The cost of Asbestos Surveys varies greatly depending upon the size of the property, the number of potential asbestos containing materials (ACM), and the number (if any) of test samples required. This website will give initial estimates from a number of Asbestos Surveyors with full contact details so that you will be able to approach them directly to discuss your requirement in more detail.
The estimates generated are not quotations but are guideline prices for the Surveyor to visit your property to carry out an initial investigation. The Surveyor will then be able to provide a report outlining what further steps will need to be considered and, where applicable, an indication of likely further costs. These costs may vary quite considerably dependent on what type of survey is required. There are two types of survey as follows:
Management Survey as part of risk control in occupied buildings (previously called a Type 1 or Type 2 Survey).
Demolition/Refurbishment Survey prior to work so the asbestos can first be safely removed (previously called a Type 3 Survey). This survey is destructive as even hidden asbestos containing materials must be identified. It is important to remember that a Management Survey will not provide a list of all asbestos containing materials, just those which present a risk to people in the building during normal occupancy. If building or demolition is planned a fully intrusive survey will be needed. Again a competent asbestos survey will provide further advice.
Before placing an order for a Survey you should ensure that the Surveyor has suitable qualifications, accreditation, experience and insurance. Surveyors carrying out inspections will normally have the qualifications BOHS P402 and P405.
Asbestos: General Overview
There are 6 types of asbestos but only 3 have been widely used in building materials: White (Chrysotile), Brown (Amosite), Blue (Crocidolite). Strictly speaking blue is the most dangerous, followed by brown and then white. However the material with which the asbestos was mixed is an important risk factor. If the fibres are well bonded the material is lower risk as fibres are less likely to be released and to become airborne. With high risk materials even minor disturbance can release significant quantities of fibres.
Most people know what an asbestos roof looks like but very few home owners realize that asbestos can also be found in quite a diverse range of relatively common building products. Some of these are as follows:
Asbestos roofing material.
Asbestos wall panels.
Asbestos ceiling panels.
Asbestos fire blankets.
Some acoustic ceiling tiles.
Some sound proofing wall panels.
Some soffit panels (located under the eaves).
Some felt roof lining materials.
Some insulation materials used to lag hot pipes and hot water cylinders.
Some insulation materials used in ceilings.
Some hessian covered cork notice boards.
Some vinyl floor tiles.
Some artex type wall and ceiling coverings.
Some bricks used in night storage heaters.
Some bricks and products used in fireplaces.
It is quite possible that you will have asbestos in your home but while you should be wary of this there might not be any great cause for alarm. Asbestos can cause lung cancer if inhaled as a fine dust and as such things containing asbestos should never be sawed, sanded, drilled, brushed or disturbed in any way whereby the production of dust might result. Provided asbestos is not disturbed, the likelihood of major problems developing are very much reduced.
Legislation (Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002) has meant that owners of commercial and communal premises must make up a plan to manage asbestos in their property. They must ensure that any asbestos present is not disturbed in a way that may result in a hazard to health.
At this point in time (2009) there is no UK legislation covering requirements for home owners to manage the asbestos in their homes. However, some industry sources believe that legislation to address this will eventually be introduced. In any event it would be prudent for a purchaser to consider the possible presence of asbestos before agreeing to buy a property.
It should be noted that the removal of asbestos from a building is a very complex and costly process. It should only be carried out by a licensed contractor who will ensure that it is done safely and that the asbestos, once removed, is taken to a licensed disposal site where it will not be a danger to other people.
More information about asbestos surveys can be found in the HSE document; Surveying, sampling and assessment of asbestos-containing materials, MDHS-100. A good website is www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos .
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