Is Asbestos Roofing Harmful?

 In Asbestos

Is Asbestos Roofing Harmful?

What Is Asbestos Roofing?

Many properties in the UK, from homes to garages and even commercial buildings, still contain asbestos to this day and a lot of it can be found in walls and roofs. Asbestos was once one of the most commonly used construction materials for both residential and commercial developments in the 20th century.

Asbestos became popular due to it being cheap to install, it was found naturally in the UK, and it provided a stable, durable and long lasting material, making it perfect to hold up against the British weather. By its early definition and properties, asbestos was the perfect building material.

However, it was only later down the line that the harmful effects of asbestos were discovered and this was caused by the tiny, microscopic fibres that people inhaled when fitting it.

Is Asbestos Roofing Harmful To People?

All asbestos is dangerous and harmful to people, which means asbestos roofing can be dangerous. However, when left undisrupted asbestos will only pose a small risk to people’s health; but this will depend on the type of asbestos it is.

Most asbestos roofing will only become harmful when it is disturbed, moved or damaged, as people are likely to breathe in the asbestos fibres into their lungs. Asbestos is one of the biggest silent killers for tradespeople; will it killing around 20 people per week who have been exposed in the past.

When people become exposed to asbestos, they can suffer from a number of serious problems, and even fatal illnesses, such as;

Asbestos Related Lung Cancer
Non-Malignant Plural Disease

Where Is Asbestos Roofing Found?

As asbestos was used in the roofing for both residential and commercial property, it can still be found in numerous buildings that predate the 1990s. Asbestos roofing is most likely to be found on outbuildings, garage roofs and warehouses. Even to this day, there are still said to be 1000s of garages that contain asbestos and even higher numbers of residential homes and commercial buildings that contain it.

Asbestos Corrugated Roofing

Due to its similarities with cement fibre, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between asbestos roofs and cement roofs. However, there are a few indicators that could help you to tell the difference such as:

If your roof or garage was constructed before the 1990s
The roof panel appear corrugated and dated in appearance
Growth on top of the roof, which is usually Lichen

Can You Walk On Asbestos Roofing?

The simple answer is no. Walking on asbestos roofing will disturb the asbestos fibres which you will then ultimately breathe in. In addition to this, most asbestos that was originally installed will also be in a state of degradation and although a roof may appear intact, once you step onto it, it could easily break under your footing. This would cause an ever larger amount of asbestos fibres to become airborne than walking on it alone. 

Getting An asbestos Survey For Your Roof

If you’re in need of an asbestos survey for your roof, then simply get in touch with asurveys today. We offer a wide range of asbestos services, covering surveys, inspections, management plans, consultancy and much more. No matter what your requirements might be, we can help.

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