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How do you know if your garage roof has asbestos?

If you are considering having work done to your garage such as a refurbishment or removing your garage roof, then it is important to find whether there is any asbestos present. This is especially important with older properties, as it can cause health problems if not removed properly. Let’s take a look at what asbestos is, the health risks associated with it, how to identify it and what to do if you discover it.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre that was widely used in construction work during the 20th century. Due to the materials insulating properties it was in buildings, boilers and pipes as well as cement for roof tiles. You should keep in mind that there are multiple types of asbestos with slightly different looks. The most common for use in buildings are blue asbestos, brown asbestos and white asbestos.

Each type of asbestos can cause illness and have been linked with cancer. Whilst still harmful, the least dangerous type was the most commonly used for roofing materials. 

Following the discovery of health concerns, the importation, supply and use of asbestos was banned in the UK and many countries around the world.

Here we are going to discuss two ways in which you can tell if there is asbestos present in your garage roof. Based on this, If you think your garage roof may contain asbestos then get in touch with a specialist to check. 

Top down image of a detached garage following its asbestos garage roof removal and new garage roof installation

Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999. As a result, if your garage is installed after this date then it can be a clear sign it is free from asbestos. Also worth mention is that asbestos was being phased out from the 1980s so not all pre-1999 garages will contain it. 

If it does contain asbestos then it isn’t immediately harmful as long as the roofing isn’t cracked. However, the age of the roof is likely to make it prone to damage which would make it worth inspection. 

The other way to check is to inspect the surface of your roofing material. When checking, if cement sheets contain small dimples or craters on the surface, it could be because of the presence of asbestos.

Due to the significant health risks asbestos poses, we strongly recommend you hire an expert to remove asbestos for you.  If you try to do it yourself and damage it then dangerous particles can be released into the air. Breathing these particles in can cause serious illnesses as mentioned above. 

Neighbours should be advised to shut their windows and doors whilst the asbestos is being removed because the particulates can become airborne and be breathed. 

After replacement image of a garage roof which has been replaced by VSF with galvanized steel
After image of a galvanized steel garage roof replacement and garage refurbishment

However, if you do choose to remove the asbestos yourself, please remember to take your time and handle it with the upmost care,. You must not break the material! Make sure you cover your skin with gloves and overalls and dispose of whatever equipment you used afterwards. To dispose of the asbestos itself correctly you will need to contact your local waste and recycling centre. 

Removing this nasty stuff requires extreme care and a lot of safety precautions so it is generally recommended to leave it to professionals.

Unfortunately there is no fool-proof way of finding out whether you have asbestos lurking in your property. The best course of action is to seek professional assistance. This should give you more peace of mind and guarantee that it is removed as promptly and safely as possible.

VSF is a leading provider of safe and compliant asbestos garage roof replacements, providing you with a solution that is built to last. We offer hassle-free garage refurbishment, including asbestos garage roof removal, and new garage installations. Please get in touch with one of our advisors who can advise on any garage related issues you’re having.

This is a top down image of one of VSF's garage refurbishments, with the garage door, roof, window and side door in white
All you need to know about asbestos roofing

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How do you know if your garage roof has asbestos?

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Here’s a recent case study from one of customers where we refurbished their garage after removing the asbestos garage roof

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Another Leaky Garage Roof

Here’s a recent case study from one of customers where we refurbished their garage after removing the asbestos garage roof