Can Asbestos Roof Tiles Have a Protective Coat Added?
Asbestos cement was a popular type of material used in roof tiles and sheets on a variety of buildings, both industrial and residential. Despite the well-publicised health concerns, you don’t always have to replace an asbestos roof. But can asbestos roof tiles have a protective coat added? The short answer is yes, but this will depend on the integrity of the roof.
In our previous blogs, we’ve looked at how this material is used, and common health issues associated with asbestos. So, in this article, we will focus on your options when it comes to dealing with asbestos. In many cases, unless there is damage to the roof, there is no reason why you should go to the costly expense of trying to remove asbestos.
Types of asbestos cement roofing
Asbestos was used in roofing materials due to its fire-resistant and insulation qualities. There are different types of asbestos roofing products. Smaller roof tiles made from this material often look similar to slate roof tiles, and larger, corrugated sheets are used as cladding.
Whether large or small, these types of roofing tiles were made by combining asbestos fibres with Portland cement to create a highly durable material, which is why it can still be found in abundance today. Thousands of buildings across the UK still have roofs containing asbestos, but it’s only when there is damage that you would need to consider removal.
As a material, it can be tricky to remove, requiring a specialist asbestos removal company, and the building is usually sealed off and vacated. For safety reasons, there are strict disposal regulations that apply to asbestos. Removing asbestos also causes disruption for the building occupants and any business activities, which also have to be relocated.
Dealing with asbestos
An initial inspection will determine whether roof tiles or sheeting made of asbestos is damaged and needs replacing.
If there is no damage, then you have the following two options:
- Reclad the asbestos. One way to protect asbestos roof tiles and sheeting would be to overclad the asbestos to seal it inside. One of the main concerns with this approach is the fact this will add extra weight load to the roof, which could compromise the structural integrity of the building. Recladding is expensive, as effectively, you are fitting a new roof over an existing roof. This would also require planning permission.
- Repaint the asbestos. This is the cheaper and less disruptive option. A specialist protective asbestos roof coating is applied to the roof tiles or sheeting. The building occupants won’t need to relocate or be disturbed by any roofing construction work. It’s important, however, to choose the right product, consider the coverage rates, and follow the application guidelines to ensure you can obtain a guarantee for the work.
Asbestos roof coatings
Our Giromax® Roofcoat system has been designed to recoat asbestos cement roof sheets and cladding. This coating system sticks to the asbestos and seals in the dangerous fibres. It’s fully moisture tolerant, so you can apply during damp conditions, and it has a breathable membrane to prevent further water damage. Our Roofcoat system for asbestos cement sheets is also resilient to dirt and damage caused by birds.
Our asbestos roof coating seals and encapsulates the substrate, and can be used to treat and seal bolts, washers and fixings. The system contains a sealant, basecoat and topcoat. When applied correctly following our technical guidance, this product could extend the lifespan of the roof by another 20 years. The asbestos cement roof will need cleaning prior to application, which must be carried out according to current safety regulations.
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