Regulations and Repair for Homes with Asbestos Shingles.


Regulations and Repair for Homes with Asbestos Shingles.

If you have asbestos shingles for your home, it's important that you familiarize yourself with the regulations regarding asbestos. The EPA has set standards the govern the removal and disposal of asbestos, with the removal rules only applying to houses of five families or more.


If you own a single family residence, you can remove and dispose of asbestos cement shingles any way you wish and you're not subject to any of the federal regulations that contractors face. However, state and local ordinances may prohibit a non-licensed or non-certified individual from removing or disposing of asbestos cement shingles.


The county health department can generally tell you what permits, if any, you'll need to remove asbestos from your property and whether or not you're required to hire a licensed professional. Even if not required, it's highly recommended.


Repairing Asbestos

If you decide that removing asbestos is too big of an undertaking, you may be able to repair it, which entails sealing or covering the asbestos-containing material.


Sealing (encapsulating) it requires you to treat it with something that binds the fibers together or coats them so they cannot be released. Covering (enclosing) it requires you to place something around or over the material to prevent the fibers from being released.


With any type of "repair," realize that the asbestos remains in place. While cheaper than removing it, the asbestos may need to be removed eventually and a repair could make that process more costly and/or difficult.


Major and Minor Repairs

A major repair is best left in the hands of a professional who knows how to handle asbestos. Minor repairs are also best left to professionals, since anytime you disturb asbestos there's a chance the fibers will be released and you will be exposed.


If you do choose to try a minor repair by yourself, study up on what the EPA says and follow the best practices, like wetting the material with a fine mist of water mixed with detergent before doing anything. Be sure you use a respirator and other safety equipment as well.



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