More on Fibro and Asbestos

Here are some other things to keep your eye on with regards to Asbestos…

  • Hail damage to your roof or any asbestos cement product can be as bad as waterblasting. Call a licensed asbestos removal contractor immediately if the hail was heavy.
  • Watch for weathering. Surface weathering releases asbestos fibres from roofs. Weathered asbestos can be dangerous if airborne fibres are released when working, such as removing an asbestos roof or gutters.
  • Other asbestos cement products. These not only include fibro sheeting (flat and corrugated), but items such as water, drainage and flue pipes, roofing shingles and guttering.
  • Keep guttering (and downpipes) in good repair. As asbestos fibres collect in gutters after heavy rain, guttering and downpipes should be in good repair on buildings with asbestos roofing. Downpipes should not run into garden beds. Wet roof gutters before removing them and wrap carefully.
  • What about insulation? Insulation materials in house roof spaces are usually fiberglass rockwool, paper or foam. However if your house is older you may need to confirm that there is not asbestos in the roof area.
  • Is tank water safe? Tank water collected from asbestos cement roofing will contain some asbestos. Drinking this water does not present a significant health risk. You might consider however, replacing or coating your roof, or perhaps fitting a water filter to the kitchen tap.

When to coat asbestos products.

Coating fibro products is not recommended. You should only quote fibro products if they’re in sound condition and then only to waterproof them.


  • risks associated with installed, undisturbed asbestos products are small. Even weathered asbestos roofing does not release much airborne fibres unless the material is either disturbed or handled in a way that promotes the release of fibres.
  • coating is not considered necessary on health grounds. Surface coatings, however, can extend the life of asbestos products and may improve their appearance. Special sealants only should be used on asbestos material as ordinary paints do not bond well to the surface of weathered asbestos cement products. Use a professional painter, where possible.
  • to check if your asbestos roofing (like all roofing) needs to be replaced. Roofing that has weathered to the point where it is structurally unsound and no longer water proof should be replaced. Use a registered asbestos removal contractor particularly when the area is greater than 200 square metres.
  • if you decide to coat your roof, put planks down so that people do not have to walk directly on the roof.
  • wear full protective masks and overalls when working.

Help and advice:

For more information you should check with your local council, the EPA or your regulatory body. REMEMBER there are greater requirements for workplaces so ensure you seek the appropriate advice for your application.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.