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Asbestos Survey FAQs
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Thank you for visiting our resources portal, in this section we aim to answer frequently asked questions about asbestos surveys, from the basics to the more complex questions. Please feel free to fill in our contact form if you have a question and can’t find the answer here, or you can give one of our expert admin team a call on 0800 170 1201 for a free consultation (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excl. Bank Holidays)

Are you a landlord? Check out our Asbestos Landlord Resource here for relevant information.

Other FAQs:

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Why are asbestos surveys important?

From a health point of view, asbestos surveys are important because having unidentified asbestos in your home or commercial property can be a serious health risk if disturbed, as this can release asbestos fibres into the air. Chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite are all types of asbestos and have been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the UK Health Protection Agency, they can all cause lung cancer, ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, and other serious diseases.

From a legal point of view, if you are the designated “duty holder”* for the property then you have legal obligations to ensure that a suitable assessment (ie a survey from a competent surveyor) has been carried out to determine whether or not asbestos is present in the property. Once the assessment has been carried out and if asbestos has been identified you will also be responsible for the management and/or removal of it, this is an ongoing responsibility that needs to be checked and updated, rather than a one time responsibility. Click here to see the legislation about the duty to manage asbestos and the duty holders’ tasks.

If you are the duty holder and fail to produce and implement an asbestos management plan, once asbestos has been identified, then you can face a fine up to £20,000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or if the law has been seriously breached you may be issued an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for up to 24 months.

*to find out who is legally the duty holder please see “Who is responsible for having an asbestos survey?”.

How often should an asbestos survey be updated?

If you have had your property surveyed and no ACMs (asbestos containing materials) were found and you are not planning on undertaking any changes to the property, then there is no need to re-survey, however you will need to keep your asbestos survey somewhere safe where it can be produced easily upon request. If you are planning to renovate/refit or knock down your property then you will need to obtain one of the relevant surveys prior to any work commencing (you will need a refurbishment survey for renovations, or a demolition survey for knocking it down completely), to ensure that you won’t be releasing any hidden asbestos, which can be dangerous for workers and occupants. To get a quote for a refurbishment or demolition survey for your property fill in our contact form today.

If you have had a survey that came back with positive test results for asbestos then you will need to regularly (usually annually) update your asbestos management plan and asbestos register, even if you have had all asbestos identified sealed or encapsulated. Your asbestos report is a living document, so you will also need to update the register every time asbestos has been removed, new areas are sampled, and if the ACMs have deteriorated. It is strongly recommended that you renew your asbestos management survey every two years, to ensure that a trained specialist can make the correct judgements on any ACMs’ conditions, and if the current management method is still appropriate. To get a quote for an asbestos management survey for your property, fill in our contact form today.

If you currently do not currently hold an asbestos survey (along with action plan and asbestos register should any be found) for your property which was built prior to the year 2000, then you will need to obtain one (or have your duty holder obtain one if this is not you) to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012’s legislation regarding the duty to manage asbestos.

For information on who your propertys’ duty holder in regard to asbestos is please visit the “Who is responsible for having an asbestos survey?” section of this page. If you require a quote for any asbestos survey please call us on 0800 170 1201, or fill in our contact form.

How to conduct an asbestos survey?

While there are no legislations against carrying out your own asbestos survey especially if you are a small business (less than 25 employees), it is highly recommended to get a trained specialist out to survey your property, this is partly to preserve your own safety and partly because The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (section 4) states that the duty holder “must ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment is carried out”. This means that if anything were to go wrong due to a lacking asbestos report, register, and plan (for example, the release of asbestos fibres from an ACM that had been missed due to lack of training and competence can contaminate a property and potentially expose staff members and visitors to the dangerous fibres) then the duty holder will be held responsible for neglecting their duty to obtain a suitable and sufficient report.

How much does an asbestos survey cost?

Here at Easy EPC we quote all of our asbestos surveys on a job by job basis to ensure that you are always getting our absolute best price, whether you need a full survey, roof survey, or just samples. If you have multiple properties in the same postcode location, or a large number of properties across the country that need surveying then you may be eligible for bulk booking discount, contact one of our admin team today via phone on 0800 170 1201 or fill in our contact form to get a quote for an asbestos management, refurbishment, or demolition survey.

