What is a pre-demolition asbestos survey?

5th August 2016

Pre-demolition asbestos surveyThere are plenty of reasons to consider demolition. You may be looking to free up land by removing a dilapidated property, or perhaps you’re working on a major building refurbishment and need to change the layout. Whatever the purpose, you are legally required to arrange a pre-demolition asbestos survey before any work begins.

Why do I need a pre-demolition asbestos survey?

Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are considered hazardous because the fibres within them can cause respiratory diseases. Inhaling these fibres once they’ve been released into the air can lead to serious conditions such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening and lung cancer – all of which develop over time.

It’s important, therefore, that any ACMs within the building are located and removed before demolition work starts. If not, they could be disturbed during the process, with workers and passers-by exposed to the dangerous fibres.

This could then lead to legal action for you, the property owner.

What does the process involve?

It’s worth saying first of all that a pre-demolition asbestos survey will be intrusive, and damage is likely to be caused. This is because it involves trained specialists digging deep into every nook and cranny to find potential ACMs – if they didn’t search thoroughly, there’s a risk that unnoticed dangerous materials will pose a threat later on.

The experts carrying out this work will understand the risks and be properly prepared to disturb asbestos as they go – with all of the necessary training and safety equipment. The same can’t be said for demolition teams or other surveyors that may be involved at a later date.

Once the survey is complete, the team will put together an official report detailing anything they have found and removed from the property. They’ll also then have to certify that the building is ‘fit for reoccupation’.

Who carries out the survey?

A pre-demolition asbestos survey should be completed by UKAS-accredited specialists – it’s not something you can do yourself. As mentioned, this ensures everyone involved is aware of the risks and the precautions that must be taken to avoid injury. They’ll also know where to look and how to identify and remove any problem materials. The result is a more conclusive report and no danger of anything being missed.

To help ensure everything goes smoothly, you’ll be asked to provide your surveyor with a site layout, building plans and any recorded history of asbestos presence in the building. This will help to speed up the process too – and the sooner it’s done, the sooner work can begin!

Still all sound a little daunting? Fear not, ASI Environmental is here to help. To find out more about our pre-demolition asbestos surveys, and to get a free quote, call the team on 0330 100 0881 today. You can also get in touch through our online contact form.