Property Flipping Questions: Should You Replace an Asbestos Roof?

Posted on: 20 November 2018


If you've recently bought a property to restore and sell, then you want to keep your costs as low as possible. The less you spend on the house, the more money you make when you sell it again.

If you've been told that the house's roof is made from asbestos, then you may not be sure whether to take the roof down and replace it. This isn't a small job and it will increase your budget, but it is worth doing. Why?

Asbestos Roofs Can Be Dangerous

Asbestos roofs were popular back in the day. Asbestos is an effective insulation material, making it a good choice for roofs. It isn't used for this purpose any longer as its insulating properties are insignificant compared to its risk factors. While asbestos is safe when it is intact or contained inside another material, it is dangerous if it starts to break down and gets into the environment. It can cause lung problems and a kind of cancer called mesothelioma.

If you've bought an older house, then the asbestos roof may be a problem. The asbestos has had decades of weathering and damage. This threatens its integrity. If its fibres become loose, then asbestos dust and fibres could drift into the property's roof space or blow around the neighbourhood.

This is a health risk. Also, if you leave the roof in place, then you could also affect the sale of the property when you've renovated it.

Asbestos Roofs Turn Off Buyers

If you leave the asbestos roof in place, then it may make some buyers back off from purchasing the property even though they like the house itself. If people know about asbestos health risks, they may not be willing to move into the house. They may not want to pay to have the roof replaced after the purchase.

Some buyers might be willing to make an offer on the house but might factor the roof into the offer price. They might use the roof as a negotiating tool and make an offer lower than the asking price. Paying less for the house could give a buyer enough money to pay for a new roof and not be out of pocket. From your perspective, lower offers reduce the profit you can make on the flip.

Before you make a final decision, contact local roofing companies and ask them to take a look. They can tell you whether the asbestos is currently safe and how much it would cost to remove it and install a new roof.