Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. Before its dangers were known, asbestos was often used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls. It is now banned in the UK. Buildings constructed before the year 2000 may still have asbestos in them. The Health and Safety Executive website has lots more information about asbestos.

Asbestos was extensively used as a building material in the UK. It was used for a variety of purposes and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. Any building built before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc) can contain asbestos. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials are damaged.

When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4500 deaths a year. There are four main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal), asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal).

Asbestos fibres are present in the environment in Great Britain so people are exposed to very low levels of fibres. However, a key factor in the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is the total number of fibres breathed in. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels can increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos related diseases won’t affect immediately but later on in life, so there is a need for you to protect yourself now to prevent you contracting an asbestos-related disease in the future. It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

You are mostly at risk when:

-You are working on an unfamiliar site
-The building you are working on was built before the year 2000
-Asbestos-containing materials were not identified before the job was started
-Asbestos-containing materials were identified but this information was not passed on by the people in charge to the people doing the work
-You don’t know how to recognise and work safely with asbestos
-You know how to work safely with asbestos but you choose to put yourself at risk by not following proper precautions, perhaps to save time or because no one else is following proper procedures

Remember, as long as the asbestos is not damaged or located somewhere where it can be easily damaged it won’t be a risk to you.

You can’t see or smell asbestos fibres in the air.
The effects of being exposed to asbestos take many years to show up – avoid breathing it in now.
Smoking increases the risk many times.
Asbestos is only a danger when fibres are made airborne and breathed in.

 

TYPES OF SURVEY

Different Types of Survey

As set out by the HSG264 there are only two surveys to be considered, a Management Survey and Refurbishment & Demolition Survey although you can have a mixture of the two. Here at Salvum we have separated the types out further so the titles are specific to the type of property or aim of the survey. The different types are above, click on the link for a description of each…
get in touch

Screen-Shot-2017-09-22-at-13.06.54-e1506083289544

UKAS ACCREDITATION

What is it?

The accreditation process determines the technical competence and integrity of organisations providing inspection, testing, calibration and certification services.

UKAS is the sole national accreditation body, recognised by Government, to assess these types of organisations against international standards. It provides an independent and authoritative declaration that the organisation carrying out the survey has the people, facilities, technical expertise, management systems and track record to undertake the activity professionally and competently.

“HSE strongly recommends the use of an accredited surveyor.”

get in touch

Screen-Shot-2017-09-22-at-13.06.54-e1506083289544

Management Survey

Management Survey

A management survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition. Management surveys will often involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties, ie it will depend on factors such as the type of building, the nature of construction, accessibility etc.

A management survey should include an assessment of the condition of the various ACMs and their ability to release fibres into the air if they are disturbed in some way. This ‘material assessment’ will give a good initial guide to the priority for managing ACMs as it will identify the materials which will most readily release airborne fibres if they are disturbed. The survey will usually involve sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of ACMs.

However a management survey can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos. A management survey can be completed using a combination of sampling ACMs and presuming ACMs or, indeed, just presuming. Any materials presumed to contain asbestos must also have their condition assessed (i.e. a material assessment). Management surveys can involve a combination of sampling to confirm asbestos is present or presuming asbestos to be present.

get in touch

Refubishment & Demolition

Asbestos Refurbishment & Demolition Survey

A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach.

A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, eg when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling. There is a specific requirement in CAR 2012 (regulation 7) for all ACMs to be removed as far as reasonably practicable before major refurbishment or final demolition.

Removing ACMs is also appropriate in other smaller refurbishment situations which involve structural or layout changes to buildings (eg removal of partitions, walls, units etc). Under CDM, the survey information should be used to help in the tendering process for removal of ACMs from the building before work starts. The survey report should be supplied by the client to designers and contractors who may be bidding for the work, so that the asbestos risks can be addressed. In this type of survey, where the asbestos is identified so that it can be removed (rather than to ‘manage’ it), the survey does not normally assess the condition of the asbestos, other than to indicate areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present.

