There was a time when people would prefer to use asbestos roofing and shingles because of how sturdy they were. They soared in popularity beginning with the early 1900s until health risks became publicized, resulting in a nationwide ban from being used for any construction or housing projects by 1989.
Here’s what you need to know about this material that could be lurking on your home!
The History of Asbestos in Shingles
Asbestos shingle history begins with inventor and entrepreneur Ludwig Hatschek who was born in the Czech Republic on October 9, 1856.
In 1893, he purchased a factory for asbestos goods in Upper Austria that manufactured Eternit fiber cement products. In 1901, Hatschek patented his invention of making asbestos shingles which were reissued as a patent to be used in the United States in 1907.
In 1904, the production of roofing slates in one factory was running at full capacity. The product range included honeycomb and facades cladding. They conquered markets all over the world by 1911 when they were exporting products to Africa, Asia, and South America as well
Roofing manufacturers in the 1920s were so confident about their product, that they started mixing pigments into asbestos shingles. This gave consumers an opportunity to choose from a variety of shades and colors when it came time for them to buy new roof tiles. However, these beautiful choices would come at a steep price…
No longer limited to grey tones, homeowners had access get all sorts of colors that were completely unavailable before asbestos shingles.
Understanding If You Have Asbestos Shingles
The harmful effects of asbestos are not always immediately apparent. As a result, it is hard to tell if your home contains the toxic substance or not. Homeowners should take precautions and check with an expert before doing any repairs that could pose risk for exposure to this dangerous material
Only a trained professional can tell you whether there’s asbestos in your shingles but as long ago as 1920 until 1986 these were so prevalent they may be on yours too! If you have had HVAC ducts installed, acoustic ceiling texture sprayed onto the walls, piping fitted anywhere – then maybe some floor tiles laid during those years- these all can potentially contain asbestos as well.
I Have Asbestos Shingles, What Do I Do?
It is important to remember that asbestos material in good condition and not being disturbed should be left alone. If it will disturb the area by inspecting, removing or repairing then there are two options available: repairs and removal .
Asbestos can be a dangerous and deadly material. It could easily lead to fatal diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma if it is not handled carefully by professionals trained in the trade.
Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds asbestos fibers together, coats them so no more are released into air for people to inhale; but this should only be done by an expert who is aware of how hazardous these substances truly are and can work safely around them without endangering themselves or others while repairing pipes, furnaces, boilers, etc.
Covering asbestos with polystyrene-foam insulation panels is a cost effective, yet safe solution. Cover the shingles and leave only the vinyl siding in order to avoid hazardous dust produced by tearing off old asbestos or removing intact areas that are still dangerous without proper protection from inhalation of fibers released into air systems.
Asbestos Shingles Removal
Asbestos is a material that poses the most risk in your home if not removed by an expert. Removal, however, should be considered as a last resort because of its high cost and labor-intensive nature. Removing asbestos can only be done by contractors with special training who know how to handle it without releasing fibers into the air that may put you at increased health risks!
Get The Right Help
Be aware that any exposure to asbestos is extremely dangerous, and it could even lead to death. Working on materials that contain asbestos can lead to exposure of asbestos, so it’s important to understand if your roofing shingles contain asbestos before tampering with them.
Asbestos in shingles can be left untouched or you can contact experts before doing anything with the roof for safety concerns. Contact us today to speak with an asbestos testing professional about your shingles.