Resources for Patients and their Families

Roof Coating

Asbestos in Roof Coating Products and Other Building Materials

A typical composite roof has several layers. Roof coating is a fluid with the consistency of paint or tar, and is normally applied in the same way as paint or tar, by brushing, rolling or spraying. The roof coating is the last layer applied before shingles are laid down, adding protection from sun and weather while providing water and fire resistance.

Like many types of construction adhesive products manufactured and sold before 1980, roof coatings usually contained asbestos fibers. These fibers not only provided fire resistance, they also made the roof coatings stronger and more durable.

When removing roofing materials from older homes, it's a good idea (and in most states, obligatory by law) to have an inspection done first. If the old material is determined to contain asbestos, it must be removed by qualified asbestos contractors and transported and disposed of properly. Most state environmental agencies have guidelines available on their websites, including how to handle these materials and where they can be legally disposed of.

Roof Coating Products Containing Asbestos

The following partial list of roof coating products were known to contain asbestos:

Product Name Start Year End Year
Bondex “Stays White” Mobile Home Roof Coating
Bondex Aluminum Roof Coating
Bondex Heavy Duty Liquid Aluminum Roof Coating
Bondex Mobil Home Aluminum Roof Coating
CertainTeed Asbestos Roof Coating 1930 1982
Flintkote Rexalt Asbestos Roof Coating Fibrated
Flintkote Rexalt Roof Coating
Georgia-Pacific Roof Coating 1975
Synkoloid Kool Kap Roof Coating 1965 1976

Hazards Associated with Roof Coating Products

Once the asbestos was in the mixture, it posed little hazard to the construction worker; most of the health dangers were to those who worked in the manufacture of the product in facilities where raw asbestos fiber was added to the mix. However, friable asbestos is always a danger when aging roofs are damaged. In a friable condition, these roofing materials give off loose fibers, which are easily inhaled.

Short-term exposure to asbestos fiber is not a danger for most individuals; virtually everyone on the planet has been exposed to asbestos. The danger comes when the exposure is concentrated and long-term. Construction workers such as roofers suffer high rates of asbestos diseases compared to the general population. These diseases range from asbestosis (internal scarring of the lungs) to malignant mesothelioma (cancer of the visceral lining). Unfortunately, these diseases often do not display symptoms for several years, at which point they are in advanced stages.



Bowker, Michael. Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos (New York: Touchstone, 2003)

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog



8 Mesothelioma Myths and Misconceptions

Top 7 Cancer Treatment Centers

How to Identify Asbestos in Your Home