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MarenW
Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

My husband and I recently put an offer on a house that was built in 2004. Soon after we found that the house has asbestos shingles on the roof. We were very surprised seeing that the house was built somewhat recently. I have read that asbestos roof could last up to 100 yrs but, I am concerned about costs (and health risks) we may encounter if we do buy the house and eventually have to replace it. Should this roof keep us from buying the house? It seems to be in good condition but I am not a roofer. I imagine if our offer is accepted and we proceed with an inspection we may learn more about the roof then.... Any suggestions will help!

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

Unless the asbestos is turned into fine airborne particles, it is of no health threat to anyone.

Your shingles are just fine as long as you don't go playing with them, eating them, grinding them up into little bits which I assume you're not going to do. If your kids start at the roof, you've got other problems. Well taken care of, your roof will last a lifetime. That's not a bad deal. I'd buy a house with that roof.

dj1
Re: Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

Question: how do you know you have asbestos in the shingles?

What Houston says about not disturbing the roof, is correct. If you buy the house, try to buy it with a contingency, such as "subjecy to further roof inspection" or "with a roofing replacement allowance".

In today's dollars, it costs more to remove a roof with asbestos than a roof without.

jkirk
Re: Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

what i dont get is how a house from 2004 would even have asbestos shingles.. they stopped manufacturing asbestos based products for sale in the early 80's are you sure its asbestos and not harti?

MarenW
Re: Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

Hey thanks for the comments. We noticed it on the list of features for the house. I was thinking maybe a typo??? We thought that they stopped making things with asbestos too but like I said, I'm no roofer :) and this is our first time buying. Thought I'd get a head start on informing myself if it really is asbestos. I also read that the only way to actually identify asbestos is under a microscope so how would we find out for sure if it is in fact asbestos?

Cougars1996
Re: Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

The only way to be sure is to remove a small (very small) sample of the material by scraping some off into a a sealed container (clean dry glass jar, ZIP-LOC bag, etc.). You don't need much, and that small amount is not a health hazard. It also shouldn't be enough to be noticeable or impact the performance of the roof.

The sample is then sent to a certified testing laboratory who will examine it under a microscope to determine if it has asbestos fibers in it. You can use a Google Search to find such laboratories, and even contacting them beforehand to get an idea of the amount of sample, etc. is a good idea. I don't think the analysis costs more than $50-$100.

It would be even better if you could find a scrap piece of shingle around the house somewhere to send them.

GOOD LUCK!!.:)

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Buy a house with asbestos shingles on the roof???

You can also call around to the local roofing supply houses and see who remembers selling asbestos shingles that year.

They may very well be ceement shingles which look just like asbestos shingles. Testing would be the only way to really know the difference.

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