Making holes in asbestos (tiled) roof?

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Making holes in asbestos (tiled) roof?
  • Premier Icon dogbone

    We’d like to convert the attic and add some Velux roof lights to our new house (built 1929). I’ve had the roof tiles (artificial slate style) tested and they are asbestos.

    Is it possible to get a specialist to make the holes we need in the existing roof and then get our builder to fit Veluxs etc. Or will we HAVE to re-tile the roof?

    Looking for legal minimum regarding the asbestos as the budget is shrinking fast.

    I’ve emailed a local company and waiting for a reply.



    I’d be looking at replacing the existing tiles with something that will not scare off buyers when you come to sell!
    …. And fit the velux at the same time.
    (Not helpful, sorry)

    Premier Icon dogbone

    If a full re-tile is require then it becomes uneconomical.

    If we’re getting asbestos worked on or removed at work (fairly often in a 40 odd year old plant) it’s full breathing apparatus and controlled clear up.

    I can’t see there being many builders being up for that.

    Premier Icon tthew

    Any builder worth having would definitely not touch it. Licenced contractors needed to deal with it with negative pressure tentage, clean changing conditions etc. Will cost thousands for a roof.

    A lad at work got an internal single garage ceiling removed recently. Cost £3k.

    Did you know it was Asbestos before you bought the house? I’d have avoided like the plague.


    Asbestos is only ever going to get more expensive to deal with as time goes by.

    If you’re going to get it shifted, now is the time. The other option is to leave it alone and forget the velux.

    I’d just leave it, never drill it, and when it comes to sell, no survey will ever pick it up.

    The UK is full of the stuff.

    Premier Icon mick_r

    Garage internal ceiling lining was likely asbestos insulation board which is pretty nasty stuff that sheds lots if fibres when disturbed (we had it removed and was over £2k for a very thorough job).

    Roof tiles may be different so get some qualified independent advice (e.g asbestos cement roof sheets can be less of an issue than AIB and easier / less expensive to remove).

    If you’re ever going to sell the house then might be worth redefining “uneconomical” with a long term perspective.


    OP – your tiles are not asbestos but they contain asbestos. The type of fibres and how they are bonded will dictate the cost of removal and disposal. If it’s white or chrysotile it is relatively inert and if the tiles can be removed without damage, it shouldn’t be really be an issue. Get three quotes, watch out for scaremongers and don’t employ the builder who sucks his teeth when he looks at the job.

    As others have said, as long as you don’t break them (or make holes in them) you’ll be fine. Carefully remove the tiles where you want to put the veluxes, replace with the closest match non-asbestos tiles you can find, make the holes in those, leave the rest of the roof alone.
    I can’t see it being ridiculousness expensive to remove the roof though, they’d be the lowest category of risk wouldn’t they?

    Premier Icon dogbone

    Current plan is to have specialist remove the minimum number of whole tiles (they are a simple plain slate style tile), fit Velux and make good using an Eternity Thrutone or similar.

    I know the legislation regarding asbestos is quite complex so was wondering about how to work around the existing tiles.


    A reputable roofer will advise you correctly on this, but it used to be the case that the tiles containing asbestos can be removed and disposed of by a suitably trained roofer. They’d make a Velux-sized hole by removing whole tiles and make cuts only in the asbestos-free new tiles
    Schools (amongst other buildings) that have been roofed in this way are repaired by roofers. Provided the asbestos tiles aren’t crumbling, and the builders don’t damage them, the asbestos fibres are locked in

    We’ve just built a full width dormer loft conversion on a roof consisting of asbestos tiles. Asbestos contractor came in and removed the tiles from one side of the roof and disposed of them, the other side remained untouched.
    With a velux it would be a similar situation whereas they would just remove enough to allow the fitting, and then suitable replacements would be refitted and cut into place.

    Premier Icon dogbone

    thanks all.

    It looks like next door are about to do their roof so we may be able to do both at the same time (which should save some money).


    If it helps,

    Ask your local council for advise, Wigan council would rather you dump it safely for free than Flytip.

    My external garage roof on house we bought 5 years ago was 10% asbestos sheet after a pal in the industry checked it for me.

    Quoted near 1k for a ‘local reputable company’ to ‘over board over it/ not remove’, when asked how they would fix new roof they stupidly admitted they drilled through old sheets 🤷‍♂️

    I researched and bought proper PPE/disposal kit according to Wigan council guide lines and did it myself for less than a quarter of contract cost.

    Had to damp it down with hose before removal, double bag with 1500 grade vis queen sheet and gaffer tape so as it was air tight when bound also bought an industrial hoover from screw fix with plenty of bags. All disposed responsibly and free of charge at council yard.

    Full hazmat suited Employee who supervised me disposing it in council skip informed me he couldn’t help me due to HnS whilst ignoring builders chucking Asda bags of the stuff in the skip,,,,,, he just shrugged his shoulders 😁


    There’s some pretty terrible advice on this thread.

    Your tiles are classed as a non license product therefore full enclosure removal is not necessary. Asbestos slate contains chrysotile and is classed as low risk asbestos removal. You can essentially do what you want in terms of asbestos removal in your own home, but if you are having builders do the work then a person with suitable asbestos training can remove the tiles under semi controlled conditions as long as they are disposed of correctly. Some roofing companies might be able to do this for you or they may call an asbestos removal company to do it on their behalf first.

    I’d probably just ring round a few companies and ask their policy on it. If they aren’t prepared to do it then get in an asbestos removals company to do it prior to work. However, you may find the roofing company aren’t prepared to work on the roof full stop if there is asbestos in situ and you might need to have it all removed first. Depends on their policy really.

    You definitely don’t need any full enclosure removal or anything like that, and if anyone tells you this then they are trying to rip you off.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    As Peter says above.

    Plus if you do it yourself any cracked or broken tile should be sprayed with PVA while in situ to trap any loose fibre, allowed to dry and then removed.

    The decent roofer is unlikely to be the cheapest quotation, plus be prepared to throw the removal bods off-site if you find them arsing about with the tiles (breaking or throwing them down).

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.