Is My Garage Roof Asbestos?

How to Tell if Your Garage Roof is Asbestos

It’s REALLY hard to tell whether your garage roof is asbestos.

In fact, if you laid asbestos and cement fibre roof panels side-by-side, they would look
identical
.
 
To protect your family’s health, it is paramount you understand the differences and can spot the signs of an asbestos garage roof.
 
In this guide, you’ll learn how to tell if your garage roof is asbestos and what to do if you suspect asbestos in your garage.
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Contents
Danmarque Number One Icon

Tell-Tale Signs of an Asbestos Garage Roof

Danmarque Number Two Icon

Is My Garage Roof Asbestos?

Danmarque Number Three Icon

What to do if Your Garage Roof is Asbestos

Danmarque Number Four Icon

Removing an Asbestos Garage Roof

How to Tell if Your Garage Roof is Asbestos

The Tell Tale Signs of an Asbestos Garage Roof

Confirmation by a professional is always required to determine whether there is asbestos present.

However, there are a few indications which could suggest your garage roof is asbestos:

  • Corrugated roofing panels
  • Your garage was built pre-1999
  • Fragility of the panels
  • Batch codes on underside of the roof
If you suspect asbestos based on the following indicators, please get a trained professional to confirm this in person before taking further action:
1. Corrugated Roofing Panels

Asbestos garage roofs, much like cement fibre, use corrugated roofing panels for greater strength.

In fact, the differences between asbestos and cement fibre are close to zero. To the untrained eye, it is almost impossible to tell which is which.

Let’s have a look at two images that show how similar they really are:

Asbestos
Is Your Garage Roof Asbestos Comparison
Cement Fibre
How To Tell if Your Garage Roof is Asbestos

As you can see, these corrugated roofing panels are almost identical.

For example, you will see that both suffer from the growth of green, mossy fungi called ‘lichen’ inbetween the roofs corrugations.

Lichen grows when concrete is exposed to sunlight. Since both asbestos and cement fibre are concrete, both will experience lichen growth over the years.

Asbestos panels may experience larger amounts, as seen above, but only because they may have been in place for a longer period of time.

If your roof panels are corrugated and filled with lichen – it may be asbestos.

2. Your Garage was Built Pre-1999

Asbestos is very low cost AND easy to install. It lasts for decades and even stands up to weather damage.

If you were a tradesman back in the 60s, 70s & 80s, why wouldn’t you opt for asbestos?

Well, that’s just what they did. Throughout the rapid construction era of the 20th century, most residential garages were built with an asbestos roof.

It wasn’t until the turn of the 90’s where we discovered the long term effects and damage it caused. Unfortunately, most asbestos garage roofs still remain – and they’re starting to show their age.

If you garage was built before 1999, chances are, your garage roof is made of asbestos.

3. Fragility of the Panels

Old asbestos roofing panels will be fragile and cement fibre even more so. If you were to handle a small piece of cement fibre, it will be brittle and crumble apart in your hands with enough force.

Asbestos will more likely snap than crumble, much like a piece of treacle.

If your garage roof is suffering from cracks, scaling or is breaking apart, that could be a warning sign of asbestos.

If you spot any cracks in your roof, do NOT try and break apart the panels or handle anything yourself.

Leave that to the experts.

4. Batch Codes on the Underside of the Roof

Back in the days of asbestos it was common for manufacturers to print batch codes on the underside of the panels.

For asbestos, manufacturers printed ‘AC’ whereas cement fibre were printed as ‘CE’ or ‘C’.

 
Not all manufacturers printed this information though and it is also likely that the batch codes have deteriorated over time.

Is Your Garage Roof Asbestos?

Without an expert, it is impossible to tell whether your garage roof is asbestos or cement fibre.
 
Although there are subtle signs, there’s a reason experts are trained to identify and handle asbestos properly.
 
As a rule of thumb, if it looks like asbestos, treat it like asbestos. Do not try and diagnose the presence of asbestos yourself.
Old Leaking Asbestos Garage Roof

What to do if Your Garage Roof Contains Asbestos

If you suspect that your garage roof is asbestos, the first thing to do is contact a licensed asbestos surveyor. Or, you can find a company that specialises in asbestos garage roof replacements.

In the meantime, asbestos still poses a threat to your long-term health.

It is important you do not disturb the roof panels and release the harmful asbestos fibres into the air. It is these tiny, microscopic fibres that cause long-term damage to your lungs.

To keep the panels intact, make sure to take the following precautions:

Access Your Garage Carefully
Opening your garage door or side door too fast can cause a rapid change in air pressure inside the garage.

This creates a ‘vacuum effect’ that can circulate the harmful asbestos fibres within the roof panels.

Wait for the air to settle and take care when opening the doors to your garage.

Avoid Using Your Garage in Bad Weather
Bad weather including winds or storms can also cause the vacuum effect.
Take Care When Moving Your Belongings
When moving any contents within your garage, be careful not to bump the walls or the roof. This will cause vibrations in the roofing panels and release asbestos fibres into the air.

We also advise not parking your car in your garage for the same reason.

How Much Does it Cost to Remove or Replace an Asbestos Garage Roof?
The cost of an asbestos garage roof replacement will depend upon the size of the roof and the material used to replace it.

Also, make sure the contractor you are dealing with is licensed under the Hazardous Waste Regulations of 2005.

At Danmarque Garages we are fully licensed for asbestos removal and provide free, no-hassle quotations. We provide a quote without coming to inspect your garage by using our in-house mapping software.

If you are suspicious that you garage roof contains asbestos, give us a call or fill out a contact form below.

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info@danmarque.co.uk

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