asbestos, first time buyer, asbestos survey, surveys

The construction industry has witnessed numerous innovations and materials over the years. Two such materials, Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and asbestos, have been in recent headline news due to their implications on health and safety, especially in educational institutions.

Should Our Builder Carry Out An Asbestos Survey?

Asbestos and Building Work

The overall importance of asbestos surveys cannot be overstated, and before you commence any building work that has the potential of disturbing asbestos, a survey that specialises in asbestos must be carried out. HSE agree that the importance of asbestos surveys is paramount, and a direct quote from them reads:

‘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, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling.’

There is a common misconception that asbestos surveys are required only after demolition or refitting work. However, this is not true, and there are several different surveys that are designed for different aspects of building work. We explore these here: 

The housing market has never been more active, and an increase in purchases in recent years means that there are many homeowners looking to renovate their new homes. However, if your home was built before the year 2000, there is a very real possibility that there are asbestos-containing materials (ACM) within the building. 

While intrusive, these surveys are absolutely crucial in order to discover whether there are any ACMs within the property. It is imperative for the health and safety of yourself and anyone else residing in the building that you have one of these surveys conducted. The survey is very comprehensive and will provide you with detailed findings and some advice on how best to proceed if any ACMs are found. This kind of survey cannot be conducted on a house which you are purchasing because it will damage the fabric of the building and expose the layers of building elements. Instead, a non-intrusive ‘management survey’ can be conducted on potential purchases to highlight any ACMs which may impact your budget and health.

Asbestos can be found in over 4,000 building products which you can find in everyday items, and asbestos is present in many buildings across the country, from hospitals and schools to warehouses. The ill effects that asbestos can have on your health are terrifying, and the only way to combat this is to ensure that awareness surrounding its dangers and volatility is genuinely understood.

asbestos, first time buyer, asbestos survey, surveys

Management Survey

This type of survey is legally required for non-domestic buildings built before the year 2000, and it replaces an older survey that was dubbed ‘Type 2’. Health and Safety England (HSE) will fine companies that have refrained from conducting these surveys to discover whether their properties have any ACMs. 

This survey will contribute towards a larger asbestos management plan which provides information about the asbestos within your building, the risks it poses and the implementation of a robust management system. Although management surveys are not a legal requirement on domestic properties, they are a requirement for communal areas in blocks of flats and HMOs.

asbestos flats

These surveys are incredibly intrusive and are conducted prior to any renovation or demolition work. They are designed to locate any ACMs which may be hidden within the building fabric, which could be exposed by the contractors during their work. This is also a requirement under the construction design management (CDM) regulations.

asbestos, first time buyer, asbestos survey, surveys

Fibre Safe work in collaboration with several housing authorities to assist them in conducting asbestos surveys in their social housing programmes, ensuring that the inhabitants are not in any danger from harmful ACMs within the home. We pride ourselves in compiling straightforward, easy-to-follow asbestos reports, and we also provide yearly asbestos checks in accordance with Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. (the duty to manage).

Contact Fibre Safe Today

To ensure that you stay compliant and safe at work, it is always best to hire true experts in the industry when working with asbestos. For information on any of our services, contact one of our team at our Wirral office on 0151 538 3084.


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