How many types of asbestos surveys are there?

Management

There are two main types of asbestos survey, the first being an Asbestos Management Survey, previously referred to as a type 2 asbestos survey. The objectives of Management Surveys are to locate the presence of any asbestos containing materials (taking samples for testing where necessary), to thoroughly check the extent of any asbestos present and fully assess its condition so a comprehensive risk assessment can be made. A management survey is fairly straightforward, requiring the minimum of intrusion or disruption to the buildings’ ongoing activities.

Refurbishment and Demolition

Previously known as a type 3 asbestos management survey, the Refurbishment and Demolition surveys’ aim is to identify (and test where necessary), thoroughly checking the extent of any asbestos, and fully assessing the risks presented by asbestos in the property, giving special attention to any areas that will be disturbed during the planned works or demolition. The report will give clear advice on what to do about any asbestos prior to and during the planned works or demolition. Due to the thorough nature of the survey, Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys are much more intrusive than Management Surveys, meaning that in order to locate and assess all asbestos containing materials – as far as is practicable – the surveyor may have to damage some areas in order to gain access to hard to reach parts of the building.

Additional Asbestos Surveys

Roof Surveys - Asbestos roofs are very common due to the great thermal and fire retardant qualities of asbestos, causing it to be used extensively for both roofing and insulation. Roof surveys may be required for many reasons, from a potential buyer requesting it to it being part of a condition survey.

Samples - If a whole survey isn’t required then samples can be taken and analysed from particular materials if needed.

How to get an asbestos survey?

To get an asbestos survey quote you can call 0800 170 1201 or fill in our contact form.

How long does an asbestos survey take?

The length of an asbestos survey greatly varies depending on the size and complexity of the property, or how many areas need to be inspected/sampled.

What asbestos survey do I need?

If you require a survey to primarily test all areas of the property to see if there is any asbestos present, and if it is present to know where it is, the risk factor, the condition of the ACM and the best ways to deal with it, then an Asbestos Management Survey is best suited for your purpose. All of our asbestos management surveys include helpful information on survey methods, how to interpret your report, sampling/analysis, and more. The reports include all of the vital results from the survey, such as your asbestos register, survey data sheets, areas surveyed (including plans marking any ACMs if found), analysis certificates, risk scores for any ACMs and recommendations on how to deal with the asbestos found.

If you require a survey because you are planning to work on or demolish part or all of a property built prior to the year 2000, then a Refurbishment and Demolition survey is most suitable, or a part Refub. and Demo. survey if only a small percent of the property is going to be worked on/demolished. If you have one of a couple of specific materials that you need testing then you may not need a whole survey and can be quoted for Samples.

If you are worried about your roof containing asbestos, or have been asked to find out as part of a condition survey, then a Roof Survey will be most suited for you because this saves costs as the whole property does not need to be surveyed.

Who is responsible for having an asbestos survey?

Relating to commercial properties, legislation states in “The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012” (section 4) that the “duty holder” (ie the person responsible for obtaining an asbestos survey, and managing it should any asbestos be found) is all people who have responsibility for the maintenance of the property. This can be the owner of the property, or whoever they clearly designated to be responsible for the maintenance of the building, “clearly designated” meaning an explicit agreement, for example a tenancy agreement or contact. This duty is also applied to any shared parts or “common areas” of domestic properties (ie a shared hallway and stairwell in a house converted to flats, or a lift in a block of flats, etc.).

If you are the “duty holder” please be aware that you are also responsible for ensuring that the report and any reviews are recorded and available, reviewing the survey and/or obtaining an updated report if there are any critical changes to the property. In circumstances where asbestos is found you are also responsible for ensuring that a risk assessment has been completed on the contaminated areas along with a written plan for management or removal/encapsulation, if necessary. If the asbestos is to be managed instead of removed, you will also be responsible for the monitoring of the areas and ensuring that all staff/visitors are aware of its location and condition.

Regarding domestic properties, in owner-occupied dwellings the owners are not legally responsible for any potential risks to contractors from asbestos, this is because the owners are not engaged in the work activity. However, if you suspect that your property contains asbestos it is strongly recommended to get an asbestos refurbishment survey prior to having any work carried out, for the safety of all occupants in your dwelling as well as any contractors you may employ, this is good practice for preventing the spread of asbestos and related diseases.

