According to the Land Registry, an amazing 55% of all industrial type properties in the UK have an asbestos cement roof. Asbestos was heavily used up until the 1980s due to its sound absorption, average tensile strength, its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and because it was a cheap material to use. It is now illegal to use any materials that contain asbestos because of the serious effects it has on someone’s health. Once asbestos fibres are released into the air they can become inhaled, which can lead to terminal illness. The fibres can lay dormant for up to 50 years in person’s body but once active will cause severe pain.
The good news is that an asbestos roof is easily identified due to their crinkly outline and grey colour. A roof that contains asbestos would have been constructed from asbestos cement, most typically Chrysotile (white) asbestos. Luckily cement based products contain the asbestos well and therefore unlikely that the fibres will escape into the air. However, if your roof contains asbestos it is at least 30 years old and with age comes deterioration. The asbestos panels can become prone to leaks and are weakened over time. Unfortunately these signs often do not show from the outside, so regular managing and monitoring of your roof is imperative. Any cracks or leaks may lead to asbestos escaping into the air, which can have detrimental effects on yours or your loved ones health.
If your roof needs repairing, a qualified company trained to deal with asbestos can recommended an alternative material to help cover up the area. Sometimes the roof may need to be completely removed. Again, if this is the case you must employ a reputable company to deal with the save removal of the roof and dispose of it legally. Under current health and safety regulations, a business owner can be fined or even jailed if asbestos is released into the work environment - so don’t delay, seek advice now. Use Compare My Local to find a company near you who are qualified in dealing with asbestos and can meet all of your needs.