Asbestos roofs – are they a danger to health?

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As evidence that fibres do become loose from the surface of asbestos roofs, the accompanying photographs show fibres ending up in recently cleaned box gutters at a site in Avalon NSW.

Asbestos cement sheeting undergoes a weathering process after many years of exposure and a loose surface layer develops which, on roofs becomes colonised with dark coloured lichen. The lichen, secreting oxalic acid, attack the cement, causing exposure of the asbestos fibre. The surface becomes unstable, the asbestos cement sheeting is weakened and the darkened colour causes a substantial increase in roof cavity temperatures.

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The unstable nature of weathered asbestos cement surfaces is a cause of some concern in the community as white and blue asbestos fibres were used in the composition of asbestos cement sheeting. In the 1980’s the use of asbestos was discontinued in the production of fibre reinforced cement sheeting, but the ageing existing roofs continue to deteriorate.

Metro Industrial Roof Restoration are the number one installer of the Fibroseal system in Australia, and have the full and complete backing of the system manufacturer Crommelin, to assess, specify and carry out asbestos encapsulation installations Australia Wide

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