Asbestos Survey

Asbestos Surveys

We are working with qualified asbestos surveyors to provide asbestos management surveys and asbestos refurbishment / demolition surveys.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Asbestos?
  2. Asbestos survey
  3. Types of asbestos surveys
  4. Where can you find Asbestos?
  5. Who needs an Asbestos Survey?
  6. Who is the duty holder?
What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals.
Asbestos was extensively used as a building material in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes inside the building or its equipment and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation.
Any building built before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals, shops etc) can potentially contain asbestos. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe and not harmful unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials are damaged or disturbed.

Asbestos survey

Asbestos-containing materials are identified as a material which contains asbestos, or presumed to contain asbestos.

The purpose of asbestos survey is to carry out an assessment to:

  • Find asbestos-containing materials and monitor what it is (Laboratory testing), where it is (site survey) and how much there is.
  • Find out how accessible it is, its condition, and any surface treatment.
  • Monitor the asbestos type, by sampling, laboratory testing or by presuming.
Types of asbestos surveys

It is necessary for all related parties to be clear on the type of survey needed, where the survey is needed, and what records should result.

There are two types of survey for asbestos-containing materials.

Asbestos Management survey

The “Asbestos Management Survey” also known as Type 2- Visual with samples is required to manage asbestos-containing materials during the occupation and use of building.
The Asbestos Management Survey is the most recommended to use to comply with regulations.
The duty-holder can make a “Asbestos Management Survey” where the premises are simple and straightforward. Otherwise, an asbestos surveyor is needed to carry out the assessment which in this case a hand full of samples are taken of any suspect materials (either in the premises or equipment) and analysed in a lab.

A Management Survey aims to ensure that:

  • Nobody is at risk or harmed by the continuing presence of asbestos-containing materials in the building or equipment such as insulations or pipework.
  • That the asbestos-containing materials remain in good condition.
  • That nobody disturbs it accidentally by breaking it or damaging it.

The Survey must locate and identify asbestos-containing materials that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities, by maintenance, or by installing new equipment.

‘’Asbestos Management Survey’’ involves minor intrusion and minor asbestos disturbance to make a Materials Assessment. This survey shows the ability of asbestos-containing materials, if disturbed, to release fibres into the air. It guides the client in prioritising any necessary work.

Asbestos Refurbishment / demolition survey

The Refurbishment / Demolition Asbestos Survey also known as Type 3- Fully intrusive with samples is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition. The Survey does not need a record of the asbestos-containing materials condition.
Normally, a qualified asbestos surveyor is needed for Refurbishment / demolition Surveys.
A series of samples are taken of any suspect materials (either in the premises or equipment) and analysed in a laboratory.

A Refurbishment / demolition Survey aims to ensure that:

  • Nobody will be harmed by work on asbestos-containing materials in the building or equipment.
  • Refurbishment or demolition will be done by the proper contractor in the correct way.

The Refurbishment / Demolition Asbestos Survey must locate and identify all asbestos-containing materials before any structural work begins at those specific locations or on stated equipment.
It involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance. The area surveyed must be vacated and certified ‘fit for re occupation after the survey.

Where can you find Asbestos?
  • Water Tank: Is usually made of asbestos cement and is often found in older properties (pre 1980).
  • Pipe insulation: Asbestos insulation on pipes. Often painted over or coated so it is not easy to identify.
  • Property Insulation: Loose asbestos can be found as insulation in wall and floor cavities and in lofts.
  • Textured coating (eg artex): Can be found throughout property on ceilings and sometimes walls.
  • Soffit Board (roof overhang): Situated behind fascia at eaves level. Board can be made from asbestos cement or asbestos insulating board.
  • Toilet cistern: Toilet cisterns can contain asbestos-reinforced resin composite materials.
  • Wall Panelling: Asbestos can be found as external wall cladding and as internal wall panelling both particularly around windows.
  • Fuse box: Often found in hall or under stairs. Each fuse wire has an individual asbestos flash guard. Panel behind fuse box can be asbestos.
  • Heater Cupboard: Heater cupboard around domestic boiler often contains asbestos insulating board.
  • Floor tiles: Vinyl and thermoplastic floor tiles can contain asbestos. The tile backing may also contain asbestos paper.
  • Rainwater items: Roof gutters and down pipes can often be made of asbestos cement.
Who needs an Asbestos Survey?

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2006, every non-domestic building must have an asbestos survey undertaken. This is the responsibility of the duty holder.

Who is the duty holder?

All those who have responsibility for the maintenance and/or repair of non-domestic premises have duties under this regulation.
The duty holder may well be the landlord, tenant or a managing agent, depending on the circumstances. The responsibility could be shared between two or more parties.

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