My Roofing Has Asbestos, What Do I Do?


No one wants to deal with asbestos. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that many of us still have to deal with it at one point or another. Countless homeowners struggle with asbestos after buying an older home, but what about asbestos in commercial buildings? It’s just as serious and for the most part, it’s just as common.

Asbestos was overused in previous decades, meaning it’s just about everywhere. Unless the commercial building that you just bought predates 1978, it’s probably loaded with asbestos. The use of asbestos in the construction of commercial buildings dropped precipitously in the 1980s after being flagged as a carcinogen.

How to Know if Your Commercial Building Has Asbestos in the Roofing?

Aside from removal, one of the biggest asbestos-related challenges that you’ll face as the owner of a commercial building, is detection. Detecting asbestos in commercial roofing is touchy and it takes the skill of a professional which is why it’s imperative to have samples tested in a laboratory. Whether you like it or not, if asbestos is detected in your commercial roofing, it will have to be removed by a licensed professional.

What Types of Commercial Roofing Materials Typically Have Asbestos?

There is a wide range of commercial roofing materials that have been tarnished by asbestos over the years. Asbestos wasn’t always thought of as a bad thing, which is why it is so common, even today. Although it’s not installed in new buildings, it can still be found in countless pre existing commercial buildings across the country.

Shingles are one of the most prolific and most commonly used roofing materials of the modern age, and many of them are corrupted by asbestos.


Felts, underneath the shingles and above the underlying wood are felts, and depending on when the building was constructed, those felts could be laced with asbestos. Before getting frustrated it’s important to remember that in the good ole days when all of this stuff was installed, people didn’t know that asbestos was potentially hazardous to on’s health, at least ostensibly.

Vapor Retardants

Underlayment, the underlayment is a crucial part of any roof, residential or commercial. Although it might not be what you want to hear, asbestos has been used in a lot of commercial roofing underlayment over the years.

Other Materials That May Contain Asbestos

  • Sealants
  • Mastics
  • Decking
  • Coatings, unfortunately, many commercial roofing coatings are also tainted with asbestos.
  • Adhesives

Is it Worth the Expense to Remove asbestos?

When asking yourself whether it’s worth the cost to remove asbestos from a commercial building or not you’ll have to take some key factors into account. First of all, is there any regulation preventing you from leaving the asbestos alone? Second of all, are you or people you care about or people without appropriate insurance policies going to occupy the building for long periods of time?

There are substantial financial incentives that can urge you to have asbestos removed from any commercial buildings that you own. One of the most compelling reasons to have asbestos removed from commercial roofing is the unfortunate fact that business owners can be sued by employees who are exposed to the carcinogenic substance.

Failure to have asbestos removed from a commercial building where workers will be present can land you in a lot of trouble. You might even be ordered to pay for the medical costs of each afflicted worker.

The Importance of Finding a Reliable Contractor to Remove Asbestos

As the owner of a commercial building, if asbestos has been detected in the roofing, your first call should be to a reliable contractor to have it professionally removed. Asbestos removal is a serious undertaking which is why you need to find a contractor that you can trust.

It is absolutely imperative that you work with a contractor that you can trust to get the job done right. In many cases, if the asbestos is removed improperly, the owner of the building can be sued for negligence and can even potentially face criminal charges.

You shouldn’t be penalized just because you bought a building, and yet, that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t have the asbestos removed properly and professionally by a qualified contractor.

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