During what years was asbestos used in roofing products?

Answered by Brett ~ November 12, 2010 ~ Comments

I am shopping for a house and want to know if it has an old roof, how to tell if it has asbestos since this would be good to know if the roof has to be repaired or replaced.

Sade E. ~ Tampa, Florida

Brett Kulina

Sade, asbestos was a common ingredient in roofing shingles up until 1980, at which time most of the building industry had phased out the use of asbestos in favor of other products. Of course the only way to determine if the shingles on your house contain asbestos is to have them tested by a certified asbestos contractor. Roofing shingles that contain asbestos may not pose any health risks if they are in good condition and remain in place on your home. The dangers come when the shingles are broken, frayed, or removed, at which point the asbestos can become air-born and inadvertently inhaled.

If you are looking to purchase a home that appears to need a new roof, then I would hire a roofing contractor to inspect the roof, detail the damage, and then estimate the cost to repair or replace the roof for you. If the contractor suspects that the shingles contain asbestos, then have him include the extra cost of handling and disposing of the shingles into the estimate. Perhaps if the cost is significant, then you can negotiate a lower price for the house. Good luck house hunting!

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