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How to Remove Asbestos Roof Tiles

Updated March 23, 2017

Builders used asbestos tiles for various applications before the 1970s. Then it was discovered that exposure to asbestos could cause cancer. Removing asbestos from any part of your home is a very important step to limiting the possible exposure to this cancer causing agent. Certified companies can remove your asbestos roof tiles, but if you choose to do it yourself, take proper safety precautions.

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  1. Dress in safety gear. Asbestos is very dangerous when airborne, so you will need to take a lot of safety precautions. Wear a Tyvek suit, goggles and a respirator to avoid asbestos getting in your skin, eyes or lungs.

  2. Place a tarp around the house to catch the roofing tiles as you pull them off. Climb a ladder up to your roof.

  3. Spray the roof with a mixture of one gallon of water and two teaspoons of dishwasher detergent. This will help to keep asbestos fibres from flying about as you break apart the tiles. Spray one section at a time so that it will not dry out before you get to each area.

  4. Pull off the tiles in small sections, taking care to not break the tiles if possible. You can do this with a chisel and mallet. Place the chisel under the tile and use the mallet to drive it under the tile. Pull the tile off. You can also use the claw end of a hammer.

  5. Place each tile into a yellow asbestos bag. If they happen to fall off, the tarp will catch them, but it is safer to place it into the yellow asbestos bag as it will prevent it from breaking. Once you have a full bag, seal it closed with duct tape and place the bag into another bag made of polythene.

  6. Place the tarp into a yellow asbestos bag, seal with duct tape and place into a polythene bag.

  7. Call the hazardous waste department in your city or state to find out how to properly dispose of the asbestos bags in accordance with regulations.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tyvek suit
  • Safety goggles
  • Chisel or hammer and mallet
  • Yellow asbestos bag
  • Polythene bags
  • Duct tape
  • Hepa vacuum
  • Respirator
  • Detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Tarp
  • Ladder

About the Author

Melanie Fleury has been writing professionally since 1995. She has written for various educational websites such as and is the educational consultant at the Knowledge Tree Center for Education. She enjoys creating curriculum for children with various learning styles. Fleury holds a master's degree in education specializing in early childhood from Ashwood University.

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