instead, hire a certified asbestos inspector. They will safely take the samples needed and have them tested in a certified lab.

Hiring Qualified Roofing Professionals


After you confirm asbestos, the next step is finding professionals for abatement. Look for contractors certified in asbestos removal. These experts have training in the correct abatement methods. They will have the necessary equipment and safety gear to handle asbestos materials. Read reviews, ask for references, and verify credentials before making a decision.

This requires two parts, the abatement of the asbestos materials and the installation of the new roof. Which also means keeping your home safe and dry during the removal.

Roof Replacement Options


So you've decided that total removal is the way to go. What's next? You'll need to consider replacement materials. Your new roof should be strong and energy-efficient, no matter if it's metal, shingle, or another material. It's important to follow local building codes. Discuss your options with your roofing contractor to find the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind, that the most important day of a roof replacement is the day your new roof is installed.

Asbestos Abatement vs. Encapsulation


You also need to think about whether you should remove the asbestos or seal it to stop fibers from getting out. Abatement is generally more expensive and requires more intensive labor.

coated asbestos shingles in a bright turquoise blue

Using encapsulation is cheaper, but it's only a temporary fix and may not work for all buildings. Talk to your certified contractor about these options to figure out what's best for you.

Financial Planning and Help


Asbestos removal can be a financial burden. On top of the cost of a new roof, the abatement process itself can run into thousands of dollars. It's vital to budget for this and to explore any grants, loans, or help programs that might be available in your area. After all, while humor may be free, asbestos abatement most certainly is not.

Insurance Considerations


Here's some good news. Removing your asbestos roof will positively impact your home insurance premiums. Asbestos is a material risk for insurers; thus, its removal could land you some discounts. Before you start the project, check with your insurance company to see if you can save any money.

Preparing for Asbestos Removal


Before the professionals arrive, there are steps to prepare your home and property. You may need to tell your neighbors about the noisy asbestos removal. Your contractor will protect your landscaping from debris. Before starting your project, request a list of preparatory steps from your contractor. The steps may differ depending on your project.

Disposal of Asbestos Material


Once removed, asbestos material must be placed in plastic bags and tagged to follow federal and local laws. The hazardous material is put in sealed dumpsters and taken to special disposal sites. This is usually taken care of by your abatement contractor as part of the abatement service.

The "tagging" process is so that there is a hard record of who handled the materials. Who removed them, who transported them, and how it was done? They'll need to provide the property owner's name, address, where the materials came from, disposal weight, and material type. This is all standard for asbestos disposal.

Wrapping Up: Secure Your Peace of Mind with Post-Project Certification


As the dust settles—figuratively. When dealing with asbestos, be sure to get the required certifications and documentation for your project. This should encompass lab test results, approved permits, and disposal records.

Store these papers in a secure place; they are the cornerstone of both your legal compliance and your personal peace of mind.

Congratulations, you've braved the labyrinthine journey of asbestos roof repair or replacement! It's been a path laden with complex decisions, regulatory hoops, and yes, more than a smidgen of anxiety. By getting rid of dangerous substances, you have made a valuable investment in your property and health.

With your new, asbestos-free roof overhead, you can now look forward to years of reliable protection and peace of mind. Our family at RoofCrafters wishes you clear skies and safe living under your new roof!

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Mitch Owens

My name is Mitch, and I have over 10 years of roofing experience. I enjoy my career in the service industry because I love helping others take care of their homes and businesses. With over 10 years in the roofing industry, my success comes from my honesty and integrity during my roof inspections. I do my best to listen to the needs of my clients and strive to provide an awesome client experience.