The dangers of asbestos have been known for a couple of decades now, but this doesn’t mean that there is not asbestos still present in many buildings throughout the UK. When you consider that many buildings were built before asbestos was banned, it is highly likely that there is still asbestos in a building near you.
Dealing with asbestos is hazardous, and as such surveys should be carried out by trained professionals. This will ensure that all asbestos in a property is correctly identified and adequate measures are made to deal with it. If you suspect there is asbestos in your home or workplace, please don’t worry though, as the chances of it causing harm are minimal unless it is disturbed. We would recommend a survey be carried out though, to identify any issues that could become problems in the future.
It used to be the case that asbestos surveys were somewhat confusing to the uninitiated, as they were simply called Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3. Since 2010 however, the names have been changed, giving a much better indication of the reasons for the different surveys. They are now called:
These are all different and they are explained in more detail in the Q & A section further down the page. For extra information on any aspect of asbestos surveys, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, either via email or on the phone.
While most people have heard of asbestos, there are still many questions you might have about the asbestos survey process. We have listed a number of the most common questions below, with answers that should hopefully shed more light on the subject. Of course, if you want to know more please don’t hesitate to contact us.
What is a Management Survey?
Management surveys are the standard asbestos survey carried out, designed to either identify any asbestos in a premises or to check on asbestos already previously known about. During this survey we will take samples from areas of the building for analysis, to therefore show conclusively whether asbestos is present. We can also ally this with the presumption that asbestos is present to provide a full picture of the amount of asbestos in any given space. This survey is generally non-intrusive; however we will need to take a few samples, which might cause a small amount of damage.
When the survey has finished, you will receive a number of different things from us, all of which will be incredibly useful to you. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, we will provide you with a full risk assessment on the property. We will also give you advice about how to best manage the asbestos (if, of course, any is present) as well as answer any of your questions about the subject. We will also compile an asbestos register.
An asbestos management survey can be completed on any type of building, regardless of size and use. While commercial buildings are the most common type of building for this task, residential buildings are becoming more and more frequently tested. Regardless of the type of building, if you think asbestos is present, you should call us today for a management survey.
What are Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys?
Refurbishment and demolition surveys are, broadly speaking, the same thing, although they are used for different purposes – as the names suggest. They are vital as there is a chance of asbestos being disturbed during destruction or renovation of the property, which is when asbestos is at its most dangerous.
During the survey we will check the whole building for asbestos, using a much more destructive methodology in order to locate every piece of asbestos in the area. This means that there will be damage caused, although we will keep this to the bare minimum needed. Once we have identified all areas containing asbestos, we will give advice regarding how best to deal with it. This often means the removal of the asbestos, although there are other options that might be applicable as well.
If Asbestos is Discovered, What Should I Do?
There is no need to panic if we discover asbestos in your home or workplace, as there are a number of different actions that can be taken. All of these will result in either safe containment or removal of the asbestos, therefore meaning that there will be no danger to the health and safety of those using the affected area.
The first option is to simply manage the asbestos, which simply means regular inspections to ensure that the asbestos is still safe. As long as the asbestos is not disturbed it poses minimal risks to safety, as the fibres will not be released into the air. This is also the most cost effective way to manage the asbestos and we will tell you honestly if this is the best option – we have no reason to make extra money by recommending a more expensive course of action.
It is also possible to leave the asbestos in situ, but to cover it in a special coating. This process is called encapsulation and the coating will provide a barrier between the asbestos and the rest of the environment. This in turn means that the fibres will not be able to get into the air, even if the asbestos is slightly disturbed. This process will provide peace of mind and is also much more cost effective than the complete removal of all asbestos.
There are, however, times when asbestos will need to be removed, simply because it represents far too much risk to the health and safety of people in the area. This is particularly the case when the affected building is being renovated or demolished. During renovation or destruction it is easy for the asbestos to get knocked or damaged, which will release harmful fibres which can then be breathed in by people. We will only recommend this when it is absolutely necessary, as it is the most extreme action to take when it comes to the presence of asbestos.
What are the Different Types of Asbestos?
Most people think that asbestos is just one substance, but asbestos actually comes in three different forms – all of which are now banned. The three different types of asbestos are:
- Chrysotile – This was banned in 1999 and is also known as white asbestos. Its characteristics include fine fibres and the ability to resist high temperatures.
- Amosite – Banned in 1986, this type of asbestos was common in construction from the 1920s through to the 1960s. It is better known as brown asbestos.
- Crocidolite – The type of asbestos has the strongest needles and is also known as blue asbestos. It was banned in 1985, after being used for over a century.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of many fibres, and when these are released into the air they can be inhaled by humans. These fibres then settle in the lungs and can cause a number of diseases, such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma – which is always fatal. In fact, over 4,500 people die every year from asbestos related illness in the UK alone, although many of these people worked with asbestos in the days before regulation was in place.
Due to this danger, it is vital that asbestos is not moved or damaged unless done so by a professional. As long as it is not disturbed, the chances of fibres being released are low. It is, however, extremely important to know whether asbestos is present, in order to minimise the risk of it being accidentally disturbed. This is why we recommend an asbestos survey if you suspect it is present.
Other Services to Consider
Aside from asbestos surveys, we also offer a number of other services that might be of interest to you. These include:
- Ventilation Testing – to ensure that your ventilation is correct and functioning efficiently.
- Air Conditioning Reports – in order to make sure the air conditioning is efficient and not using too much energy.
- Code for Sustainable Homes – an assessment to see how environmentally friendly your home is.
Why Use Us?
At UK Building Compliance, we know that asbestos surveys are a large responsibility – a task that could well impact the health and safety of your family or colleagues. That is why we treat the process with seriousness and professionalism at all times, never rushing and therefore ensuring that we do a thorough job.
When you hire UK Building Compliance to carry out your asbestos survey, you will get:
- A company with many years of experience, therefore ensuring that the job is done 100% correctly.
- Highly trained assessors who understand all of the various laws and regulations surrounding the subject of asbestos.
- A company not affiliated with any asbestos removal companies, so we will only recommend removal if the need is absolutely necessary. Essentially, we will give you a completely honest assessment every single time..
- A value for money service, with polite and courteous members of staff who put your needs at the top of their list of priorities.
- All of our work is carried out in accordance with the guidelines laid out in HSG264.
All of the above reasons, plus many more, make UK Building Compliance the best place to come when you need an asbestos survey.