Asbestos is a sensitive topic with many homeowners. Homes built before 1980 are likely to contain asbestos in many areas, including floor and ceiling tiles, siding, and insulated areas. One place that homeowners commonly find asbestos is in roof shingles and flashing. This dangerous collection of minerals has been the source of many lawsuits and health issues. The best thing you can do as a homeowner is to stay informed. Here are a few things to know about asbestos before you get started on any roofing repairs on your Kansas City home.
Why is Asbestos So Dangerous?
Unfortunately, many consumers have no idea what asbestos is. Asbestos is a word used to describe a group of six naturally-occurring minerals composed of long, needle-like fibers that can be manipulated into a fluffy consistency that’s soft and flexible. The fibers are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion, which makes them a good option for many construction projects, including roofing materials.
While this sounds harmless, the danger comes when the fibers break down to a microscopic level and become airborne. Once you inhale or ingest asbestos dust particles, these small particles stay trapped in your body. They don’t break down, and they don’t flush out. Asbestos has been linked to a variety of serious diseases, including cancer and lung disease.
Asbestos fibers are often stirred up during major construction projects like a Kansas City roof replacement or remodel. That’s why engaging the help of a professional for your Kansas City roof repairs is a must.
How Do I Know if I Have Asbestos?
Figuring out whether your roof has asbestos in it takes more than just a roof inspection. You’ll need to gather samples of materials that you suspect may contain asbestos and send them to a certified testing lab to have them analyzed. The National Institute for Standards and Technology website has a list of labs that are certified to do asbestos testing.
The EPA worries about homeowners gathering their own samples because of the possible health hazards. They provide detailed guidelines on their website to educate homeowners on how to do this safely. The American Lung Association is worried enough about this issue that they recommend homeowners hire a certified asbestos professional to gather the samples for them.
I Have Asbestos. Now What?
Dealing with asbestos depends on where it was found and the condition of the fibers. If the material is in good shape and the strands cannot be released into the air, you may just need to monitor it. In some cases, you can isolate it using a barrier or an encapsulant. However, many situations call for more action. If the asbestos-infested material can become airborne, it needs to be removed by an asbestos professional.
Need More Info? Give Shamrock Roofing a Call!
Dealing with asbestos can be dangerous. To keep your home and your family safe, you need the help of professionals. If you want to know more about asbestos in roofing products or want to find out whether your roof contains asbestos, consult with a professional roofing company like Shamrock Roofing and Construction. We can answer your questions, inspect your roof, and help you determine whether a Kansas City roof replacement is in your future. Contact us today to schedule a free roof inspection!