Asbestos Roof Sheeting used to be a very popular and cost-effective roofing material worldwide. Asbestos roofs are strong and long lasting, with good insulation properties.
Adding asbestos fibres made cement roof sheets more durable, weatherproof, heat resistant, and fireproof so the construction industry initially considered them a much safer material than wood and steel.
The main construction uses of asbestos were in asbestos roof sheets (predominantly), flatsheets and in lumber.
The result is that hundreds of thousands of commercial, industrial and residential buildings now contain millions of tons of asbestos containing products.
The dangers of mining, manufacturing and construction with asbestos forced the banning of this material worldwide, and in South Africa, asbestos was banned in 2008.
This means that replacing broken asbestos sheeting with new is no longer possible. Repairing and maintenance activities on asbestos roofs come with strict requirements to prevent occupational exposures to, and environmental pollution from, asbestos.
This is because asbestos cement sheets may pose a severe health hazard to workers and the environment during installation, demolition, renovation or cleaning.
Time and weathering weaken these cement encased asbestos products, exposing the asbestos fibres embedded in the cement to the elements.
In addition lichen and mould exploit the deteriorating cement surface and further expose the inner asbestos fibres.
As the surface deteriorates, asbestos sheets lose their insulation properties leading to an increase in roof cavity temperatures.
Deterioration of asbestos roof sheets may force property owners to consider replacement of this dangerous material, specifically roofing sheets, in the next few years. However, replacement should not be your only option.
Besides the huge capital cost of replacing asbestos roofing sheets, there is also a significant regulatory compliance cost associated with the safe removal & disposal of asbestos roof sheets.
Asbestos encapsulation with AsbestosSafe seeks to restore the integrity of the asbestos roof sheeting by applying a bonding layer over the entire roof. The primer sealer is designed to soak through the lichen and degraded, unstable surface layers, re-sealing the loose asbestos fibres in the roofing sheets.
On top of this primer layer, a second UV resistant coating provides durability and resistance to the regrowth of lichen and mould.
This means that the asbestos roofing acquires a much longer life extension and obviates the need to replace the sheeting. The total cost of encapsulation is much less than the alternative cost of replacement.
So there really is no need to replace a good asbestos roof if encapsulation can halt degradation and make it safe. AsbestosSafe
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