Asbestos is a widely used material in many areas of construction of residential and commercial buildings. The material is highly dangerous for humans and one of the primary contributors to cancer around the world. However, many people are unaware of the dangers of the substance, and many don’t even know, it is used to construct their house, especially on the roof.
With the unknown dangers of the substance and the lack of awareness, many people fall prey to the deadly disease and develop other health problems. Asbestos was banned in countries like the United Kingdom about 20 years ago.
Asbestos is used in construction
Asbestos has been used regularly in the construction industry since the Industrial Revolution. Earlier, it was used for boilers, steam engines, turbines, and insulation of pipes because of its fire resistance and insulating abilities.
In addition to industrial use, the substance is widely used in the construction of houses, especially in the roofs. Asbestos is used to construct floor tiles and many other things used in the construction of homes.
Health risks of Asbestos
Asbestos is so dangerous for humans that it kills around 5,000 workers each year, while 20 traders die each week due to past exposure. These are moving numbers that show that asbestos remains a real threat, not only for merchants and those working on its removal; but also for those who work in the building and others in the surrounding areas.
The risks of asbestos become prevalent when damage, or alteration of the product causes the asbestos fibers to come loose and be transported into the air. When these small fibers are inhaled, they do not break and remain permanently lodged in the lungs. It causes fatal diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural thickening.
Are all the asbestos roofs harmful?
Many roofs are still made of asbestos shingles. If the shingles are in perfect condition and undisturbed, it will not be an issue most of the time. The presence of asbestos in any building is not necessarily dangerous, unless the material is damaged and, in turn, remains in the air, releasing the fibers into the atmosphere.
Should people remove their asbestos roof?
If you have an asbestos roof, you wonder if it is worth spending to remove and replace it with asbestos-free material. The more worn the roof, the greater the risk of deterioration, exposing your family and neighbors to harmful asbestos fibers.
Some owners say that asbestos roofs make it difficult to sell a property. Asbestos-roofed houses are also likely to be more expensive to insure. Some insurance providers may not insure the homes having asbestos used in their roofs.
You will certainly want to replace the ceiling at some point. Doing this sooner or later minimizes the chance of complications. This also means that you should avoid potential problems if removing the asbestos roof becomes mandatory or if the risks become better known.
Treat asbestos roofing a friable
When the asbestos roofing is done on the house, the substance is bonded, and there is no risk to the homeowners or neighbors. However, with time, the heat, hailstorm, and rainwater damage the bonded asbestos, and the material starts showing the signs of wear. The bonded asbestos becomes friable asbestos.
The weathering due to rain, wind, sun, hail, pollution, and moss growth erodes the cement around the asbestos that loosens its fibers, making it easier to break off. Also, the roof deteriorates with the reduction in thickness of the sheet. It becomes more brittle and weaker than before. This can cause it to break from impacts due to rains, hails, and storms.
Breaking or collapsing such a roof is more dangerous as the fibers can affect all the people in its close vicinity. Therefore, it is best to repair or replace an old asbestos roof as soon as possible to avoid its negative effects on homeowners and other people.
Precautions homeowners should take with asbestos roof
It is important to check the air quality if you want to remove an asbestos roof from your house. Chances are there that the fibers that break out from these roofs can collect in gutters that can put homeowners and neighbors in trouble.
Many contractors may tell you that you don’t need to monitor the air quality while removing or replacing the roof. In such a case, you need to hire another contractor who can monitor the air quality before removing or replacing the asbestos roof. Also, before removing a roof, it is best to call a professional to conduct a thorough inspection.
Disposal of Asbestos Waste
Asbestos waste is considered hazardous, whether from a roof or any other part of a building. In many countries, you are not allowed to dispose of the asbestos waste as regular construction waste. You need to contact a licensed waste carrier who can segregate the asbestos waste and transport it to a hazardous waste disposal facility.
How to remove the asbestos roof tiles safely?
To remove the asbestos roof tiles, you need to contact a company that offers sampling and removal service for asbestos roofs. If you are unsure whether your roof contains asbestos or not, you can call them for inspection. Professionals from such companies can tell you whether your roof needs repair or removal, or you can wait for some more time before removal.
Any homeowner can get the guidance from a certified roof sampling and removal company. Such companies also work in constraints on the owner’s budgetary and occupancy that may affect the building.
Production and use of Asbestos
Despite the dangers of asbestos, asbestos’ production is still legal in many countries like Canada, Greece, Italy, Russia, India, and China. These countries still manufacture asbestos products and export them to other countries. These countries manufacture these products because of its low cost and high demand in the construction industry. That is why it is common in the construction industry in developing countries.
Therefore, people living in developing countries are more vulnerable to the dangers of asbestos. Many people in these countries are uneducated who don’t even know about the material and its dangers.
How to keep yourself safe from asbestos?
The best way to keep your family safe from asbestos is not to use the substance in any form in the construction of your house. It is best to do some research about the construction materials and their safety before using them in construction. You should not use asbestos in your house in any form. Homeowners who have already used asbestos products or roofs in their house should replace them before they get deteriorated, and the fibers come out of them.
Asbestos is a dangerous substance still used in the construction of homes and commercial buildings. If you are not sure about the materials used in your roof, it is best to call a professional for a thorough inspection and advise you about the roof repairs or replacement. Doing some research on construction materials and their safety can help you to choose the right materials while building your house. Using safe materials can help you to keep your family safe from many illnesses.