Potential Risks of Asbestos in Your Roof and How to Avoid it

Almost everyone knows that asbestos is not good for human health. However, not everyone knows about the amount of asbestos present in the roofs of their house. Early detection is very important so that fatal situations can be avoided. Asbestos particles are invisible to the naked eye, making them a potential threat. 

A lot of researchers consider asbestos as a silent killer. It is because of its nature of slowly killing a person. You are bound to feel unease if you live on a property that has some quantity of asbestos. Its owner is more responsible for this situation as the law asks for asbestos testing of every structure. 

What do We Know about Asbestos?

  • ‘Asbestos’ is used for those minerals that are resistant to chemicals. Electricity and fire cannot affect it. 
  • Asbestos surveys have the potential to detect the percentage of asbestos present in a house. 
  • Asbestos can be divided into two groups, Serpentine and Amphiboles. Serpentine is white asbestos.
  • Amphiboles are of three types, anthophyllite, actinolite and tremolite. Tremolite has no commercial use. 
  • Amphiboles are more dangerous than Serpentine due to the shape of the fibres. There is evidence of people dying because of Amphiboles. 
  • People must be very careful when they are carrying out asbestos removal exercises. A lot of the contamination can take place during this phase. 

The Journey of Asbestos in the Society

Asbestos has been in use for thousands of years. It has been mainly used in clothing and candle wicks. The mineral has been mostly used in the construction industry after the industrial revolution. It was used in steam engines and turbines because of its resistance to fire. After World War II, its use increased, especially in different technologies. 

People seeking inexpensive building solutions started to use asbestos. In 1977, the use of asbestos peaked. More than 3000 products in the world had asbestos in them. It is when people realised its harmful effects they stopped using it. Finally, in 1985, the use of Amphiboles was banned in the UK. 

Health Risks Related to the Use of Asbestos

  • There are documented records showing that approximately 5000 workers die yearly because of Asbestos. 
  • It is equally dangerous for people who live or function on a property that has asbestos. 
  • Matters get worse when things having asbestos in them get damaged or burnt. This leads to the release of the fibres in the air. 
  • When inhaled, asbestos fibres stay lodged in the lungs leading to life-threatening disorders. 
  • It starts with soreness, inflammation and infection and leads to diseases like Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, etc. 
  • Smokers face a larger risk of getting lung cancer if they come in contact with asbestos fibres. 

Asbestos Cement in Roofing

Asbestos was used largely in the 20th century in roofing. The main reason was its superb thermal quality. The mineral is mostly found in cement sheets which are used in roofing. Issues start taking a negative turn when the sheets get brittle with time. Asbestos surveys South West London are important to check such products for asbestos content. 

The mineral fibres get loose after the cement sheets get old and brittle. The removal of these products is non-Notifiable. It is so because you will not be needing the guidance of the local government for this. The sheets are made of Chrysotile which is not as harmful as Amphiboles. The latter makes up for only 10 per cent of the total composition. 

Asbestos Surveying

  • Getting your home surveyed for asbestos is a good idea if you are concerned about your health. 
  • The asbestos survey should be conducted by a professional for an accurate result. The removal must be the next step of the exercise. 
  • Experts must have safety gear and uniforms so that they do not get contaminated by asbestos.
  • Since the particles are microscopic in nature, they can get stuck to hairs and skin. Therefore, people must wash well after they get exposed to asbestos. 
  • After the surveying, people must look for asbestos particles in between their fingernails. 
  • The exercise is done using advanced equipment so that even the smallest fibre can be detected. 

Cement Sheet Removal and Re-Roofing

Roofers can remove the cement sheet if it has become old and brittle. They can replace the old roof with a flat roofing system. This asbestos removal is important as it will save lives from dangerous ailments. There are several aspects that professionals must consider. They must be very transparent with their work. 

It should be the experts’ priority to ensure the people’s safety. Firms must ensure that all their workers are trained for the removal exercise. They must know how to use the devices correctly. The specialists will only be able to keep others safe if they are well-protected themselves. 

Over-Roofing Solution

  • If there is no damage to the cement sheets, you can go for an ‘over-cladding’ of the present roof. 
  • It is an affordable option that can prevent the fibre from the cement sheets from posing any threat. 
  • A survey is important so that you can plan ahead and decide on the roof. 
  • The best materials should be used for the over-cladding so the fibres can be sealed off. 
  • The task is not difficult and takes less time than implementing other measures. 
  • This solution also ensures energy efficiency with no negative environmental effect. 


Asbestos is known as a silent killer as it affects human lungs and can cause lung cancer. Amphibole asbestos is banned as it is the most dangerous. People must contact professionals to get a survey done. Roofs of your houses can contain asbestos, especially in cement sheets. The fibres get released into the air after the sheets get old and brittle. 

An asbestos survey will ensure that the roof of your house is safe for you and your family. It will lead to removing the sheets and replacing the whole roof.  Asbestos was once used to create extremely durable, fire-resistant building materials. However, it has also since been banned in many countries due to the serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure. As a result, it is important that homeowners and contractors alike be aware of the potential risks presented by asbestos and how to avoid them.