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Roofing With Asbestos – Spray Foam


Years ago, when we weren’t aware of the harmful effects of asbestos, it was used in many building materials due to its durability and resistance to fire. Asbestos fibers were sought out for use in many commercial and industrial applications, and they provided great benefits to the building owners. However, as we got to know more about the material, it became apparent that asbestos was not as safe as we thought. Asbestos fibers have been directly linked to several lung and respiratory conditions, including mesothelioma.

Roofing With Asbestos

roofing with asbestos
Applying spray foam directly to the old substrate allows you to avoid disrupting any asbestos.

When this discovery was made, working on roofs and in buildings with asbestos become much more highly regulated (rightly so), and much more difficult. Removing asbestos now takes extreme care and caution, as well as specific training for handling the material. When asbestos is left dormant, it poses no threat to our lungs. However, once it is disturbed for removal or repairs, then it becomes airborne and can lead to lung conditions when inhaled. So, roofing around asbestos requires you to keep it from becoming airborne, which can be quite difficult. What if there was a way to install a new roof on your building without disrupting the asbestos?

Applying Spray Foam Over Asbestos

If your roof has asbestos in it, it is usually not on the outside layer. It will be in the insulation underneath the roof that you actually see. Spray foam is applied directly to the outside roof system with no tear-off required. So, you don’t have to disturb the asbestos at all. If you take samples and find that your roof has asbestos, you can then install spray foam right over top of your outer roof layer, and you’ve got a new roof without ever touching the asbestos. Good for your workers, tenants, neighbors, and wildlife.

A Permanent Solution

Spray foam receives a protective coating once it is installed to protect it from the sun. This coating can be reapplied every 15-20 years to extend the life of the foam. As long as the foam is properly installed and the coating is left in place, you won’t have to replace that roof for an extremely long time. The asbestos will be locked in and unable to harm anyone for years to come.


Asbestos is a serious issue that you must be aware of when replacing your roof. Your contractor should test for asbestos, and if they do not, you need to make sure someone does. Asbestos can be taken care of, but you have to know that it exists in order to do so. If you think you have asbestos in your building and need a new roof, give us a call today!

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