Asbestos Survey

Asbestos survey should be conducted as one of the first processeses prior to any asbestos removal action. Proper asbestos surveying allows for precise identification of the potential asbestos containing materials and gives the surveyor a general idea of how laborious and time-consuming it will be to get rid of that hazardous material. More importantly, it allows for a proper identification of  the asbestos type and its condition. This is crucial for the subsequent choice of relevant asbestos removal method strategy. There are two most common kinds of asbestos surveys. They are typically carried out prior to the asbestos removal procedure. Read on to learn all about them. Click here for a list of areas covered.

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Types of Asbestos Surveys

Management  Survey

It is usually a  non-intrusive kind of process. The aim is to locate the asbestos-containing material and assess its condition.  It is a legal requirement for non-domestic  duty-holders (i.e. commercial or industrial premises). Recently it  also became  very popular with home-buyers and sellers alike.  A management asbestos survey  detectes what is there, how much of it is there and indicates what to do with it moving forward.

Refurbishment and Demolition  Survey

It should be performed before attempting any major refurbishment or demolition works. These asbestos surveys are usually quite intrusive in their nature. Similarly, as in the case of a management survey,  it is arranged in order to make sure that significant changes in the construction of the building will not trigger a potential asbestos fibre release. A refurbishment or demolition  survey detects what is there and what could potentially be hidden within the fabric of the buidling, gives an idea of how much of asbestos is there and recommends what to do with it moving forward.

Combination of Management and Demolition/Refurbishment Survey

In some cases the two asbestos survey types can be mixed and performed to a localised area only.

If disturbed, asbestos fibres easily become airborne which is genuinely the worst-case scenario. Inhaling them could have grave health consequences which do not have to appear right after the first contact. More often they are delayed by even 40 years which often leads to shortening the life expectancy for people living in the areas which are particularly affected by asbestos. That is why it is so terribly important to remember about running a necessary survey to locate the potential asbestos containing materials and get rid of them before it is too late.

Survey is often connected with sampling, which, in turn, is yet another step of the process. It is all about testing the condition of the material and concluding whether its disposal is actually crucial. Sometimes it is better to let the sleeping dogs lie and if asbestos does not pose a threat and is regularly controlled, it does not always have to be removed in a rush. However, if it turns out that the asbestos in your dwelling needs a momentary action, sampling will help us estimate the cost of the works and the accompanied risk.

What is an asbestos survey?

It is an inspection which aims to provide  detailed information about any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). It indicates  their location, condition, as well as quantity (as defined in HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide).

What information should an asbestos survey provide?

Asbestos surveying should give enough data to be able to formulate not only an asbestos register (break-down of all asbestos products deteted)  but also a risk assessment and asbestos management plan.

What can you find out thanks to an asbestos survey?

There are several issues that an asbestos survey will help you determine:

  • Where asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are placed within your building?
  • What is the type of asbestos they are made of?
  • What is the condition of these materials?

Should I have an asbestos survey done?

All domestic property-owners should consider having an asbestos survey preformed prior to  any renovations.

Owners of commercial (i.e. non-residential) properties are legally required to ensure the safety of people in the given place. It is therefore obligatory to have an asbestos survey conducted.  This principle concerns all the buildings erected prior to 2000s and is in the effect in the whole UK.  An asbestos survey has to be performed even when the building was previously inspected and surveyed, therefore once a year the duty-holder should perform an annual asbestos survey re-inspection. Failing to manage asbestos within non-domestic premises  may result in facing prosecution.

Asbestos surveying requirements:

Floor plans or drawings are usually the best tool whe it comes to pricing for asbestos testing or surveying. In case of a refurbishment or demolition project, it is best to provide the scope of works as well, so that the surveyor can prepare accordingly for the inspection.


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