All you need to know about an asbestos roof

Last Updated on January 17, 2021 by neilhardy

What is an asbestos roof?

An asbestos roof is made from asbestos cement – a mixture of cement and asbestos.

The asbestos fibers make up about 10-15% of the total product, forming a hard material, and were added to the cement to reinforce it.

Chrysotile (white asbestos) is the asbestos mineral that was most commonly used in the manufacture of roofing sheets and products before the asbestos ban came into effect in the UK in the year 2000.

Asbestos cement was used due it’s excellent insulation, fireproofing and weatherproof properties.

On roofs, asbestos cement can be frequently found in the form of panels, gutters, insulation, shingles, downpipes, felt, asphalt or the entire roof itself.

You will find asbestos cement roofing on sheds, garages and farm buildings.

The images below will help you to identify what asbestos roofing materials look like:-

Is an asbestos roof safe?

Problems with asbestos roofing can occur as the asbestos cement deteriorates with age and consequently becomes more brittle.

This creates a greater risk of the mineral fibers becoming exposed and loose which puts people at greater risk from asbestos exposure.

Being exposed to asbestos can lead to developing an asbestos related disease in later life.

However, as the asbestos fibers only account for approximately 10% of the composition of asbestos cement products, this means that asbestos roofing materials are considered to be a low risk to human health.

How long does this type of roof last?

This will depend on the quality and thickness of the asbestos roof material.

Thinner roof sheeting will usually last around 50 to 60 years.

Thicker roof sheeting measuring about a quarter of an inch thick will typically last 70 to 85 years.

How much does it cost to remove?

The overall cost of removing an asbestos roof will depend on the quantity that is to be removed.

However, as a general guide, to remove a garage roof pricing starts around £380 or £680 if including the sides.

The cost of removing a double garage roof starts from £750 or £1800 if including sides.

The cost of removing asbestos garage insulation ceiling boards starts at around £1350.

Can I remove asbestos roofing myself?

It is essential that asbestos materials are removed and disposed of in the correct manner.

The best way to do this is to use a licensed contractor.

On no account should you attempt to remove asbestos coatings yourself.

However, if you wish to remove asbestos cement roof sheeting from your garage or shed, then you are permitted to do so as cement bonded asbestos found in roof sheets is the only asbestos material which can be removed by a house holder. 

There are strict guidelines though on how you should do this in order to prevent asbestos contamination.

Please refer to the full HSE guidance here.

Did you find this article interesting?  Then check out our other interesting articles below.

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Published Jun 04, 2019

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