Everything you need to know about asbestos surveys

The law requires properties to have an asbestos survey, because these materials are extremely dangerous if they are released into the atmosphere from a building when work is being carried out. Sometimes just the one survey is required, but other times two different surveys will be required – depending on the type of building, its usage and the sort of work that is being planned on it.

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When a conveyancer provides information about house surveys, it may include an asbestos survey – and details of which kind is required. The material is the biggest driver of work-related deaths in Britain, with most cases happening in construction. It’s a hidden killer that affects thousands of people who worked with asbestos in the past without adequate PPE.

The two types of asbestos survey are a management asbestos survey and a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey. These are necessary because you can’t simply look at a building and know whether it contains the material. Often, it is hidden underneath other types of material such as brick or plaster. The survey is the only way to know for sure if the property you are buying has asbestos. So when you are considering information about house surveys, make sure you take the asbestos survey into account.

The survey will be carried out by a specialist surveyor who will look for materials that may resemble typical plasterboard, concrete or insulation – but which will house the potentially deadly fibres. Usually this surveyor is not the same surveyor who carries out the homebuyer’s report, but a specialist and accredited asbestos surveyor who will have had extensive training, experience and qualifications in the field.

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The Management Asbestos Survey

This first type is the simplest and will be needed if the material is present and will need monitoring and handling, such as if its foundation material is deteriorating. The information about house surveys is a visual one and involves just the most minor sampling. If your building is commercial and was built before 2000, it will need this survey.

Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Survey

This is required if you are planning to undertake works on the building, whether that is maintenance or refurbishment which will disturb the existing materials. This involves taking extensive sampling for an in depth report.

Your conveyancer can recommend which type of asbestos survey is right.