Asbestos was once a popular building material due to its fire-resistant and long-lasting qualities, yet in 1999 asbestos was officially banned from being used in the UK.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that all structures built before then are free of it – if left unmanaged or undetected, these materials can cause serious health risks for those inside. This is why property owners must take proactive measures to survey their premises for any hazardous substances. By doing so they can ensure safety and peace of mind within their space.
What is an Asbestos Survey?
An asbestos survey is an in-depth assessment of a property to identify the occurrence, type, and condition of any materials containing asbestos (ACMs). An experienced surveyor will do the inspection and furnish a comprehensive report that identifies where ACMs are located as well as their state. Additionally, they’ll provide suggestions for handling or eradication.
Why Are Asbestos Surveys Important?
1. Protects Occupants’ Health
Nobody likes to think about asbestos in their home, but it’s important to remember that inhalation of the fibers can cause deadly illnesses. Lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma are all potential consequences if airborne particles are present. These diseases may take years before developing symptoms, so conducting an asbestos survey is invaluable for ensuring safety and managing any hazardous materials found on property.
2. Legal Compliance
The law in the UK requires that all non-domestic buildings built before 2000 must have an asbestos survey conducted regularly. Failure to comply with this law can result in hefty fines and legal consequences.
3. Facilitates Safe Renovation or Demolition
Before any redecorating or demolition works, property owners must perform a refurbishment or demolition study. This inspection pinpoints any Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) affected by the project and offers safe ways to get rid of them or manage them effectively. It’s imperative to execute this review to avoid disrupting or damaging hazardous materials, which could discharge dangerous fibers into the air.
When Should You Conduct an Asbestos Survey?
1. Before Buying or Selling a Property
Before you buy or sell a property constructed pre-2000, it’s essential to conduct an asbestos survey. This assessment provides vital information about the home’s condition and ensures that any potential hazards are addressed prior to purchase or sale. Doing so can make all the difference when establishing safety for yourself and those around you.
2. Before Any Refurbishment or Demolition Works
Before carrying out any renovation or demolition works, a refurbishment or demolition survey must be conducted to identify any ACMs and suggest safe methods of disposal or management.
3. Every Three to Five Years
Asbestos-containing materials degrade over time, so carrying out regular surveys is vital in monitoring any changes in their condition. Conducting an asbestos survey every three to five years will help you identify any potential hazards and take right action.
4. Following a Suspected Disturbance or Damage
When there’s a suspicion of disturbance or damage to any ACMs, an asbestos survey must be conducted as soon as possible to determine any potential hazards and provide guidance for secure disposal or management of asbestos.
It’s essential for property owners to regularly survey their premises for asbestos, as identifying and managing any hazardous materials is paramount. Not only does this protect people in the building, but it also ensures compliance with legislation and facilitates safe renovation or demolition works.
Before buying or selling a property, commencing renovations/demolitions, every three to five years, or following suspected damage – asbestos surveys should be conducted to guarantee safety and peace of mind.