While there are currently no laws about the control of asbestos in domestic properties (other than those regarding common areas stated above) this definitely does not mean that there isn’t any risk involved, many household components can contain asbestos, such as:

These components have the potential to contain asbestos in any property (domestic or commercial) built before the year 2000.

You may be inclined to have your property surveyed for asbestos if you are thinking of selling your home, the reason for this being that if a potential buyer commissions a building survey prior to sale it runs the risk of damaging the value of the property. Building surveyors (as opposed to a specially trained asbestos surveyor) have been trained to recognise materials that could potentially contain asbestos, any of which that are identified must be included on their report which can ultimately be used to negotiate the sale price. However, because building surveyors have not been properly trained to identify, take samples, and test potential asbestos containing materials (ACM) they create a lot of false alarms, which, if you have had an asbestos management survey by a trained specialist, you can testify against with your report as evidence.

What happens during an asbestos survey?

During an Easy EPC asbestos survey our surveyor will carry out an initial “walk around” inspection to check for anything that may potentially obstruct the survey, note any areas of particular interest and to carry out a risk assessment.

After this, our surveyor will inspect the entire area in a methodical manner and take samples from any suspected Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Often it’s possible to take samples in a way that leaves no visible mark, however in some cases a small 50p size disk may need to be cut out. In these cases the hole will be filled and painted to as close a match as possible and samples will always be taken from the most visibly unobtrusive areas possible.

Refurbishment and Demolition surveys are much more intrusive, and damage may need to be caused to inspect the areas behind. The extent of the damage needed varies greatly, so this is something that will be discussed on the day prior to commencing work and damage and disturbance will always be kept to a minimum.

Are any properties exempt from asbestos survey laws?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 requires any commercial premise in the UK built prior to 2000 to have an up to date asbestos management survey in place and available for inspection, this applies to the common areas of rented domestic properties because these are also viewed as commercial. There are no exemptions to this.

Domestic properties that are not being let out are not legally required to have any asbestos surveys in place, although owners often have these carried out for peace of mind, and it is particularly advisable to have a refurbishment and demolition survey carried out prior to any works or demolition, for the safety of both the occupants and tradesperson.

When were asbestos surveys put in place?

The explicit duty to manage asbestos in commercial premises was included in the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations in 2002 and was granted a 2 year grace period to give companies time to comply. Various amendments and amalgamations have been made since and we currently must comply with The Control of Asbestos 2012.

Is there a register for asbestos surveys?

There is not currently a register for asbestos surveys like there is for energy performance certificates.

Who regulates asbestos surveying and reports?

Local Authorities - retail, wholesale distribution, warehouses, hotel, and catering premises. Offices, consumer/leisure industries.

Office of Rail and Road - Railway stations, depots, and other rail premises. Health and Safety Executive - Premises normally enforced by Local Authorities or Office of Rail and Road may be taken over by HSE if there are extensive building or construction activity involved.

What happens if asbestos is found in my property?

If asbestos is found in your property then your survey will both assess it in terms of risks and provide recommendations on the best approach for dealing with it. Once asbestos has been identified in the property the asbestos survey must be regularly updated, please see “How often should an asbestos survey be updated?”.

What are common areas and how do they affect me as a landlord?

“Common areas” are spaces like stairwells, hallways, foyers, reception areas, lifts & lift shafts, garages that are shared by tenants, etc. this can be for both commercial and domestic properties, as the shared areas in domestic properties such as flat blocks and houses converted into flats are viewed as commercial.

See our Asbestos Landlord Resource for info and advice.

How long is my asbestos survey quote valid for?

Easy EPC asbestos quotes are valid for 1-6 months, please ask for clarification on enquiry.

How long until my asbestos survey is ready?

Easy EPC asbestos reports generally take up to 5 working days to produce, although this can be slightly longer if samples have been sent for analysis during busy periods.

If you have any further questions please fill in our contact form and one of our admin team will be in touch shortly, alternatively you can give us a call on 0800 170 1201. (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excl. Bank Holidays).

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