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Repairing Asbestos Roofs

Asbestos is a brittle and fragile material. It cannot be walked on as the tiles will crack and these hairline cracks, which are hard to see, will leak. Asbestos tiles can be cut with a Slate Cutter, which, in fact, was originally manufactured to cut asbestos tiles. This tool will also punch holes in asbestos tiles - no small feat as they tend to crack otherwise. You can also put holes in asbestos tiles by using a small masonry drill bit (3/16" for example). You can work on asbestos roofs by using hook ladders. The ladder hook is inexpensive and works pretty well on asbestos roofs. Slate hooks work well for fastening replacement tiles in place. On diamond shaped tiles use two hooks, one at 4 o' clock and one at 8 o' clock (see below). When you use slate hooks you don't have to drill the tiles or caulk anything. You can also use copper nails to nail the asbestos tiles back in place after taking the roof apart (such as when you replace flashings). The last (top) row of tiles, however, will probably have to be installed with slate hooks.

Below is an example of an asbestos roof flashing repair job. The flashing on the chimney needed replaced so the asbestos tiles were lifted, new copper flashing was installed, and the same tiles were put back in the same place.


Joseph Jenkins, Inc. - Reflashing a chimney on an asbestos roof.


Joseph Jenkins, Inc. - How to repair an asbestos roof.


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Photos of Asbestos Roofs

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