New home asbestos knowledge
If you are in the process of buying a new house, it may be something new for you but the house itself may be something much older, and within older buildings lies the potential of something hazardous…..asbestos may be present within its construction.
Being aware of your new home contains any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) is always a good idea to know first and foremost. This stops any unwanted nasty surprises when you want to extend or renovate any areas of your new property.
It can be hard to identify if you have any asbestos within the property by yourself because the hazardous fibres are usually held within a variety of construction materials / products. A specialist survey is the way to locate the ACMs.
Home buyers survey
When buying a home in the UK, a home buyers survey will pick up if any potential asbestos is within the property but how in-depth the survey goes will be based on what level of survey you pay for, and the knowledge of the surveyor attending the property. Typically they will highlight any reasons for concern based on the date of the house being built and which areas of it are likely to have asbestos present.
This kind of survey is not based on testing or confirming asbestos. For a better form of a survey, you would need to seek an independent asbestos services professional who can guide on whether a full asbestos survey is needed or just some bulk material sampling.
Asbestos survey or sampling
If a home buyers report has identified one or two localised areas where suspected asbestos is present, then bulk material sampling & testing may be the best way to ensure safety of the property. Small samples are taken for analysis to offer some assurances as to whether asbestos is present.
An asbestos survey will fully cover the property for any asbestos-containing materials, by assessing each space and completing asbestos testing and then provide a report confirming any findings. The survey will provide you with all information on the locations and risks associated with the potential ACMs present in the property.
If the property is not planned to be demolished or heavily refurbished, the asbestos may never be disturbed and a management asbestos survey can be completed to ensure the materials identified are in a safe condition by providing relevant recommended actions, which, if completed, will minimise any risk from the ACM.
If there are some major changes to the fabric of the property then a refurbishment asbestos survey should be commissioned. This will focus on the areas where the building will be altered – removal of the bathroom fixtures, changing the kitchen, putting on an extension etc.
This type of survey is more intrusive and is aimed at finding the ‘hidden’ asbestos in the property.
When any DIY is planned within the home, you want to be sure that you do not disturb ACMs. With so many cases where a homeowner has not been aware of the presence of asbestos when undertaking home improvements leading to exposure, you should take the correct steps to avoid risk and have a full asbestos survey completed when buying a home or making changes to the structure.
Exposure can come from something as simple as drilling some holes into a wall to hang pictures or a shelf and hitting fibrous asbestos insulating boards.
Contact the team at Grosvenor Asbestos Solutions today for a discussion on surveying your home.