Q. Are buildings with asbestos roofs safe?
A. 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.
The unstable nature of weathered asbestos cement surfaces is a cause of some concern in the community as white and blue asbestos fibres were historically 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. Asbestos removal or treatment is highly advisable to reduce the risk of asbestos contamination.
Q. We have asbestos cement roofs and walls at my workplace, is there anything I need to do about that?
A. Regulation 5.43 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 requires that the employer, main contractor, self employed person or person in control of the workplace identifies the presence and location of asbestos at the workplace, and assesses the health risks. This identification and assessment is to be in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC: 2018(2005)].
All workplaces should have an asbestos register, and if is asbestos is located; this information will be recorded on the asbestos register. If the condition or location of any asbestos presents a health risk, then the employer has a duty of care under Section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 to implement controls.
The asbestos register is then used to communicate the hazard before work is done on the asbestos.
Q. How should asbestos in buildings be identified?
A. Warning signs and labels supplement the information on an asbestos register.
Suitable signage and labelling at a workplace may include:
External signs for all contractors to report to the main office.
Notice within the main office that asbestos is present at the facility.
Labels are placed on asbestos containing material; where a competent person has determined such labelling is needed, to assist workers identify the asbestos containing material.
Q. What are the methods of treatment of asbestos containing material?
A. The accepted method of treatment is, if possible to remove the asbestos and replace it with an alternative material. Encapsulation is also recommended as a viable alternative to removal if the asbestos cannot be removed for various reasons.
Q. What is asbestos encapsulation?
A. Encapsulation means to coat, bind or resurface asbestos-containing materials with a product that will surround or embed the asbestos to prevent the release of fibres.
Q. What impact can these treatments have on my business?
A. Asbestos removal can have a big effect on the day to day running of the business while the works are carried out, particularly for friable asbestos. Removal of bonded asbestos cement roofs can also cause some disruption to your business.
Encapsulation, particularly of bonded asbestos roof sheets causes very minimal disruption to your business activities.
Asbestos Roof Solutions understands the importance of your business activities and your concern, regarding the potential loss of production and income during the undertaking of asbestos removal or treatment. We partner with our clients, to find the optimum solution, with minimal disruption to your schedule and staff.
Q. Will changing or restoring my roof increase the value to my property?
A. Removal or encapsulation of an asbestos roof will ensure a safer work environment and a greater resale value. Re-roofing or asbestos encapsulation will enhance your property’s appearance, while making it environmentally healthy and safe.
Contact us to find out more about asbestos encapsulation roof treatments as an alternative to costly asbestos removal.