Asbestos shingles are a type of building material used to form the exterior cladding of a roof. They are very similar to today’s fiber cement tiles, but they contain a certain amount of asbestos fibers in addition to the traditional cement table elements. This material was used in much of the 20th century for the construction of roofs of houses and small commercial buildings.
Since the 1970s, the production of asbestos-containing products has been interrupted due to health problems related to asbestos fibers. Many homes built before the 1980s may have asbestos shingles, as well as the roof containing asbestos felt and glue. As long as the roof is intact and the tiles are not disturbed, there is virtually no danger of health effects from exposure to asbestos. Danger only occurs when the fibers are inhaled.
So while the asbestos is encased in the cement mixture of the tiles, the fibers will not be in the air. If the shingles are damaged in any way, the asbestos fibers can be released, posing a health hazard. In this case, the asbestos shingles must be removed or encapsulated by a trained and licensed professional. Attempting to remove the asbestos shingles on your own can have catastrophic consequences.