Asbestos Shingles on Your House What to Do When They Need to be Replaced!

Asbestos Shingles on Your House What to Do When They Need to be Replaced!

On this page:

Related pages:

Overview

Asbestos siding was used extensively in buildings and homes from the 1930s until the 1970s, when it’s use was banned. Originally, asbestos siding was used because of the fire resistant properties of asbestos. Because asbestos in a mineral and fibrous, adding asbestos to siding materials also increases strength and durability, while providing some insulation and fireproofing to the structure.

Even if asbestos shingles are on your home, if they are in good condition and left undisturbed, they are usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time and become airborne. Damaged asbestos may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.

For a broad and detailed summary of asbestos in and around the home, see our Asbestos in the Home page.

Regulations

Asbestos is regulated under a variety of laws and agencies; here’s a brief summary. See our asbestos regulations page for more information. The Environmental Protection Agency regulations that govern asbestos removal and disposal are the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. OSHA has regs that apply to school systems. TSCA (under EPA) has regulations governing disposal.

Except for disposal, these rules, however, do not apply to houses of four families or less. An owner of a single-family residence can remove and dispose of asbestos cement shingles without being subject to federal restrictions that apply to contractors. There will most likely be state and local ordinances governing asbestos shingles and their removal. These may prohibit removal and disposal by anyone other than a licensed and certified asbestos contractor. Your state’s regs may apply to homeowners — check — if they do then:

State permits are often required of contractors for the removal of asbestos containing asphalt/ bituminous roofing products and asbestos cement shingles/panels under the following conditions:

  • 160 square feet of friable asbestos containing roofing materials will be removed.
  • 5580 square feet of nonfriable asbestos containing materials such as built up roofing will be removed using a rotating blade cutter.
  • 160 square feet of nonfriable asbestos/cement roofing products will be removed using techniques that will create friable asbestos containing material (ACM).

NOTE: Friable ACM means the material has been crumbled, pulverized, reduced to powder, or has otherwise deteriorated so that the asbestos is no longer likely to be bound within its matrix.

Permits must usually be obtained ten (10)working days prior to staring the removal of regulated asbestos containing roofing material. Within 45 calendar days from the completion date stated on the permit, the owner or his representative must submit a completed Waste Shipment record to the state or county agency.

Before removing any asbestos-containing material from your house, you should check with your local government authority; usually the county health department will know.

What is the condition of the shingles?

THE BEST THING TO DO WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL IN GOOD CONDITION IS TO LEAVE IT ALONE! Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before. Read this page before you have any asbestos material inspected, removed, or repaired.

Asbestos cement roofing, shingles and siding products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, dilled, or cut.

If the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, do nothing! If it is a problem, there are two types of corrections: repair and removal .

Repairs

REPAIR usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material.

  • Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats the material so fibers are not released. Pipe, furnace, and boiler insulation can sometimes be repaired this way. This should be done only by a professional trained to handle asbestos safely.
  • Covering (enclosure) involves placing something over or around the material that contains asbestos to prevent release of fibers. Exposed insulated piping may be covered with a protective wrap or jacket. The most common and least expensive solution is to leave the original asbestos shingles in place and remove only the aluminum siding; this way you’ll avoid the hazardous dust created by tearing the shingles off. Instead, cover the shingles with polystyrene-foam insulation panels, then hang the new vinyl siding using 2-in.-long nails.
  • With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place. Repair is usually cheaper than removal, but it may make later removal of asbestos, if necessary, more difficult and costly. Repairs can either be major or minor.

    Major and Minor Repairs

    Major repairs must be done only by a professional trained in methods for safely handling asbestos. Some people hire an asbestos abatement firm just to remove and dispose of the siding on the back of the house before starting work on the addition.

    Minor repairs should also be done by professionals since there is always a risk of exposure to fibers when asbestos is disturbed.

    Doing minor repairs yourself is not recommended since improper handling of asbestos materials can create a hazard where none existed. If you nevertheless choose to do minor repairs, you should have as much information as possible on the handling of asbestos before doing anything. Contact your state or local health department or regional EPA office for information about asbestos training programs in your area. Your local school district may also have information about asbestos professionals and training programs for school buildings. Even if you have completed a training program, do not try anything more than minor repairs. Before undertaking minor repairs, carefully examine the area around the damage to make sure it is stable. As a general matter, any damaged area which is bigger than the size of your hand is not a minor repair.

    If a renovation project requires fairly extensive work, it may be wise to call in a contractor. In this case, check into his experience in handling asbestos-containing materials, and discuss the preventive measures he plans to take.

    Before undertaking minor repairs, be sure to follow all the precautions described earlier for sampling asbestos material. Always wet the asbestos material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent. Commercial products designed to fill holes and seal damaged areas are available. Small areas of material such as pipe insulation can be covered by wrapping a special fabric, such as rewettable glass cloth, around it. These products are available from stores (listed in the telephone directory under Safety Equipment and Clothing") which specialize in asbestos materials and safety items.

