Asbestos roofs can be a danger to human health – not to mention illegal. However, the risks it poses entirely depend on the condition of the asbestos on your business premises.
To give you some clarity about what your responsibilities are when it comes to replacing an asbestos roof, this article will cover the dangers of asbestos roofing, whether commercial premises such as factories or warehouses are still permitted to have asbestos roofs, and how you can replace an asbestos roof safely.
The dangers of asbestos roofs
The harmful effects of asbestos on human health are well-documented. Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to an array of serious health issues, including lung cancer, lung disease, pulmonary diseases and inflammation. These issues can go undetected for many years without presenting any symptoms, making it a silent danger to the health of your employees if not dealt with properly.
It should be noted, however, that asbestos is only dangerous when it is disturbed or degraded. Sometimes, though, it’s not always easy to predict whether degradation or disruption has occurred to an asbestos roof, which is why it’s worth checking if your roof contains asbestos and what its current condition is. If deterioration or damage is detected, removal will likely be suggested. Repair is also another option to maintain the roof’s stability if you would rather not go down the route of complete removal.
Is asbestos legal for use on commercial premises?
Traditionally, past building methods saw asbestos mixed with other substances to create roofing materials. Now in the modern United Kingdom, asbestos is not legal for use in constructing new buildings or refurbishing old ones – these laws have been in place since 1999. However, there are no rules against asbestos that is already present in buildings constructed prior to 1999.
You must be aware that if you own or manage a commercial premises, you are responsible for managing potential asbestos at your premises – this includes derelict or currently vacant warehouses, too. This process of managing asbestos risks means conducting a survey to assess if asbestos is present, and from this, assessing the condition of the roof and the potential risk it poses to staff. A plan should be created from these findings to establish if the asbestos roof is in good enough condition to be left alone, or if it should undergo repairs or a complete replacement.
Failing to address the risk of asbestos at your commercial premises could result in a fine or imprisonment in some cases, so it’s imperative to take these necessary steps at your warehouse, factory or commercial premises.
How can I replace an asbestos roof?
If you are replacing an asbestos roof, the work must be carried out by a professional roofing company who are licensed and qualified to handle asbestos. This is to ensure that everyone on your premises stays safe, and that the asbestos is handled and disposed of correctly.
Look out for the UKATA accreditation, a national authority on asbestos training. A roofing company that holds this accreditation has undergone the necessary training to safely replace and repair asbestos roofing.
Here at Docherty Roofing & Cladding, we hold a UKATA accreditation, and we carry out industrial and commercial asbestos roofing replacements and repairs safely. This includes ensuring that the work is conducted in line with HSE guidelines, that no fibres remain after the work is complete, that a full cleanup is performed afterwards, and that the appropriate replacement or repair is carried out.
Searching for a professional roofing company who is fully qualified to handle asbestos? Docherty Roofing & Cladding are industrial roofing experts that you can trust, holding the appropriate accreditation needed for safe asbestos removal. We are highly experienced professionals at replacing asbestos cement roofs for industrial and commercial premises – please get in touch for assistance with your project.