Did you know that approximately 50% of homes built before 1998 contain asbestos in at least one location? Asbestos soffits for example, are a common problem in older homes. This is pretty shocking, considering the health and safety implications of having asbestos in your home.
In case you were wondering what part of the roofline soffits were, our handy guide on soffits installation provides a detailed explanation on this.
If you do find asbestos in your soffits, then the obvious question is, what are the implications of this?
Asbestos Soffits Risks
Asbestos is a chronic long term health condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres. It can causes a number of issues including:
- Shortness of breath
- Lung problems
- Pains in your chest or shoulder
The biggest risk with asbestos is when it is disturbed, usually through drilling or alterations to the roofline. This can cause the release of small clouds of asbestos pores which are harmful when breathed in.
Even small jobs like drilling a hole can expose you to the danger. So if there is asbestos present in your home and you are unaware, you could unwittingly be exposing yourself and your family to asbestos pores on a long term basis.
Why Was Asbestos Used?
You might be wondering, if asbestos is such a dangerous substance, why was it used in the first place? Good question. Well, asbestos is a mineral that is plentiful and easy to extract in large contracts. It was proven that asbestos was:
- Great for insulation, both for reducing noise and for keeping heat in
- Formed a very strong material when mixed with other compounds like cement or plastic
- Resistant to harsh weather conditions
- Almost completely fire resistant
It was only after it was discovered that asbestos caused long lasting health effects that its usage was stopped.
Identifying Asbestos Soffits
When looking for asbestos in the roofline, look for white spores and markings like those shown below. This is often indicative that ABM (asbestos based materials) were used in the construction of your roofline and could warrant investigation as to whether you have asbestos in the roofline. <insert asbestos roof picture.
The two types of asbestos that we typically uncover are cement based asbestos and AIB. If you uncover cement based asbestos, we will be able to remove this for you and help fit a new maintenance free UPVC roofline for you. If AIB (unfriendly, unsafe to remove asbestos) is discovered we will need to bring in the help of a licensed asbestos contractor to remove this for you.
If you do suspect that there is asbestos present, do not attempt to alter or remove this yourself.
How To Deal With Asbestos Soffits
The first step is identifying whether or not you are dealing with asbestos, and if so, the type of asbestos. A member of our team will take a sample along with some photographs and have these analysed by a laboratory.
If your roofline does contain asbestos based materials, then safely removing the asbestos and replacing them with maintenance free UPVC is the recommended solution. Our team of fitters can install new maintenance free UPVC fascias and soffits whilst ensuring this is done in a safe and secure manner, with a safe amount of ventilation. We have successfully carried out soffit replacement jobs involving asbestos and you can check out some of our completed work on our photo gallery.