    And certainly if you are drilling, hammering or breaking any tiles, use a respirator — see below to order a good reusable one:

    Click above for current pricing

    On this page:

    Related pages:

    Overview

    Asbestos siding was used extensively in buildings and homes from the 1930s until the 1970s, when it’s use was banned. Originally, asbestos siding was used because of the fire resistant properties of asbestos. Because asbestos in a mineral and fibrous, adding asbestos to siding materials also increases strength and durability, while providing some insulation and fireproofing to the structure.

    Even if asbestos shingles are on your home, if they are in good condition and left undisturbed, they are usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time and become airborne. Damaged asbestos may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.

    For a broad and detailed summary of asbestos in and around the home, see our Asbestos in the Home page.

    Asbestos Shingles on Your House What to Do When They Need to be Replaced!

    Regulations

    Asbestos is regulated under a variety of laws and agencies; here’s a brief summary. See our asbestos regulations page for more information. The Environmental Protection Agency regulations that govern asbestos removal and disposal are the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. OSHA has regs that apply to school systems. TSCA (under EPA) has regulations governing disposal.

    Except for disposal, these rules, however, do not apply to houses of four families or less. An owner of a single-family residence can remove and dispose of asbestos cement shingles without being subject to federal restrictions that apply to contractors. There will most likely be state and local ordinances governing asbestos shingles and their removal. These may prohibit removal and disposal by anyone other than a licensed and certified asbestos contractor. Your state’s regs may apply to homeowners — check — if they do then:

    State permits are often required of contractors for the removal of asbestos containing asphalt/ bituminous roofing products and asbestos cement shingles/panels under the following conditions:

    • 160 square feet of friable asbestos containing roofing materials will be removed.
    • 5580 square feet of nonfriable asbestos containing materials such as built up roofing will be removed using a rotating blade cutter.
    • 160 square feet of nonfriable asbestos/cement roofing products will be removed using techniques that will create friable asbestos containing material (ACM).

    NOTE: Friable ACM means the material has been crumbled, pulverized, reduced to powder, or has otherwise deteriorated so that the asbestos is no longer likely to be bound within its matrix.

    Permits must usually be obtained ten (10)working days prior to staring the removal of regulated asbestos containing roofing material. Within 45 calendar days from the completion date stated on the permit, the owner or his representative must submit a completed Waste Shipment record to the state or county agency.

    Before removing any asbestos-containing material from your house, you should check with your local government authority; usually the county health department will know.

    What is the condition of the shingles?

    THE BEST THING TO DO WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL IN GOOD CONDITION IS TO LEAVE IT ALONE! Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before. Read this page before you have any asbestos material inspected, removed, or repaired.

    Asbestos cement roofing, shingles and siding products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, dilled, or cut.

    If the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, do nothing! If it is a problem, there are two types of corrections: repair and removal .

    Repairs

    REPAIR usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material.

  • Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats the material so fibers are not released. Pipe, furnace, and boiler insulation can sometimes be repaired this way. This should be done only by a professional trained to handle asbestos safely.
  • Covering (enclosure) involves placing something over or around the material that contains asbestos to prevent release of fibers. Exposed insulated piping may be covered with a protective wrap or jacket. The most common and least expensive solution is to leave the original asbestos shingles in place and remove only the aluminum siding; this way you’ll avoid the hazardous dust created by tearing the shingles off. Instead, cover the shingles with polystyrene-foam insulation panels, then hang the new vinyl siding using 2-in.-long nails.
  • With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place. Repair is usually cheaper than removal, but it may make later removal of asbestos, if necessary, more difficult and costly. Repairs can either be major or minor.

    Major and Minor Repairs

    Major repairs must be done only by a professional trained in methods for safely handling asbestos. Some people hire an asbestos abatement firm just to remove and dispose of the siding on the back of the house before starting work on the addition.

    Minor repairs should also be done by professionals since there is always a risk of exposure to fibers when asbestos is disturbed.

    Doing minor repairs yourself is not recommended since improper handling of asbestos materials can create a hazard where none existed. If you nevertheless choose to do minor repairs, you should have as much information as possible on the handling of asbestos before doing anything. Contact your state or local health department or regional EPA office for information about asbestos training programs in your area. Your local school district may also have information about asbestos professionals and training programs for school buildings. Even if you have completed a training program, do not try anything more than minor repairs. Before undertaking minor repairs, carefully examine the area around the damage to make sure it is stable. As a general matter, any damaged area which is bigger than the size of your hand is not a minor repair.

    If a renovation project requires fairly extensive work, it may be wise to call in a contractor. In this case, check into his experience in handling asbestos-containing materials, and discuss the preventive measures he plans to take.

    Before undertaking minor repairs, be sure to follow all the precautions described earlier for sampling asbestos material. Always wet the asbestos material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent. Commercial products designed to fill holes and seal damaged areas are available. Small areas of material such as pipe insulation can be covered by wrapping a special fabric, such as rewettable glass cloth, around it. These products are available from stores (listed in the telephone directory under Safety Equipment and Clothing") which specialize in asbestos materials and safety items.

    And certainly if you are drilling, hammering or breaking any tiles, use a respirator — see below to order a good reusable one:

    Click above for current pricing


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