Asbestos Shingles: How To Find & Remove (DIY Guide)
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Asbestos Shingles: How To Find & Remove (DIY Guide)

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Posted By: Roof Troopers

asbestos on the old roof of house

Is replacing asbestos shingles on your roof the next task on your to-do list? If so, safety should be your top priority when tackling this delicate task. Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that poses serious health risks if not handled properly. But fear not, this step-by-step guide is here to help you. 

With the precautions and a little know-how, you can confidently take on this project and protect yourself and your loved ones. In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • How to identify asbestos shingles 
  • The removal  process
  • The benefits of hiring a professional to do the job

So, without further ado, grab your safety gear, and let’s get started!

3 Steps to Spot Asbestos on Shingles

asbestos roof shingles before removing

Before you begin the process of removing asbestos shingles, it’s essential to be able to identify them accurately. Asbestos was widely used in construction materials until the late 20th century, primarily due to its fire-resistant properties. To determine if your shingles contain asbestos, follow these steps:

1) Visual Inspection 🔎

 Examine the shingles closely. Asbestos shingles are usually gray or light-colored and have a distinctive, corrugated appearance. They may also have small holes or cracks due to aging.

2) Age of the Property 🎂

 If your property was built before the 1990s, there is a high likelihood of having asbestos-containing shingles. Asbestos was commonly used in construction materials until regulations restricted its use due to health concerns.

3) Professional Inspection 👷

 If you are unsure or want to be certain about the presence of asbestos, consider hiring a professional asbestos inspector. They will take samples and send them to a lab for analysis.

It’s essential to handle any suspicious shingles as if they contain asbestos until confirmed otherwise. This precautionary approach ensures your safety and prevents potential exposure.

Understanding the Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Before diving into the removal process, it’s vital to understand the risks associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers, when inhaled or ingested, can cause serious health issues, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. These diseases often develop years or even decades after exposure, making asbestos exposure a significant concern.

When asbestos-containing materials, such as shingles, are disturbed during removal, they release microscopic fibers into the air. Inhaling these fibers can lead to long-term health consequences. It’s crucial to take necessary precautions and follow proper safety procedures to minimize the risk of exposure.

Step-by-Step Guide for Removing Asbestos Shingles

professionals removing the asbestos shingles safely

Now that you know more about asbestos exposure, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step process of removing asbestos shingles safely. Follow these guidelines:

  • Put on Safety Gear: Before removing asbestos containing materials, put on your safety gear, including coveralls, gloves, goggles, and a respirator with a HEPA filter. Make sure that you are properly protected.
  • Wet the Shingles: Using the spray bottle filled with water and dish soap solution, thoroughly wet the shingles you are about to remove. Wetting the shingles helps to prevent the release of asbestos fibers into the air.
  • Remove Fasteners: Use a pry bar or crowbar to carefully remove any fasteners securing the roofing shingles. Take your time to avoid unnecessary damage or breakage.
  • Cut Shingles into Manageable Pieces: With the utility knife, cut the shingles into smaller, manageable pieces. This will make it easier to handle and dispose of them properly.
  • Place Shingles in Plastic Bags: Place the cut shingles immediately into heavy-duty plastic bags. Seal the bags tightly with sealing tape to prevent any potential release of asbestos fibers.
  • Clean Up as You Go: Regularly clean up debris, dust, or fallen shingles using disposable wet wipes. Dispose of the wipes in plastic bags sealed with duct tape to ensure proper containment.
  • Seal Remaining Shingles or Areas: If you encounter areas or shingles that cannot be removed, apply a layer of spray adhesive to seal them. Doing so will minimize the risk of releasing asbestos fibers.
  • Double-Bag and Seal Waste: Once you have finished removing all the shingles, double-bag the sealed plastic bags containing the hazardous materials. Make sure to seal the outer bag securely with duct tape.
  • Clean Yourself and Equipment: Remove your safety gear carefully, making sure not to contaminate yourself or the surrounding area. Clean your tools and safety equipment thoroughly using disposable wet wipes.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can safely remove asbestos cement roofing from your home, minimizing the risk of exposure and ensuring a safer living environment.

Hiring Professional Asbestos Removal Services

While the DIY approach may be something that homeowners want to do, it’s best to hire a professional asbestos removal service. Experienced companies have the necessary expertise and equipment to handle asbestos safely. Consider the following factors when deciding whether to hire a professional asbestos abatement company:

  • Complexity of the Project: If the asbestos shingle removal project is extensive, involving a large area or multiple buildings, it’s better to hire professionals who can manage the task more effectively.
  • Health Concerns: If you or any family members have respiratory issues or underlying health conditions, it’s advisable to consult with experts who can minimize the risk of exposure and ensure proper safety measures.
  • Time and Convenience: Removing asbestos cement shingles can be time-consuming and physically demanding. Hiring contractors saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on other tasks or responsibilities.
  • Local Regulations: Some jurisdictions have specific rules and licensing requirements for asbestos removal. Allowing a company to do the job ensures compliance with these asbestos regulations and eliminates legal concerns.

When considering asbestos removal services, research local companies, request quotes, and check their certifications and references. Choose a reputable contractor to guarantee the safe removal of the asbestos roofing products from your property.

We Can Take Care of Your Asbestos Roofing Shingles

professional workers wearing suits removing the asbestos from roof

When it comes to removing asbestos shingles, you don’t want to take it lightly. Not only is it hazardous to your health, but it’s a lot of work. That’s why you should reach out to Roof Troopers. Our expert team of contractors will ensure that we do the job effectively.

We’ll also provide a no-obligation inspection. To get started with your roofing project, call 571-465-9907, or reach out to us on our website.


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