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  1. 4)Safety - The asbestos fibers that cause mesothelioma and several other cancers are embedded in the cement of the shingle. They are not harmful unless the shingle is broken and the fibers become released into the air, at which time they become what is technically called “friable” and dangerous.
        Theoretically, you could just leave them alone and everything would be fine. But pieces of shingles crack off and fall to the ground at an increasing rate as the roof ages and the material becomes more brittle. The broken shingles can be replaced by scavenging intact shingles from a less visible part of the roof to replace them, but you still have to contend with bits and pieces of asbestos-containing material that are deteriorating on the ground around your home.

    Asbestos was a “wonder” material at the height of it’s popularity in the 1930s and, like kale in grocery stores today, seems to have been inserted into everything to make it better. The fibers really do have amazing qualities of heat resistance, rot resistance, chemical stability, and tensile strength. it’s just that asbestos can make you very sick, and it takes up to 20 years for the symptoms to appear after exposure.


    One potential solution to an aging asbestos cement roof is to leave it in place and apply an SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam) roof over it, like in the example below that we recently inspected in Gainesville. To learn more, see our blog post “What is an SPF roof?”

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection

 


More Blogs on Similar Subjects:

  1. Are roof trusses better than roof rafters (stick framing)?

  2. How can I be sure my roofing contractor got a permit?

  3. How can I make my roof last longer?

  4. What is the cost difference between asphalt shingle and metal roofing?

  5. What’s the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate?

  6. What is roof pitch?

  7. What’s the difference between “composite” and regular wood siding?

  8. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  9. What are “shiners” and why did they make me lose my insurance discount?

  10. What do you look for when you inspect a roof?

  11. Why does my insurance company want a roof letter?

  12. I saw some staining on the ceiling. Do you think the roof is okay?

  13. How do I find out the age of a roof?

  14. What is a TPO roof?

  15. What is a “cool roof”?

  16. What are the roof sheathing requirements for a roof replacement in Florida?

  17. Can metal roofing be used on a slow slope/pitch roof?

  18. How many layers of roofing are allowed on a home?

  19. What is the average lifespan of a house?

  20. What is the difference between galvanized and galvalume metal roofing?

  21. Does it cost more to roof a hip roof than a gable roof?

  22. What is fiber reinforced concrete?

  23. What is the difference between a clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

  24. What is a “continuous load path”?

  25. Is a ridge board/beam required for a roof framed with rafters?

  26. What are the most common problems with wood roof trusses?

  27. What is the difference between roofing felt and synthetic underlayment?

  28. Why is a popped nail in a shingle roof a problem? How do I fix it?

  29. Why is it a mistake to replace a roof and not replace its flashings?

  30. What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic?

  31. What are roofing purlins and battens?

  32. What is a “square” of roofing?

  33. Why are most house roofs slanted instead of flat?

  34. How can I tell if a roof has more than one layer of shingles?

  35. What is an SPF roof?