Author Topic: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?  (Read 3092 times)

tanhanivar

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Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« on: January 29, 2015, 06:18:49 PM »
I'm trying to decide whether to have an asbestos roof replaced, and was wondering if people have any guidance on this? I've set out my list of considerations below, and I haven't been able to make it come out on one side other the other.

  • Where I live (Queensland, Australia) a special license is required to remove asbestos
  • My house was built in the '60s and has the usual proportion of asbestos, including an asbestos-sheet roof. There is probably be asbestos elsewhere in the house but I'm not sure - the outside walls have aluminium cladding.
  • It's my primary place of residence (Australia), so there are no tax breaks for expenditure on it.
  • It is currently in okay condition, but because it's asbestos if anything happens to it, it will have to be replaced rather than repaired.
  • Because it's asbestos, it's actually quite safe and stable until it's pulverised (we don't collect drinking water off it).
  • It may be porous in some areas, but all the insurance and roof people who've crawled around on it say it's fine and the water is getting in from the gutters, which are also fine, it's just really heavy rain. I keeping hoping someone will fall through so insurance will cover it, but no luck from that yet or hail either.
  • Quotes are c $17,000.
  • The price won't go down.
  • I can get better insulation put in at the same time.
  • Having a new roof won't harm the value of the house, but I doubt it will increase it by as much as the cost of the roof.
  • I have the $17,000 either in a redraw from the homeloan, or in my part of some shares my parents bought with family money when I was little.
  • I bought the house for $414k and still owe $290k
  • I do not know my long-term plans, whether I will keep the house or sell it, but I am planning to go part time this year, reducing my income by a fifth.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 11:51:54 PM by tanhanivar »

Kaydedid

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 08:31:28 PM »
We have asbestos siding on our house.  The stuff is darn near indestructible.  Not sure if this applies, but where we live (Wisconsin USA) anyone we pay to replace the siding has to have a special asbestos - handling license, and tent the whole house during the project - extremely expensive.  However, as homeowners we can rip all of the siding off ourself with no extra permits, tenting etc.  Not sure about your handiness level, but if your laws are similar it might pay to do the demo yourself (with a proper mask of course).
In your situation,  I'd seriously consider leaving the roof be.  If it's anything like our siding (which also dates from the 60's), it won't deteriorate much barring a disaster (which hopefully insurance will cover).  Especially given your fluid long-term plans, it seems silly to sink so much money into something that has a good chance of lasting a while yet and won't pay for itself if you sell.

deborah

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 08:55:11 PM »
You need to think about what you want to do with the roof. As I understand it, doing it yourself isn't an option in Australia (because of the asbestos), but I could easily be wrong.

If you want to renovate, add solar power or tanks, you will probably need to replace the roof (renovation because some states/territories expect you to make the whole house 5 or 6 star if you do a major renovation - not just the part that is renovated - and of course that would probably mean solar power or water tanks). Check what is actually required with replacing a roof - I have seen houses tented to remove asbestos - but as yours is not damaged yet, that is probably not necessary. I take it you have asbestos walls as well?

tanhanivar

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 11:53:04 PM »
Thanks - yes, I need to have a licensed person remove it, and I'm not handy. I'm not sure whether there is asbestos elsewhere in the house (there have been renovations in the past) but it is likely.

I've updated the original post to add that information.

thd7t

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 08:36:42 AM »
What kind of roof do you want?  A lot of roofing materials can go over asbestos or other roofing types.  Metal roofing in particular could be installed over the asbestos shingles, effectively sequestering them.

tanhanivar

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 04:01:09 PM »
What kind of roof do you want?  A lot of roofing materials can go over asbestos or other roofing types.  Metal roofing in particular could be installed over the asbestos shingles, effectively sequestering them.

Probably metal, but I'm almost certain it won't be legal to do that here.

thd7t

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 07:07:35 AM »
What kind of roof do you want?  A lot of roofing materials can go over asbestos or other roofing types.  Metal roofing in particular could be installed over the asbestos shingles, effectively sequestering them.

Probably metal, but I'm almost certain it won't be legal to do that here.
Is your reason for replacing the roof that it's not working?  Generally, leaving asbestos in place is the safest option, if it is a hard version like roofing or siding.  If your roof leaks, I'd make sure that you know you can't just cover it.  A metal roof either directly applied or up on sleepers would be much less expensive than taking the asbestos off and will avoid any asbestos fibers being thrown off in the removal process.

tanhanivar

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 04:08:27 PM »
Is your reason for replacing the roof that it's not working?  Generally, leaving asbestos in place is the safest option, if it is a hard version like roofing or siding.  If your roof leaks, I'd make sure that you know you can't just cover it.  A metal roof either directly applied or up on sleepers would be much less expensive than taking the asbestos off and will avoid any asbestos fibers being thrown off in the removal process.

It is *probably* not leaking at the moment, but it is getting porous. My main concerns are:
  • the rising cost of removal;
  • perception of asbestos if/when I sell; and
  • wanting some decent insulation.

If I'm going to do anything, I'd like to go the whole way and remove it (the quotes I have are for the full legal removal). Also, the laws are getting tighter here, so even resealing and repainting and discouraged.

The alternative is to wait and see whether the porousness or a hailstorm gets through the roof first. That may be the way I go.


tanhanivar

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 09:40:14 PM »
Latest update is that the insurer's builders "recommended the roof be replaced".

However they also declined to cover some water damage to the ceiling on the basis that "there is no damage to the roof".

I've written back to them to find out which it is, and whether (if I don't replace the roof) they'll cover any future damage.

speerwoman

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Re: Whether to replace an asbestos roof?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 11:47:26 PM »
I am from London,Canada. If your house was built in 60s i think it is time for you to change your asbestos. Because the water pooling and sun stain will lead to cracks.There are some warning signs which will tell you it is time to change your roof
http://www.empireroofingcorporation.com/6-warning-signs-you-need-a-new-roof/
Do a roof inspection and take necessary action.