Four Tips To Better Check For Asbestos Under Your Roof Shingles

Construction & Contractors Blog

Depending on how old your home is, you could potentially have layers of asbestos in all kinds of places. Most of the time, you don't need to worry about there being some in enclosed areas such as under your roof shingles because of the low risk of it going airborne. But if you're planning a major renovation project involving your roof, you'll need to follow these four tips in order to effectively check for asbestos under your shingles beforehand.

Always Wear A Gas Mask

Generally, you need to be exposed to asbestos for a lot longer than the time you'll be on your roof before suffering any negative health effects. But since this isn't certain, and you could have been exposed to traces of asbestos dust from other sources such as at your workplace, it's prudent to avoid the risk of not wearing a specialized gas mask.

Don't Bother Uncovering More Than A Few Shingles

Either a layer of asbestos covers the entirety of a roof, or it covers none of it. It wouldn't make sense for a construction crew to use one material for one part of your roof and a different material for another.

Therefore, there's no need to crawl all over your roof in order to uncover shingles from different areas. All you need is a short check of the materials immediately under a couple of shingles in one area.

Know The Difference Between Asbestos And Compressed Sawdust

It's easy to mistake compressed sawdust, a common thing to find under roof shingles, for asbestos if you're not familiar with how these two materials look. Although both asbestos and compressed sawdust have a rough and grainy texture, asbestos is a drab gray while most sawdust bricks look more like cardboard.

Both materials are used under roof shingles because both materials are very good insulators. But since compressed sawdust is harder to glue neatly to a surface, it's usually installed on a roof in large separated chunks. Asbestos, by contrast, is usually put down in a continuous layer.

Get An Asbestos Analysis Company To Test Even A Very Likely Sample

Even if all signs point to an insulating layer under your shingles being asbestos, you can't be absolutely sure unless you send a sample to an asbestos analysis company for testing. It always pays to consider the question of whether you have asbestos well before you finalize your roof renovation plans. Always treat matters that could potentially affect your health with the seriousness they deserve.

For more information, contact IRS Environmental of WA Inc. or a similar company.

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26 January 2015

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