Fibro roofing

From: J Parker

OK all you building experts and big time renovators out there! What are the downsides to a fibro roof? My latest purchase has one, and though it doesn't worry me or the building inspector (he said it was in good condition for it's age- about 50 yrs old), others (including a draftsman) have made tut-tutting noises when they learn of it, like I've bought a house with a disease!

My husband used to live in a house with a fibro roof, as a child, and said that he can remember it provided very little protection against one huge hailstorm in the 1970's. Apart from that, however, he couldn't see a reason either. Anyone care to enlighten me here?
Cheers, Jacque :)
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Reply: 1
From: Michael Croft

Its cement reinforced with asbestos fibres. The fibres are the problem if they get airborne, and they do as the roof ages - causes mesatheileoma(spelling?) a nasty cancer for which there is no cure.

The good news is you can really tart up the roof (changes the whole house look unless flat roofed)with a roofing paint which will seal in the asbestos. Then its only a problem for those who walk on it (Warning!!they/you go through the sheets) or when you want to replace it (specialist contractors and disposal required = $$).

Michael Croft
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Reply: 2
From: Denise Macadam

Hi Jacque,

i am no expert either, not in anything come to think of it!

I lost out at auction to a gorgeous Queenslander that had fibro sheeting - the same scenario exactly as you, building inspector ( Our mate Michael) said it is in good condition, its fine
Valuer said exactly the same, its in great condition for its age, paint it and stop worrying, which is what Michael Croft mentioned.
I couldn't find a trades person who had any objection to it, so i would take the same advise today, if its in good nick, paint it and stop worrying about it. There are specialist who remove it for you and as M.C. suggested it can be a bit pricey - so why remove it? As for hail proof - well Queensland has a lot of doors, windows, cars and tiled roofs that don't respond too well to big hail storms either. Comes with the territory.
Regards, Denise
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Reply: 2.1
From: Terry O

is that a special paint for asbestos roofing or just solagard paint type
thanks in advance
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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Michael Croft

Wattyl do make a special roofing paint as do others (White Knight) it has different characteristics to solarguard. Something about modulus of elasticity (flexibility/stretch) and UV resistance.
Try the local paint store, they'll know.

Michael Croft
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Reply: 3
From: Anonymous

I just replaced the fibro roof on
one of my rental properties in country

House size was about 13 squares and
the cost was 6K, which included the removal
and disposal of the old roofing.
All work was done by registered tradesman
and took a couple of days.

Hope this helps
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Reply: 3.1
From: J Parker

Thankyou everyone for your helpful replies and advice. I have decided to leave it for now, perhaps painting over it, as Michael suggests, sometime in the future- when I have more money to spend on it!
Cheers, Jacque :)
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Reply: 4
From: Eric Williams

As previously discussed as long as the roof is painted and not flaking this will suspend the surface fibres by sealing them with the paint.

Points to watch out for DIY are;
Scrubbing and water blasting the roof, the fibres will be freeborn. When washed or water blasted off the roof any sediment will again become free born when the water evaporates - not good around the outside of the house.

The other bigeee that everyone forgets is the underside of the cladding in your roof space. The constant movement of the roof over the years causes fretting at joints and where the cladding is attached to the framing.
You will dust that may contain asbestos fibre on the roof cavity side of your ceiling. If you go up there suggest you wear a face mask (asbestos type)for protection as a precaution.
I also have a house with a painted fibro roof I dont go into the roof space.

Federal State health and safety Division usually have some pretty informative material about this topic for builders and removalists there is also legislation on asbestos and it's removal.
Eric W
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Reply: 4.1
From: Michael Croft

Health aspects accepted, warn all that go on the roof that it is brittle and they can go through it unless they walk on the battens (visible by the screw/nail heads). Also they can still crack the panels if heavy footed with the resultant leak (a certain large telecommunications company used to be good at this and denying all responsibility).

regards, Michael Croft
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