Health & Safety concerns with the removal of asbestos garage roofs

The Health and Safety Executive’s latest figures revealed that Asbestos is the single biggest killer in the UK killing 4,000 people each year. By breathing in asbestos fibres, your lungs are damaged and you can be struck down by severe illness many years after your exposure to it. That is why strict guidance exists on asbestos garage removal and disposal.

These procedures must be observed every time to ensure that the people living and working in around the asbestos are also safe.

Asbestos garages are quite popular across the UK and generally consist of asbestos cement roofing sheets including internal or external asbestos cement systems. Before asbestos was identified to be harmful to overall health, the product was utilised to construct garages because it was affordable, lightweight and provide high-quality protection from the constituents.

Any property built up until the 1990s may have an asbestos garage (plus council housing) and consequently, it is suggested that Health & Safety Professional licensed asbestos garage removal firms be contacted, to get rid and dispose of the material. By so doing, any risk of asbestos to human health will be eradicated whilst at the same time ensuring the protection of the environment.

Perhaps your house or the house you are buying has an asbestos garage? If so, it would be safe for you provided the garage or shed in question has a roof, and or walls that are in satisfactory condition and are encapsulated internally. Any damage to the asbestos will result in the fibres being released and further the spread of asbestos. Additionally, should the inside of the roof not be encapsulated with paint, it will begin to degrade and release fibres into the area especially after abrasion or knocks. A damaged or relatively poor-looking garage should be considered for removal. To this effect, you can contact specialists for a quotation.

How much would it cost to have my asbestos garage or shed removed?

The price to remove an asbestos garage can vary dramatically based on the size and quantity of the asbestos. Shed roofs removal price start from about £300 while garage roofs counterpart start from £400. However, you might need to get in touch with us for an exact quote so that one of our team can visit the site and negotiate accordingly. Through this means, you can ask the operative any questions you may have regarding the removal process.

Will my roof be replaced with a new one after its removal?

The removal company is able to remove your old roof and fit a new roof made from a variety of constituents. The operatives comprise of several tradesmen including joiners and roofers who can put a new roof on using felt and baton, roof tiles, cement sheet or aluminium. Likewise, you can get your entire shed or garage replaced with a new flat pack option for you. The best bet is to talk to one of the team on site so that they can measure up and discuss a variety of options with you.

Is there any health risks involved in the removal of the asbestos?

No. The operatives take off the asbestos making use of strict techniques predetermined by the Health & Safety Executive. Additionally, safety measures are taken to ensure that no fibres are released during the removal process and all waste is disposed of in line with the Hazardous Waste Regulations. They can also remove the asbestos when no one is at home, provided the operatives will have access to the garden to work.

Is it possible for me to pull down my asbestos garage by myself?

Definitely, anyone can pull down and remove their own asbestos shed – however there are serious health implications if not carried out appropriately. Ensure the asbestos is removed such that no fibres are released during the work and also, specialist masks and suits must be worn during the removal. Be reminded that these are not the cheap paper suits and masks that are bought from over-the-counter shops, and must be professional equipment designed particularly for asbestos particle protection.
Conclusively, you must dispose of the waste in line with the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005, which implies double bagging of all the asbestos into polythene and disposing it of at registered and approved sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m worried my roof/shed contains asbestos – what should I do?

If your roof or shed was built before 1999, it is possible that it contains asbestos. However, it is very difficult to say for certain if anything contains asbestos just by looking at it. The only way that you can know for sure is if you have an asbestos survey carried out, where the material can be sampled and tested.

The asbestos survey will not only tell you whether asbestos is present, it will also provide guidance on potential next steps.

I’m sure that my roof/shed contains asbestos, should I remove it?

It is important to first note that even if you think a roof or shed might contain asbestos, this can’t be confirmed without a survey. If you have had it confirmed that asbestos is present, removal is an option, but it is not the only option.

The issue with removing asbestos-containing materials is that this is the time when the material is potentially dangerous. Asbestos is harmful to human health when its fibres can be breathed into the lungs – this is typically only the case when it has been damaged or disturbed, and the asbestos-containing material is a fine powder. In many instances, it is safer to leave asbestos that is in good condition in situ and simply monitoring it.

If you follow all the relevant safety precautions, you have experience working with asbestos, and you feel confident doing so, you can remove the asbestos yourself. However, you may prefer to work with asbestos professionals to have them carry out this work for you.

Is asbestos cement in a garage roof dangerous?

In general, asbestos cement is only dangerous when it is damaged, disturbed or in poor condition. Asbestos is a risk to health when its fibres can be breathed into the lungs. When it is enclosed in concrete, it is not usually dangerous.

However, if you were to undertake any kind of work with power tools or wire brushes this has the potential to damage the cement and release asbestos as a fine powder. If you have any concerns that cement in your garage roof may contain asbestos, you should have this checked by professionals.

Can I remove asbestos myself?

You can remove asbestos yourself as long as you have experience working with asbestos and follow all of the relevant safety precautions. If at any time during the asbestos removal you feel that you don’t know what you should do, you should stop working on the asbestos and seek advice from professionals.

Can I paint asbestos?

In general, it is not recommended that you should paint asbestos. Painting any surface requires a clean and dry surface – using any kind of abrasive against an asbestos product can release fibres into the air. Additionally, if the asbestos is in poor condition to the point that it requires painting, this may be an indicator that it is at the end of its lifespan.

Concerned about Asbestos?

If you have any concerns with regards to asbestos at work, or even a residential premises, contact our customer services on 01903 297818 or fill in our contact form and we’ll be able to help you further.