Frequently asked questions about surveys, regulations, management and removal of asbestos material from domestic and non domestic buildings.

A. Yes if you are in a non-domestic property. Please check with the Health & Safety Executive’s website. http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos
The ‘Duty to Manage’ within all non- domestic properties.

Also the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR) site lays down the requirements for the protection of people being exposed to asbestos. These regulations are for those with responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises, to identify and manage any risk from asbestos within their premises.

These regulations were launched in 2012 in support of the introduction of regulation 4 of CAR with the aim of encouraging an awareness of and compliance and came into force in May 2004.

A. The requirements as set out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), refers to non-domestic properties, however asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) are present in domestic properties as well. Dwellers and builders / maintenance workers and the insurance industry are instructing surveys to be carried out on domestic property.
A. This depends on the type of location and mainly the condition of the Asbestos that is found on the premises. The recommendations vary from managing the asbestos in place to clearly marking and not allowing disturbance with warning labels. In extreme cases it will need to be removed immediately by a licensed Asbestos removal contractor.
A. Yes, our finding suggest as high as 98%.
A. In Britain, since the 1950’s through to the 1980’s. Some forms of Asbestos, (Amosite & Crocidolite) were banned from being used in 1985, and finally, (Chrysotile- apart from a small number of specialised uses) in 1999.
A. Withing 24 to 48 hours after we survey your property with samples for Management or Refurbishment / Demolition asbestos surveys, the analysis results from the laboratory can be emailed to you along with full report.
A. In Britain, since the 1950’s through to the 1980’s. Some forms of Asbestos, (Amosite & Crocidolite) were banned from being used in 1985, and finally, (Chrysotile- apart from a small number of specialised uses) in 1999.
A. Yes we do. This means if further copies are need we can supply a new report. Important if builders, or any other parties working on the property and require information, we can update the report.
A. Simply call us on 028 7032 1319. It helps to know the size of the building, the approx year of construction, the number of floors, and check to see if you have floor plans.

Also are all areas of the building accessible? Cherry pickers are required to survey the roof for example. From this information, we can post, fax or email a quotation.

A. We never mention the ‘A’ word on site. We have discrete, unmarked vehicles.
A. Very rarely. Our survey maps the location, extent and condition of any asbestos materials found on your property. The condition and location of the asbestos materials, governs, the recommendations in the survey report.

If the asbestos materials pose a health hazard to the users of the building and there is a potential to have asbestos fibres releasing into the environment we recommend that areas are sealed off.

A. It is a requirement for all non- domestic properties to have an asbestos register, as part of the ‘duty to manage’ of asbestos materials within the property. So the HSE, have the powers to prosecute any failure to comply with the legislation. See the following website:
A. This depends on your estate agent / insurance company, mortgage broker etc…
More and more requests for a domestic asbestos survey are received each day. Especially at the time of buying/selling, individuals want to know the materials contained within the property, the environment that their family is going to be living in, especially as refurbishment after taking possession of a property is usually planned.
A. No, we are discreet, using unmarked vehicles, and clothing, and if approached, it’s a building survey. The ‘A’ word is not mentioned.
A. We use floor plans along with photographs and description to locate and display information on the exact areas surveyed and from which samples are taken.

If no floor plans are present for the property we draw and record our own layout plans.

A. No, it depends on the condition of the asbestos materials and the location.
A. Yes. An asbestos report is only given to the client.

If anyone is working on your property and before they are likely to either disturb asbestos materials or find areas they have a right to know the findings of the report. This is down to the management of the building.

A. Yes, we wear face-masks when taking samples. The object of conducting a survey is to obtain samples without polluting the environment. If during a survey we discover a dangerous asbestos material in very poor condition we would discreetly discuss this with the onsite contact about sealing off an area. However this is an extreme occurrence.

During the survey we may control the movement of personnel until an area has been surveyed.

A. Yes in terms of Asbestos fibres the risk of being harmful if inhaled. Asbestos was used in hundreds of different products over the years. Depending on the product there is a varying risk concerning the potential for that product to release asbestos fibres into the surrounding environment.

The answer is therefore, to know what products have asbestos fibres in their composition and either not disturb them or have them removed from the property.

A. Yes. Depending on the use of the product, asbestos fibres are part of the overall composition in varying concentrations. There is no safe threshold for a product containing asbestos.
A. No. The purpose of the survey is to map out the asbestos materials in the property. During a Management or Refurbishment / Demolition Asbestos survey the methods used are such to avoid polluting the environment. Asbestos materials are safer when not disturbed so if a sample is required a minimum amount of material is extracted, and done so in a safe manner.
A. No. The taking of samples will be as discreet as possible. Only during a Refurbishment / Demolition survey are areas that are being refurbished or demolished intrusively investigated.
A. Yes, during Management Surveys but not during Refurbishment / Demolition Surveys. We only take samples from only areas and materials that need investigation. We can discuss with the client to have the survey conducted at out-of-office hours or weekends or holiday periods if required.
A. Yes. We need to survey all areas, rooms, cupboards, lofts, etc…If there are locked or areas or a sensitive nature these can be noted down on the survey report and be surveyed at a future date.
A. The larger the building the longer it will take to look around it. Usually several hours is sufficient to survey a property.
A. These are noted down and recorded on the final asbestos survey report. In the future these areas can be revisited, and then the report updated to include them.
A. Yes. Photographs are used to record the exterior and interior of the property and to help, identify the areas where samples were taken or items like boilers and heaters.

Some client’s request that certain areas, rooms, floors etc… are not photographed this is ok and noted down on the survey report.

We do not photograph personnel faces or items like car number plates. At the end of the survey a client may examine the digital photographs taken around their property.

A. Asbestos (Greek a-, “not”; sbestos, “extinguishable”) Asbestos is a naturally occurring incombustible mineral, and it is mined in much the same way, as coal is, mostly in countries such as Canada, and Australia. Due to its heat resilient nature it was used by the building industry, for insulation purposes, and fire retardation.
A. Yes. Because it is a naturally occurring fibre, and easily inhaled, which due to its ‘barb’ shape, gets lodged in the lining of the lungs, which can then develop into cancer.
A. Yes this is true. If the material containing the asbestos fibres is not disturbed the potential to release fibres is kept to a minimum.

Only when the material is cut, scraped, impacted or corrupted in anyway to release the asbestos fibres does it become a problem. Over time materials can weather or start to decompose, if this is the case then crumbling can occur and fibres can be released. During a survey, the condition of the Asbestos containing material is taken into account.

A. No. Asbestos products have to be handled in a certain way. The remit of the asbestos survey is to map out the asbestos containing materials. Then a licensed asbestos removal contractor is used to remove and correctly dispose of the items that are highlighted in the report.
A. Asbestos is dangerous down to a microscopic fibre level so all of the material containing the asbestos fibres needs to be removed. The licensed asbestos removal contractor is someone who has to carefully assess and remove all the material without creating dust which would pollute the area.
A. Yes. The property can then be resurveyed to update the report and state, that the material has been removed, with photographs and description to form a living archive to the history of this particular property.
A. Due to the dangerous nature of asbestos containing materials it is best to leave any removal and disposal to a competent and / or licensed contractor. They have the knowledge and equipment to correctly and safely remove the asbestos.
A. No. The report is a living archive of the property outlining the areas where samples and surveying was conducted. It can be displayed at the reception desk or kept be the site facilities manager.

Contractors or any staff member or anyone using that property can ask to see the report and thus be informed as to the areas if any, containing asbestos materials.

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