However, where the asbestos removal may not take place for some time, the ACMs’ condition will need to be assessed and the materials managed. Refurbishment and demolition surveys are intended to locate all the asbestos in the building (or the relevant part), as far as reasonably practicable. It is a disruptive and fully intrusive survey which may need to penetrate all parts of the building structure. Aggressive inspection techniques will be needed to lift carpets and tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors. In these situations, controls should be put in place to prevent the spread of debris, which may include asbestos. Refurbishment and demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to minimise risks to the public or employees on the premises. Ideally, the building should not be in service and all furnishings removed.

For minor refurbishment, this would only apply to the room involved or even part of the room where the work is small and the room large. In these situations, there should effective isolation of the survey area (eg full floor to ceiling partition), and furnishings should be removed as far as possible or protected using sheeting. The ‘surveyed’ area must be shown to be fit for reoccupation before people move back in. This will require a thorough visual inspection and, if appropriate (eg where there has been significant destruction), reassurance air sampling with disturbance. Under no circumstances should staff remain in rooms or areas of buildings when intrusive sampling is performed.

get in touch

Pre-Purchase

Asbestos Pre-Purchase Survey

This type of survey is for exactly as the title indicates, for anyone purchasing a property. It became quite clear to us early on that this was a much needed type of survey for homebuyers. With more and more Chartered Surveyors highlighting potential asbestos containing materials within their reports it was key that we produced a report that covers these areas and looks for further materials.

This survey is a non-intrusive survey therefore no damage is caused to the property. The main reason for this is that the vendor of the property is unlikely to allow us to undertake a fully intrusive survey (Asbestos Refurbishment & Demolition Survey) at this point when you, the buyer do not own the property. Unfortunately due to this being a non intrusive survey there is the possibility of asbestos containing materials still being present within the fabric of the building.

However if we have not got to them during this survey then it will not compromise your safety as they are not being disturbed. This type of survey cannot be used should refurbishment or demolition works are to be undertaken.

get in touch

Asbestos Sampling

Asbestos Sampling Survey

This type of survey is used when the client specifically knows where the sample or samples need to be taken; this is not a full survey. This type of survey is limited to the specific areas given by the client.The samples are gathered and sent off to a UKAS Accredited Laboratory for analysing, once these have been received and analysed the results and certificate are sent to the client telling them whether it does or does not contain asbestos and what type of asbestos containing material it is.

This type of survey is often used when a RICS Surveyor has highlighted areas/materials that could contain asbestos within their homebuyers report. Trades people also use this type of survey when they are specifically working in a particular area of a building and they come across a material that could contain asbestos.

There are many other reasons why this type of survey could be adopted but we would advice you speak to one of our friendly team and they will be happy to advice you on what type of asbestos survey is the best for you.From our site survey the results are available within 24 hours preventing a hold up on purchasing a house or stopping work onsite.
get in touch

Where Can Asbestos be Found?

House[3]
industrial_building
  1. Fascia Boards
  2. Cement Tiles
  3. Cement Water Tank
  4. Cement Pipe & Pipe Lagging
  5. Loose Fill Asbestos
  6. Cement Guttering
  7. Cement Down Pipe
  8. Toilet Cistern & Toilet Seat
  9. Artex/Textured Coating
  10. Soffit Boards
  11. Boiler (Rope, Flue Pipe)
  12. AIB
  13. Vinyl floor tiles
  14. Sink Pad
  15. Cement Board
  16. Damp Proof Course
  17. Fire Place Panel
  18. Flue Pipe
  19. Asbestos Cement Roof
  20. Window Rope Seal
  21. Cement Sheet
  22. Understair AIB/Cement Boards
  23. Bath Panel
  24. AIB Boxing
  25. AIB Door
  26. Undersarking

This list is not exhaustive and for illustration purposes only

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

  1. Asbestos cement water tank
  2. AIB to door
  3. Floor tiles
  4. Pipe lagging/bolier
  5. Toilet seat
  6. Toilet cistern
  7. AIB behind fuse box
  8. Cement flue pipe
  9. Asbestos cement panels
  10. AIB interior window panel
  11. Cement downpipe
  12. Artex/textured coating ceiling
  13. Cable wrap
  14. AIB panel
  15. Asbestos cement under cloak
  16. Loose fill insulation
  17. Heater
  18. AIB boxing
  19. Damp proof course
  20. Roofing felt
  21. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement
  22. Fuse guards
  23. Asbestos profiled sheeting
  24. Sprayed coating to beams

This list is not exhaustive and for illustration purposes only

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

FAQ

We’ve been asked may questions but here’s a few…

What type of survey is the 'from £99+VAT' advertisement?

