Asbestos Roof Repair Costs Explained

Commercial Property

When considering asbestos roof repairs on commercial property, there are more things to consider than simply the cost of the product.

For this reason we have prepared this information so that property owners and tenants can make an informed decision about the best way to solve their asbestos roof problems.

Liquasil Approved Installers have been provided with a strict methodology which must be followed to ensure safe working as well as the desired finish.

The methodology should be similar for all coatings, not just ours and consequently, you need to ensure that when comparing asbestos roof repair costs between different companies and products, that the same consideration is given to the preparation of the asbestos roof and to issues like health and safety.

Domestic Property

Asbestos cement roof sheets are typically only found on garages and out-houses in domestic settings and are typically only around 15-20 sq metres in size, though in some cases, blocks of garages can be found.

Our asbestos roof coating is only available in 20 litre drums, enough to coat around 60 sq metres, so for this reason, it would not be cost-effective for use on a domestic roof.

However, if in good condition, asbestos cement or fibre cement roof tiles can be coated with Asbestsoeal, but, due to the fact that all asbestos roofs are fragile, we can only supply roofing contractors with the Asbestoseal system.

If your roofing contractor is experienced with roof coatings and is happy to work on your asbestos roof, then we should be able to assist.

Cost of Mobilisation

All roof works involve a cost for mobilisation. This means initial site surveys where necessary, the arrangement of scaffold, netting, walking boards and other hire access equipment as necessary.

The contractor will often need to arrange for access hire companies to visit site to determine precise requirements and whilst many do this at what appears to be no cost, the time spent in arranging visits by different suppliers is usually factored in to each job.

Remember too, that a contractor travelling longer distances will also have to factor in travel time and / or accommodation into the price.

Safe Access

We often hear of contractors being under-cut by competitors who have little regard for correct health and safety equipment.

Our installers will not attempt to make savings in this area, not only because they want to work safely, but also because visits from the Health & Safety Executive on asbestos roof works is now almost inevitable.

HSE visits are now chargeable in most cases where they provide advice, so if they find any problems, their time is chargeable at £124 per hour and there could even be fines for certain health and safety breaches, plus the work will have to be stopped until any breaches are rectified.

If the Health and Safety procedures are not sufficient, and this means not just in terms of equipment, but also correct method statements and risk assessments, then additional fees are more than likely.

It is not only the contractor who might be liable for fees. As the building duty holder, YOU could find yourself responsible for fines, fees, etc.

Please remember that there are various legislative Acts that affect roof works. These include:

  • The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • The Work at Height Regulations 2005
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007
  • The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

To better understand safe roof working and why it has such an impact on cost, please download this HSE Health & Safety In Roof Work (HSG33).

Our recommendation to our installers is always consistent – never take short cuts on health and safety issues and ensure you go home safely at the end of each day.

Roof Preparation

Asbestos roofs are rarely in pristine condition when our installers are asked to coat them. Most are heavily soiled and plenty are contaminated with moss & lichen growth, if not other aggressive vegetation growth, not to mention nesting birds and the like.

Asbestos roofs must be cleaned in accordance with HSE requirements and all coatings require that the substrate (the roof surface) is sufficiently clean.

Unfortunately there is no cheap method of cleaning an asbestos roof. The cost of the equipment, whilst expensive, is only part of the equation and in most cases, asbestos roof cleaning equipment cannot be hired.

That aside, roof cleaning is a labour intensive job and depending upon the roof size and condition, can eat up a lot of man-hours.

Liquasil Approved Installers understand the implications of this and can accurately factor in cleaning costs, whereas inexperienced contractors might use guess-work  and underestimate cleaning costs, which in turn of course, can lead to a poor quality clean.

Cost of Coating

The material costs vary again depending on the condition of the roof, because some roofs are more porous than others and will therefore soak up more product in some areas than in others.

This is true of all roof coatings, and whilst Asbestoseal is designed to be a one-coat system, there are occasions where our unique asbestos cement stabiliser might be required in order to attain a uniform finish.

The Asbestoseal stabiliser can make it possible to coat poor quality roofs that could otherwise not be coated, so will ultimately save you money.

Loss Factors

In all asbestos roof coating works there are bound to be some loss factors. We’ve already explained that some of this comes down to porosity, but there are other factors that could affect your asbestos roof repair costs, for example:

  • Corrugation
  • Roof pitch angle
  • Method of application
  • Patch repairs
  • Weather conditions – poor weather can result in lost working-days
  • Material left in spray lines

Asbestoseal installers account for such loss factors in their pricing. This is standard throughout most industries, it’s just that most companies don’t like to talk about it!

Profit Margin

Like you, our approved installers don’t work for free, so in every job, they allow for a profit margin. We do not aim to dictate margins for our approved installers, as they are all independent businesses and have different overhead costs.

Independent Asbestos Roof Surveys

In some cases, our installers, if unsure about the condition of an asbestos roof, will recommend an independent roof survey to confirm that the roof is suitable for coating.

In cases where there is doubt, we strongly recommend that you have an independent roof survey carried out.

As you can see, when looking at asbestos roof repair costs, there is a lot to consider.

What appears to be simple on the face of it, is actually quite complex and ultimately, the price will depend on many conflicting factors and the list we have provided, is far from exhaustive.

Costs Explained

Only experience leads to accurate pricing. Our experience both as a coatings suppliers and Chartered Building Surveyors means that we are more informed than most.

When you are faced with cheaper options for asbestos roof repairs, don’t ask why our installers are expensive (though they’re not), ask why the competitor is so cheap – and you’ll probably find that one or more of the points above have not been properly considered – and it’s usually health and safety!

Asbestoseal is the only asbestos roof coating system that is specifically formulated for asbestos cement roofs (and the only one with BBA Approval) and is available in any RAL colour.

Anything else is a compromise.