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Question DetailsAsked on 10/15/2017

Where is there an asbestos shingle repair co. in Chesapeake, VA?Enter your question...

House has asbestos shingles over 100 years old.

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1 Answer


For just repair of a few damaged shingles, Roofing would be your Search the List category - normally this type of roof repair is done by roofers specializing in stone roofs (slate and such), Asbestos reinforced shingles are still available, both new (using the non-hazardous asbestos minerals) and used, and there are fiberglass and similar reinforcement fiber brands availalbe - some made to match old- Transite and similar brand shingles. There is also at least one company which custom-makes replacement fiberglass-cement shingles to match old ones - out of CT as I recall. Not cheap but if you do not need too many can be a good deal - be sure if having custom ones made for a repair to get some extras while they are cranked up to make them, because the per-shingle cost for additional ones is not bad - making the form to create the replacement shingles is the major portion of their charge.


The following assumes they are beyond their useful life and need replacing:

Good example of how long asbestos shingles can last - with that age I am sure you are talking rigid asbestos concrete shingles like Transite, not asbestos/asphalt composition shingles - but other than the rigid ones being much heavier and they generally don't come up so easy (have to be pulled up one by one rather than peel in bid sheets, commonly) so a certain amount more expensive to remove and dispose of, which type they are should not make a catastrophic difference in replacement cost between the two types IF Asbestos Containing Material/Asbestos Containing Roofing Materials (ACM/ACRM) shingles can be disposed of locally.

Now the possibly good news - first you need an inspection by an Asbestos assessment contractor to first determine (by lab testing) if your shingles are actually asbestos containing (and what percentage of the "dangerous" asbestos they contain - not all asbestos fibers are considered hazardous) or are maybe one of several non-asbestos or non-hazardous asbestos mineral products like spun vermiculite or spun fiberglass which were common in the first half of the 1900's through the mid 1980's. Also, depending on the exact condition and design of the shingles, even if asbestos containing they may be rated as non-friable - meaning not likely to release fibers during work so not requiring special handling other than simple preventative (to be on the safe side) wetting down and dust mask use during removal. This testing and assessment will normally run $500-1000, should be done by an asbestos testing firm (an asbestos removal contractor is almost certain to tell you that you need his services, which may not be true).

Then the removal, if determined to contain the potentially hazardous varieties of asbestos in actionable percentage AND to be friable - can run from a low of several thousand $ for a normal say 1500SF roof, on up to as much as $10,000 or more depending on what city/state you are in (many asbestos handling regs are state-specific, not federal plus some cities have their own regs so a job in NYC for instance may run many times one in rural North Dakota) and in particular whether a local landfill can take asbestos containing materials in the general landfill (so generally little extra dumping cost compared to regular dump rates), can only go into a special asbestos containment cell (commonly costing double to quadruple normal dumping fees per ton), or in worst case like in my area have to be packaged up and shipped as hazardous materials to an out-of-area asbestos receiving hazardous waste disposal facility, which can run as much as $2000-10,000 per ton of material. (Asphalt shingles typically run about 100-150#/square [a square is 100SF of roof surface], whereas asbestos cement ones run about 400 #/sq, for a say 1500-2000SF roof might run about 4 tons of asbestos cement shingles.

Roofing is your Search the List category to find well-rated and reviewed vendors for this work - and ask if they do asbestos shingle removal - most will not do it directly, but will hire an asbestos removal subcontractor for the shingle removal and disposal, so that adds to the cost. Some will subcontract it out, more generally their insurance does not cover ACM removal so they ask you to get the asbestos material removed first, then they come on the job and reroof.

One thing to be sure of - during the reroof, getting excellent coordination between the roofing contractor andthe asbestos removal contractor, because you do not want the roof to be cleared off only to find the roofing contractor is not able to get onto the job immediately. Either way, it should be clearly stipulated per contract which contractor is responsible for immediately putting protection against weather on the roof till it is reshingled because it is just asking too much of the fates to expect the roofer to get on the job the instant the removal company leaves the site - and even in that case is almost always going to be a several day job so protection overnight and between contractor work periods should be assumed to be necessary. To be sure the responsibility for any failure to protects the work is covered, you may choose to get a General Contractor to manage the job and subcontract out the roofing and the ACM removal

One other item - it is also quite possible that you have an asbestos containing water barrier underneath the shingles - particularly if these asbestos shingles were used because your house is in a wildfire area. For instance, I know from experience asbestos Transite shingles and an asbestos water-resistant paper water barrier (AsbestosGuard was one brand name, and manufacturers of Transite roofing also commonly made one with a matching or similar name to their shingle brand so may be found under basically any asbestos shingle brand) were used in wildfire areas of California in the 30's through 60's. Asbestos-containing water barrier (roofing felt) was also used in many hot areas nationwide during the first half or so of the 1900's to provide a stable water barrier, because in hot areas cellulose/paper based roofing felt degraded quickly so did not provide a high-quality water barrier. Sometiimes even though the shingles are not deemed to be friable the underlying water barrier IS, so that can crank the removal cost up in that case.


The other thing I did not mention if your shingles need replacing but are in fair structural condition and the nails are not rusting away causing loose shingles - you can roof-over. Personally I do not like shingle roofovers, but a metal roofing is commonly put over this sort of roof - should get a Structural Engineer inspection for about $500 range to inspect the condition of the framing and sheathing and to figure whether your roof can handle the extra weight. This avoids the hazardous materials disposal issue - nothing wrong about leaving asbestos shingles on the roof, the hazard is when they are broken up and the fibers become airborne.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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