Asbestos in Roofing Materials

A recent remediation project at a daycare centre in Southwestern Ontario can serve as a reminder that asbestos really can appear virtually anywhere in a home from floor to ceiling – and even on top of that.

A Historical Problem
The daycare centre in Wingham, Ontario, has been housed in a building that has proved to be problematic over the years. Among other issues, it is believed that the roofing material – which was last replaced in 1976 – may contain asbestos. The county will pick up most of the costs of the roofing project.

The good news is that the authorities looking for a bid on the contract are already factoring in the possibility of asbestos removal into their call for tenders. As a home or property owner, if the building in question was constructed before the mid-1980s, there is a strong possibility it contains asbestos in one form or another. You need to take that into account whenever you are considering renovations or any installation that involved cutting into walls, ceilings, or floors.

When it comes to roofing tiles, asbestos is most often mixed with other materials. You may find asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) in many areas of roofing.

  • Roofing Felt – a sheeting material made of thick compressed asbestos that can be used under shingles, or to build up a flat roof, often with asphalt
  • Roofing Shingles – often mixed with concrete in corrugated tiles, or with asphalt in flat tiles
  • Roofing tar – asbestos was often added to roofing tar mixtures to improve waterproofing and add a fire retardant
  • Sealants – no matter what type of tile or shingle was used, caulking and other roofing and window sealants may have also contained asbestos

The good news is that ACM used as roofing material is generally rated with a low friability rate, meaning that it is made to be durable and not deteriorate over time into inhalable dust. However, these materials were last used between the 1920s and the late 1970s, meaning they are already more than four decades old. The materials mixed with the asbestos may be deteriorating, leaving the asbestos itself to crumble.

What About Your Old House?
You love your old home, but there’s no denying that older buildings do require regular maintenance and, even though asbestos and ACM may have been installed decades ago, and have remained intact until now, the clock is ticking on all the materials and structures around the asbestos. How will you know exactly when it starts to crumble and create dust?

Don’t take the chance.

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.