Asbestos Roof Replacement Procedures and Costs
Replacing Your Asbestos Roof
What you need to know
Asbestos was outlawed in 2001 because of the dangerous nature of the material. It is still found in many houses, particularly in roofing and guttering. It Worked great as an insulator. Installation was affordable, and the asbestos concrete sheets were effective at stopping the spread of fire. But the sheets carry a deadly secret. They contain between 5% and 10% white asbestos, which is made of tiny hook-like fibers. If you have asbestos tiles on your roof, or asbestos guttering, it is important to replace it. Any structural upset can trigger the release of the harmful fibers into your home. When released in the air, usually through breaking or disturbing an existing sheet, the asbestos fibers are free to attack the lungs.
How harmful is asbestos?
White asbestos is made of microscopic hook-like fibers. These fibers invade the lungs and cause Mesothelioma, also known as Asbestosis. Mesothelioma causes shortness of breath, pleural plagues and even death. The risk is highest when white asbestos is “stirred up.” Even gentle handling can release white asbestos fibers.
How do know if my roof contains asbestos?
Fibropanels have been used in construction since the 1950s, and are still in use today. Modern panels don’t contain asbestos, but in older homes asbestos panels may still be present. There is really only one way to know if your fibro roof and gutter panels are free of asbestos, and that is to test them. You can get samples tested by iAsbestos Removal Brisbane companies who will send the samples to NATA testing facility. Home sample kits are available, but great care should be taken when collecting a sample. The test kit will come with special instructions. If you take the sample yourself, you should remember to:
- Wear protective clothing and boot covers.
- Spray the test area with PVA glue to prevent stirring up the fibers.
- Vacuum the area to collect any dust.
- Wear a face mask and safety goggles.
In general, it’s easier to leave this to a professional. Otherwise, you risk contaminating yourself and your family.
What does replacement involve?
After you have discovered that asbestos is present, the best thing you can do is to get rid of it. If a panel breaks or Cracks at any time, the dangerous fibers will be released, and you don’t Want them in your house. The roof replacement is performed by an asbestos removal company and the process involves the following.
- Spray the entire roof with PVA glue.
- The front yard is “cordoned” off.
- An “asbestos work site” sign should be erected as well.
- Protective clothing is usually worn which includes special suits, mask, gloves, shoe covers, and eye protection.
- Sheets are removed carefully to minimize dust risk.
- Sheets are then lowered carefully to the ground to prevent cracking or breaking.
- Sheets are wrapped in builders plastic and taped shut.
- The whole ceiling cavity is then vacuumed to remove fibers.
- All of the sheets must be transferred to an asbestos Waste site.
- The roof area is sprayed again with PVA glue.
- The yard around the home is scoured for any remaining pieces of asbestos debris.
- Asbestos is loaded and taken to an approved asbestos waste facility.
Asbestos roof replacement jobs must only be performed by companies or individuals who have an asbestos removal license. Small amounts of asbestos can be removed without a license. However, a large project like a roof is going to require a class A or class B license holder to supervise.
What’s this going to cost me?
While prices will vary from one contractor to another, some general ranges apply. There are on-line calculators to help you figure the approximate cost per square meter. As a general rule, you should expect to pay from $50-$100 per square meter for removal. You can calculate the area roughly, by measuring the length and width of the area to be removed, and multiplying. You will likely also have to pay disposal fees separately, and there will be inspections before and after removal. Most contractors will also charge a site inspection fee. Damaged sheets will cost more to remove as they pose a higher risk and air monitoring is required.
Another cost to figure in is the new roof. Metal sheets or newer fibro can be used as the replacement to the existing roof. Then you will also need to factor in whether you need new gutters and downpipes. Altogether, for a 150 square meter house, the process could cost as much as $15,000. It’s going to bite the wallet. The real question is, how much are your lungs worth?
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