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Asbestos Roof: A Serious Warning

It is estimated that in Australia, more than 60% of asbestos production and 90% of its consumption took place in asbestos cement (AC) manufacturing industry. Many AC products are still commonly found today.

Its affordability, durability and flexibility were the perfect reasons for its extensive use in the construction industry. Until the 1960s, about 25% of all new residential buildings in Australia were cladded in AC products. Until the 1980s, the Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) was commonly used for roofing material.

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Its most common roofing form was corrugated fibro product, which was manufactured by James Hardie Ltd. It was called the “Super Six”. Super six was widely used for roofing on houses, apartment blocks and commercial buildings. The product was also used as wall cladding, retaining walls and mostly as fencing material in around Australia’s coastal fringe.

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Asbestos Corrugated Roofing Sheet

Asbestos sheets are manufactured from a combination of a small amount of fibrous asbestos and cement. The asbestos was around 10-15% from the total production. Unless painted, AC corrugated sheeting has a grey colour and also tends to have a distinct look, especially when it's been used as a roofing material. Generally, it’s easy to differentiate the asbestos sheeting from other roofing materials such as ‘Colorbond’ steel and other types of corrugated metal roofing.

You might get confused in distinguishing the AC ‘Super Six” corrugated ‘fibro’ with today’s fibre-free corrugated cement ‘fibro’ fencing material. One of many methods to distinguish these two products is by knowing when the product was installed. If the material was installed after 1990, it is unlikely to be ‘Super Six’. Therefore, it is free from fibres. However, if you need assurance, testing is the best way to find out. Test the material before you start working on it.

More information the difference between Super Six and Hardifence you can click here.


There is no ‘Super six’ or ‘Standard’ cement corrugated sheeting product used for cladding and roofing that is fibre-free. Thus, in Australia, all the sheets used as wall cladding or roofing contain fibres.

In the 1980s, Australia stopped the production and installation of the ACM sheeting. To check its use in a house, you can trace it from the date of its installation. The standard principle for the non-friable ACM material, such as “leave it alone if the material is not damaged and in good condition” does not apply for the fibrous sheeting. The sheeting needs to be removed because it is harmful.



It is because the sheeting is rarely painted especially when it has been used as roofing. Another reason is due to its production process, which is the leading cause of the development of corrugation. Since the corrugated sheeting is rarely painted, the cement-bonding agent gets broken down easily from the harsh Australian weather condition. When damaged, this material will later release fibres into the air.


The Hazard of Old and Weathered Roof Sheeting

As the sheeting gets older, every time it’s hit by the rain and the blow of the wind; the cement is getting more disintegrated. This should be a serious warning to the house occupants. Awareness should be raised when the materials are already in such condition because it causes a greater amount of fibres to be released.

Unpainted and unwell-taken after corrugated roofs, fences and walls are a hazardous risk to our health. They need to be removed and replaced immediately. This fact should be known and put as a priority for those having or planning to buy a property that has weathered AC corrugated sheeting. This product is considered as being the number one material that is being put as the priority to be removed from buildings in Australia.


Take Action

When you know that you have a corrugated sheet used as your roof, the first thing you need to do is to confirm whether it contains asbestos. Get your roof tested. With the testing process, you can identify the presence of any dangerous ACM in your roof.

As the initial step, you need to engage an assessor to do an inspection that involves sampling of the suspected materials. Later, the collected samples will be sent to a National Association of Testing Authorities Australia (NATA) accredited laboratory for analysis. For those who plan DIY for sampling, you need to remember that you are handling a hazardous substance. Therefore, you have to ensure minimising the release of fibres.

The result of the test will be recorded in a report known as an ACM register. The register includes:

  • Information about the identified ACM products.
  • Any risk from the identified fibrous materials.
  • The control measures used to diminish or eliminate the risk.


Solutions for Weathered, Deteriorated or Broken Roofs

When the roof sheeting is in good condition, meaning the fibres are fixed firmly in a solid matrix, the material will not induce any airborne fibres. However, if you notice that your roofing sheets are covered up by lichen, moss and grass, you may need to start taking action.

The deteriorated surface layer of decayed cement can expose the underlying ACM fibres to the environment through a continuous erosion process. Gradually, the AC gets thinner, becomes brittle and the sheet structural stability will considerably be reduced. Encapsulation is the method you can use to recover such damage. The method involves applying a sealant material on the roof sheeting to avoid the release of fibres. Sealing or coating can also be applied to minor damage, such as a cracked or small hole.

However, encapsulation of the ACM must only be done when it has been confirmed that the method is the most relevant solution and where the dangers related to the encapsulation process can be appropriately controlled.


Please remember that any repaired roof must be monitored continuously to check whether there is a reappearance of a more serious damage. Also, a repair is not a long lasting solution. It is only a temporary method. In the end, the roof has to be removed.


Removal for Badly damaged Roofs

When the damage is too serious, the best option for your roof is removing it. You need to remove the old ACM roof sheeting and replaced it with the fibre-free one. Asbestos roof removal is not an easy work. The sheeting size is considerably big, which can be problematic during the removal process.

Moreover, corrugated roofs can’t support human’s weight. People might fall when stepping on them. You may also disturb the roofing sheet by breaking it and causes the release of fibres. For a safe and clean asbestos roof removal process, hiring a professional removalist is the only solution.


eSkip Asbestos Removal: Your Asbestos Roof Removal Solution

Badly weathered roofing sheet is not a good sign. You are recommended to take an immediate action. Asbestos roof removal service is the answer. eSkip Asbestos Removal is here to help you find the best contractor for your asbestos roof removal project. The contractors we endorsed have been selectively screened and tested.

They will ensure you that all the jobs performed are following the procedures set by the local or national council. Their accredited certification and B-Class licence are the insurance that they are competent for handling ACM fibres.


Our endorsed contractors are available to help you with their four main services, including:


When you hire our member contractors, you can expect to get assistance for the pre-removal and demolition service, such as the completion of a control plan. You will be fully guided. For the disposal of the waste, it will be performed following the regulations. The waste will be transported to a permitted landfill.

man removing asbestos

Why Our Endorsed Contractors?

These could be your consideration of why you should get connected to the contractors endorsed by eSkip Asbestos Removal:

  • You are entitled to request three quotes from our endorsed local removalists.
  • They hold a B-class licence.
  • They have followed training and courses.
  • Competitive prices for all services.
  • No extra cost.
  • Qualified, safe, efficient services.


Solve your problem now by hiring qualified contractors through eSkip Asbestos Removal. Contact us for you free quotations today!