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How to Tell if Your Garage Roof is Made from Asbestos

Posted on by Asbestos Waste Solutions Limited

It’s difficult to determine whether or not your property contains asbestos. When it comes to ripping out or modernising your garage, it’s important to know whether any of it contains asbestos. But fear not, because we’re on hand to inform you about how to identify asbestos in your garage roof.

Remove asbestos garage

How to Identify Asbestos

It isn’t easy to identify asbestos, especially if you don’t know what it looks like. Some asbestos products contain identification marks, making it easier for those with a trained eye to spot a contamination.

There are six different types of asbestos to watch out for: chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite. Each one contains different properties and has a different appearance. But when mixed with other materials (such as cement), it can be virtually impossible to tell which type is contained within your garage roof.

Here are some ways to help identify if your garage roof contains asbestos:

  • Look at the joints. Asbestos sheets are often fixed together by aluminium runners, held on by small nails without a point on the end. Inside, the sheets will be held together in a similar way by plastic or wooden runners. It’s also advised to inspect adhesives that may have been used to join two materials together, it’s likely that they contain asbestos, too.
  • Inspect surface patterns. Asbestos materials (especially sheets) will have a certain texture or pattern, made up of small dimples or shallow craters and it is therefore advised that you take the correct precautions.
  • Check exterior building materials. Roofing and siding shingles are the most common materials to contain asbestos. There could even be asbestos contained within the cement of your garage to help improve insulation. To check the concrete for asbestos, look out for thin pieces of it containing small fibres. Often, these sheets were used as siding, corrugated roofing and soffit material.

If you’re going to check your garage roof for asbestos, take the appropriate safety precautions. Wear a face mask, gloves and cover any bare skin. Take care not to disturb the asbestos, it’s more dangerous when tampered with.

What are the Dangers of Removing an Asbestos Garage Roof?

We’ve all been exposed to asbestos at some point in our lives, but the implications will be minimal. However, there’s no way of accurately quantifying how much or how little exposure is needed to contract a serious illness. The best way to minimise your chances is to take appropriate safety measures.

Important things to remember before you attempt to inspect or remove asbestos yourself:

  • Cover exposed skin, wear a hat, gloves, disposable overalls (with a hood), safety goggles/glasses and a dust mask with built-in respirator
  • Don’t eat, drink or smoke in spaces containing asbestos. Remove all clothing and outerwear that’s been exposed to asbestos and move somewhere that’s uncontaminated. Always wash and disinfect your hands and face.
  • Don’t use power tools (including drills and saws). Asbestos fibres will be released into the air if disturbed. It must be handled with absolute care.
  • Don’t drop asbestos sheets on the floor. They must be carefully placed on the ground.
  • Keep family members and pets away from the removal area and notify your neighbours of the activity.
  • Lay plastic sheets (tarpaulin or old shower curtains) on the ground to prevent further contamination of your garden.
  • Close all windows and doors in your house
  • Relocate outdoor children’s toys and play equipment
  • Contact a competent and licensed contractor to take the asbestos away and dispose of it responsibly

It’s not advised that you carry out extensive inspections or removals yourself, however. If you’re not sure about how to inspect, remove or dispose of asbestos, always call a professional.

Here at Asbestos Waste Solutions, we believe that a safe, reliable, responsible approach to collecting and disposing of asbestos products is fundamental. Our friendly and knowledgeable team of experts can provide a fully comprehensive service that you can always count on. If you think you may be at risk or require more information, contact us today – we’re always happy to help.

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