This is an Asbestos Sampling Survey. This is for one sample and we will visit site to take the sample and have this analysed by the UKAS Accredited Laboratory. The results of which will be ready to be distributed within 2-3 working days from the site visit.

Further samples can be taken at an additional cost, please call us to get a quotation.

Please refer to the description above for more in depth information.

Is Asbestos dangerous?

The simple answer is yes but only if it is disturbed. If left alone and managed it is a perfectly safe material.

What is the law concerning asbestos in domestic properties?

The general duties in Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) apply to protect householders from any risks from work activities being carried out in their homes. Where work being done involves asbestos-containing materials then the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 will also apply, in particular: regulation 11 (Prevention or reduction of exposure to asbestos) regulation 15 (Arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies) regulation 16 (Duty to prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos In owner-occupied domestic properties, the owners are not legally responsible for risks to contractors from asbestos, as the owners themselves are not engaged in any work activity.

I have just bought a property. Could it contain asbestos?

The simple answer is YES. Asbestos may be part of any commercial or domestic building which was built or refurbished before the year 2000.

How quickly can you be onsite?

We can normally be onsite and surveying the property within a few days. We also try to get the survey done as quickly and as professionally as possible to prevent delay for our clients.

The building I work in contains asbestos – what is the risk?

The presence of asbestos alone should not be a cause for concern. Asbestos only becomes a risk to human health when it is released into the air and breathed in. Duty holders – those who are responsible for maintaining or repairing non-domestic premises – are required to actively manage any asbestos in buildings. This provides a practical way to identify, prioritise and properly plan the actions that need to be taken to manage the risks. Where asbestos containing materials are assessed as being in good condition and not in a position where they are likely to be damaged they should be left in place and monitored. However, where asbestos is in poor condition or is likely to be damaged during the normal use of the building, it should be sealed, enclosed or removed, as appropriate. Those considered most at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres are tradesmen and maintenance workers who disturb the fabric of buildings during the course of their work. Precautions must be taken to ensure that tradespeople don’t put themselves or others at risk by disturbing asbestos.

How quickly do you turn the reports around?

We turn our reports around within 2-3 working days from the site survey. If not sooner but we do not like to make promises we cannot keep. The laboratory we use are the fastest in the country thus making us the quickest.

Do Salvum undertake asbestos removal?

We do not undertake asbestos removal due to this being frowned upon by the HSE (Health & Safety Executive). It is a conflict of interest for an asbestos surveying company to undertake asbestos removal. This practice has lead to surveyors falsifying results and misadvising clients in order to gain asbestos removal works and making more money.

However, we do have two pre-checked and suitably licensed and qualified asbestos removal contractors that are happy to quote for removal works from our survey reports free of charge.

Do I have to remove the asbestos if we have it?

No, as long as the asbestos containing material is in a good condition then it is a perfectly safe material. As surveyors removal is always the last resort.

How do I pay?

There are NO UPFRONT FEES. Payment is required prior to release of the report. We undertake all work prior to payment in good faith and payment is required when the reports are ready to be sent to you.

We accept payment by Debit Card, Bank Transfer (online banking), Cheque or you can go into any Barclays Bank and pay directly into our account. Whichever is easiest. We do not accept Credit Card or American Express payments.

LATEST NEWS

water
January 9 2018

Harlow Company Fails to Overturn £1.8million Legionnaires’ Fine

Read More
asbestos danger
July 29 2017

Asbestos removal firm fined after poor safety practices

Read More
Fibres
March 6 2017

Asbestos Analyst Fined for Falsifying Documents

Read More
asbestos_-sheets
February 22 2017

Essex Companies Fined After Workers Exposed to Asbestos

Read More