Asbestos Cement

Broken Asbestos Cement Diamond Roof Tiles

What is Asbestos Cement

It is just ordinary cement mixed with asbestos fibres.

It usually contains about 10-15% white asbestos (chrysotile) fibres in the total product.

Some types may contain blue (crocidolite) or brown (amosite).

The fibres are bound together in cement to form a rigid material.

Is Asbestos Cement Safe.

Because the fibres are bound together in cement, it does not release many fibres and is considered low risk.

Manufacturers added fibres to reinforce the cement.

It is a hard, grey material that was moulded and compressed to produce hundreds of products.

The material is a low risk.

You should not sand it, drill it, power wash it or significantly break it up.

asbestos cement boiler flue in a boiler house
Asbestos Cement Garage with houses in the background and a lawn, shrub in the forground

Where do you find Asbestos Cement?

They usually made into flat or corrugated sheets. Manufacturers used to mould it into any shape.

Manufacturers used to make drainpipes, flues, water tanks, slates, moulded fittings, soffits, undercloaking, water cisterns, rainwater gutters, downpipes, pressure pipes, underground drainage and sewer pipes, sills, copings, chalkboards, fascias, infill panels, etc. and other products.

Can I it Remove Myself.

Work on any asbestos can be dangerous.

Work with asbestos cement can be carried out by non-licensed workers.

You would need to have the appropriate training.

You would generally not need to notify the work to the HSE.

If the work is likely to cause the material to break up and deteriorate, it would be best to seek professional advice.

Suppose you want to work with roofing sheets that are badly damaged. In that case, there is a significant risk of exposure to asbestos fibres. In these rare cases, a risk assessment will help to determine if a licensed contractor is required.

Asbestos essentials have 38 task sheets showing you how to carry out non-licensed work on asbestos products safely.

If there is uncertainty about whether a material is asbestos cement, you need to consult a UKAS asbestos analyst.

The analyst can determine if the material is asbestos cement or another material that may require a licensed contractor to carry out the work.

Further advice is available on the

Old Asbestos Cement Gutter and Drain Pipe showing the paint deteriorating.
Wall clad with asbestos cement tiles on the first floor level
Broken Asbestos Cement Diamond Roof Tiles