Asbestos surveys: The what and why of needing them

Asbestos is such a high-risk material in buildings that asbestos surveys are required by law, and when it comes to surveys, two kinds of the survey are available that choosing the correct one for you depends on the work that is being planned out. 

Asbestos is taken extremely seriously in the UK due to the amount of work-related deaths and illnesses that it has inflicted over such a long period of time. Whilst most of the deaths occur within people who have worked in the construction sector, homeowners, regular workers and regular visitors to places where asbestos is present also add to the numbers of fatalities if the asbestos material has been disturbed and is in with the breathable air.

With this invisible killer still occupying a huge amount of buildings built before 1999, it is an illegal product to add to buildings and regular asbestos testing is required by law. There are two types of survey to choose from; ‘Management asbestos survey’ or ‘Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey’.  These can also be mixed together to provide a localised survey specific to your project.

Why is an asbestos survey/inspection a legal requirement?

Used as the most popular construction material at the beginning of the 20th century, asbestos went unchallenged with its use right up until it was deemed a banned product in 1999. Its popularity meant that many of the buildings and homes in these 90+ years were built so it included this highly hazardous material in one product or another.

The problem with determining if your building was built using the material is that it is not instantly identifiable and can have been hidden under other materials. This means that even if you believe it is not, it can still hide under other parts of the house and built on top of. This is why these surveys are required to be undertaken by a company specialising in asbestos removal in south Manchester.

Management asbestos survey

A management asbestos survey is the first and most simple type of survey for asbestos, which is an inspection that pinpoints where asbestos is present and small samples are taken for analysis.

This also provides monitoring of the condition and a step towards the appropriate action to be taken. This survey is step-by-step in noting the condition of asbestos and the current risks that they pose in the structure being surveyed. This involves sampling and some minor intrusive work to the property, such as opening up any pipe box work where it is possible to do so. Whilst most pre-2000 non-domestic buildings will have their management survey in place, the person with duties towards maintenance and repair of the property has the responsibility to manage asbestos under regulations, which includes the provision of this survey.

If a domestic property has shared accommodation such as foyers, corridors or lobbies for each resident to share, they will also require a management survey to prepare an asbestos register and asbestos management plan. This type of survey is not suitable for construction and refurbishment projects, as well as extensive maintenance work.

Refurbishment and demolition survey

This kind of survey (previously known as the Type 3 survey) is a requirement when demolition or refurbishment to a building is undertaken and disturbance to the fabric of the building is planned, where walls are removed, floors replaced, bathrooms/kitchens are replaced, etc.

Before construction work is due to commence, a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey need to be carried out to a much more detailed degree than a management survey. This survey is more intrusive and it requires the premises to be vacated for the duration of the works for intrusions into the fabric of the building to be carried out to determine asbestos types, extent and locations.

If your works are not covering the entire building, the survey is undertaken in the localised area(s) only, where intrusions are made, samples will be taken away for analysis and testing to inform contractors of the type of asbestos product they are potentially working with and the level of precaution that needs to be adhered to.

Whichever type of survey you require, the team at Grosvenor Asbestos Solutions are fully qualified and insured to undertake the required survey. Call our team today to start the process of removing your risk with professional asbestos services.

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Managing and disposing of asbestos

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When school’s out, so should asbestos