Frequent Questions

Frequent Questions

  1. Will we be breaking the law if we do not have a survey?
  2. Do all buildings need a survey?
  3. What happens if you find asbestos on our premises?
  4. Will most buildings you survey have asbestos in them?
  5. How long has Asbestos been used in the construction industry?
  6. Will we wait a long time for the survey?
  7. What sort of report do we get?
  8. Do you keep a copy of our report on your computers?
  9. How can we find out how much a survey will cost?
  10. Will my staff be made aware that you are looking for Asbestos?
  11. Do I have to close my premises if you find asbestos?
  12. Who will sue me if I do not have a report?
  13. I am buying/ selling a house do I need a survey?
  14. Will the neighbours know you are carrying out a survey?
  15. Do I need floor plans?
  16. Do I have to have the asbestos you find removed?
  17. Are the reports confidential?
  18. Do you wear a facemask and seal off areas?
  19. After the survey what happens during repair/renewal work on our premises?
  20. Is all asbestos the same?
  21. Can asbestos be found in materials in small or large percentages?
  22. Will there be any dust made during the survey?
  23. Will you damage my property?
  24. Can we stay working at the premises whilst the survey is carried out?
  25. Do you have to go everywhere in our building?
  26. How long will the survey take?
  27. What happens to locked – No access areas?
  28. Do photographs need to be taken?
  29. What is asbestos?
  30. Is it really dangerous?
  31. I heard that it was only a problem if it was disturbed? Is it True?
  32. Do you remove the asbestos when you find it?
  33. Will there be a lot of mess when it is removed?
  34. Can you do the necessary building work to replace what was there?
  35. After asbestos has been removed, does the property need to be resurveyed?
  36. How do we dispose of asbestos?
  37. Do we get a certificate to say we are clean? And does it have to be prominently displayed?

 

 

Q. Will we be breaking the law if we do not have a survey?

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.
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Q. Do all buildings need a survey?

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.


Q. What happens if you find asbestos on our premises?

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.


Q. Will most buildings you survey have asbestos in them?

A. Yes, our finding suggest as high as 98%.


Q. How long has Asbestos been used in the construction industry?

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.


Q. Will we wait a long time for the survey?

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.


Q. What sort of report do we get?

A. The report is detailed as set out by the HSE in their document HSG264. The report will contain, analysis of samples, details of the extent, location and type of asbestos or otherwise found on the property. Recommendations for the asbestos materials and a risk score are included. This forms the ‘duty to manage’ of the asbestos related materials on the property.


Q. Do you keep a copy of our report on your computers?

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.


Q. How can we find out how much a survey will cost?

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.


Q. Will my staff be made aware that you are looking for Asbestos?

A. We never mention the ‘A’ word on site. We have discrete, unmarked vehicles.


Q. Do I have to close my premises if you find asbestos?

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.


Q. Who will sue me if I do not have a report?

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: http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/hse-asbestos.htm


Q. I am buying/selling a house do I need a survey?

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.


Q. Will the neighbours know you are carrying out a survey?

A. No, we are discreet, using unmarked vehicles, and clothing, and if approached, it’s a building survey. The ‘A’ word is not mentioned.
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Q. Do I need floor plans?

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.


Q. Do I have to have the asbestos you find removed?

A. No, it depends on the condition of the asbestos materials and the location.


Q. Are the reports confidential?

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.


Q. Do you wear a facemask and seal off areas?

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.

Q. After the survey what happens during repair/renewal work on our premises?

A. Recommendations are given in the survey report.

Q. Is all asbestos the same?

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.

Q. Can asbestos be found in materials in small or large percentages?

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.

Q. Will there be any dust made during the survey?

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.

Q. Will you damage my property?

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.

Q. Can we stay working at the premises whilst the survey is carried out?

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.

Q. Do you have to go everywhere in our building?

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.

Q. How long will the survey take?

A. The larger the building the longer it will take to look around it. Usually several hours is sufficient to survey a property.

Q. What happens to locked – No access areas?

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.

Q. Do photographs need to be taken?

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.

Q. What is asbestos?

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.

Q. Is it really dangerous?

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.

Q. I heard that it was only a problem if it was disturbed? Is it True?

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.

Q. Do you remove the asbestos when you find it?

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.

Q. Will there be a lot of mess when it is removed?

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.

Q. Can you do the necessary building work to replace what was there?

A. Yes.

Q. After asbestos has been removed, does the property need to be resurveyed?

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.

Q. How do we dispose of asbestos?

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.

Q. Do we get a certificate to say we are clean? And does it have to be prominently displayed?

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.