Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used as a raw ingredient in industrial, chemical and building products due to its great properties such as heat protection, sound protection and chemical resistance and strength to name a few. These products were then installed extensively in industrial, commercial and residential properties throughout the UK.

It’s commonly found in older buildings but can be found in buildings built up to the year 2000 when the use of all forms of asbestos was prohibited in the UK. The best way to determine if your building contains any asbestos-containing materials is by having an asbestos survey carried out by a professional.

If the presence of asbestos is confirmed, an Asbestos mitigation or removal plan will be recommended so that the asbestos-containing materials are no longer a danger in your building.

Read on to learn more about what an asbestos survey is, how we conduct one and what risks come with not dealing with asbestos in your home.

What is an Asbestos Survey?

An asbestos survey is a way of ascertaining whether a material, product, room or building has any asbestos-containing materials.

This is done in stages, firstly through pre-inspection desk top studies which include compiling information about the items/ place that is being inspected. This can involve precuring building plans, site layouts, old asbestos surveys or registers and any removal certificates that may be present from past asbestos removal works.

The second stage of the survey process involves attending the building to be inspected. At this point, the surveyor will undertake his on-site inspections and collect any bulk samples to be taken to a UKAS laboratory. This allows us to confirm if the samples do contain asbestos and what forms of asbestos are present in the materials.

The third stage of the asbestos survey process is compiling all the information we have managed to collect into an asbestos survey. This should be easy to read and understand for the client and show precise locations, quantities, conditions, types of asbestos and surface treatment of the asbestos-containing materials. Also, the survey should be very clear on what areas have been inspected and what areas have not been accessed and the reasons for why they have not been accessed to avoid any confusion, this could be due to the building being live, locked rooms or live services.

The 2 types of asbestos survey

There are 2 main types of asbestos surveys you may be offered. Depending on the purpose of the asbestos survey will determine which option is right for you.

Asbestos management survey – this survey covers general occupancy of a property, inspections are not intrusive and will include such checks as removing suspended ceiling tiles to check above, checking accessible boxings, voids and surface checks of walls or floor coverings for example.

Asbestos refurbishment & demolition survey (R&D asbestos survey) – This type of asbestos survey is required for refurbishment works that disrupt the fabric of the building such as cutting or drilling into surfaces or taking down walls. This survey is also necessary for all forms of demolition works to a property.

Benefits of an asbestos survey

Asbestos surveys and bulk sampling are the only guaranteed ways to ascertain if your buildings or homes contain asbestos.

Undertaking an asbestos survey prior to purchasing a new property can avoid accidental damage to any previously unknown asbestos-containing materials which could in turn lead to exposure to asbestos fibres.

A survey could also make a new property owner aware of any materials within the building that may need remedial works before the purchase, if these went unnoticed it could have the potential to leave the new property owner facing a large unexpected cost to undertake remedial works after the sale is completed.

Do you need an asbestos survey?

If you’re in need of an asbestos survey to be carried out in your property, you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with our friendly, expert team of asbestos management professionals today to discuss how we can help you. For more information on how we price our asbestos surveys, read our ‘asbestos survey cost’ blog here.