Asbestos is a term that is thrown around a lot these days. It seems as if every time you turn on the TV some big law firm is trying to get people to sign up for a class-action lawsuit against some asbestos-producing company. Although asbestos is dangerous and has gotten a bad rep over the years, it was at one time a widely used and beneficial material. In fact, many products containing asbestos are still in use today. This is especially true for buildings designed during the early 30s and late 80s.
Take asbestos-cement shingles for example. These traditional roofing shingles were once widely popular thanks to their durable and resilient design and natural insulation properties. You can just imagine how durable they are if they are still serving a viable purpose today. Most modern tar shingles only offer about 10 to 20 years of life expectancy. It’s honestly a shame that these materials are so potentially harmful and no longer used.
Why Remove Asbestos Shingles?
So, if asbestos shingles are so durable and hardy, why even bother removing them? To be honest, there is no need to remove them unless they are showing signs of prolonged wear and tear. Despite their extremely rugged properties, there will come a time when they stop being functional. This is especially true when the fibers start to show. Asbestos fibers are extremely dangerous and can get mixed in with the air in the home.
This is what leads to mesothelioma and other variations of lung cancer. These fibers are so dangerous because they don’t break down like other fibers. They enter the lung, sit there, and cause damage. To make matters even worse, once the fibers start to show the shingles will likely just crumble in your hands. When you go to repair them or remove them, they’ll just simply crumble.
This might make for quick and easier removal, but it makes the job of removal extremely dangerous for the inexperienced and ill-prepared individual.
Why Can’t I Remove Asbestos Shingles Myself?
Well, you can remove asbestos shingles yourself, but you are taking a huge risk in doing so. You will not only put yourself at risk, but you’ll put your entire family at risk. Even with the proper safety precautions in place removing these materials is simply a tempting fate. Asbestos is an extremely delicate and dangerous material.
To ensure 100% complete safety of all those involved it would be best to defer the task to a trained professional. Many experienced contractors are familiar with proper removal and disposal requirements. Even if you can remove the shingles yourself, you’ll be left with the problem of disposing of them. Many standard dumping sites and trash services will not touch them.
Without delivering the materials to the prospering dumping places, you might stand facing stiff fines and penalties. The rules and regulations regarding the dumping and disposal of asbestos vary from state to state and have grown stringent over the years.
The only good thing about replacing asbestos shingles these days is that you don’t ever have to worry about reinstalling them. Shingles infused with asbestos materials are no longer in production. However, that will not make the replacement any easier. Replacing roofing shingles is a tremendous undertaking and may even require more than just the standard replacement of the shingles.
If you previously had asbestos-infused materials installed then there is a good chance your home is at least 20 or 30 years old. You’ll also likely need to survey your sub-roof and other foundational components. Going with a certified, licensed, and insured contractor is the best way to ensure all goes smoothly. Give out offices a call to schedule your free consultation today.