Asbestos is commonly found in buildings throughout the UK. More than 50% of British homes, and many commercial properties built before the year 2000, still contain asbestos materials. Asbestos is a hazardous material, and in most cases removal, encapsulation or ongoing management will be required. An asbestos survey will help you confirm the presence and type of asbestos in your property, as well as provide guidance for the best management solutions.
What is an Asbestos Survey?
An asbestos survey is an inspection that takes place at your property to determine the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). There are two main types of asbestos survey – management surveys and refurbishment & demolition surveys.
Asbestos surveys are used by both commercial and domestic clients, and provide details on the amount, type and condition of ACMs in a premises. Surveys can help determine whether asbestos should be removed, encapsulated or left undisturbed.
For certain types of buildings, such as non-domestic properties, an asbestos survey is a legal requirement to ensure the safety of occupants.
The main purpose of an asbestos inspection is to assess any potential asbestos-containing materials. This involves:
- Finding ACMs and recording what it is, where it is, and how much there is
- Recording how accessible it is, and the condition it is in
- Recording the asbestos type, either by testing or presuming
The survey should be undertaken by a licenced and accredited asbestos surveyor, who will follow the guidance and legislation provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
How much does an asbestos survey cost?
Below is a guide to the average prices for asbestos surveys throughout the UK. These costs are for guidance, and exact asbestos survey costs are likely to change depending on the survey size required. For an accurate price, please request a quote.
Asbestos Management Survey Costs
|1-2 Bed flat||from £130|
|2-3 Bed terraced house||from £150|
|2-3 Bed detached house||from £160|
|2-3 Bed semi-detached house||from £160|
|4-5 Bed detached house||from £220|
|6+ Bed Detached House||from £230|
Larger properties and commercial buildings are quoted on a per job basis.
Refurbishment & Demolition Survey Costs
|1-2 Bed flat||from £150|
|2-3 Bed terraced house||from £170|
|2-3 Bed detached house||from £180|
|2-3 Bed semi-detached house||from £200|
|4-5 Bed detached house||from £240|
|6+ Bed Detached House||from £250|
Larger properties and commercial buildings are quoted on a per job basis.
Who can use an asbestos survey?
Asbestos surveys are used by a wide range of consumers. Homeowners can use an inspection to help confirm the presence of asbestos in a property. Similarly, business owners can use a survey to inspect suspicious materials within their commercial property. Other frequent users of inspections and surveys include architects, loss adjusters, banks and insurance companies.
Asbestos surveys can be useful for all types of property, from a small family home through to large industrial factories. If the property was built before the year 2000, it is likely that asbestos may be present. A survey can confirm the presence of ACMs, and provide guidance on the best course of action. If a property is for non-domestic use, it is a legal requirement that an asbestos survey is conducted to identify any asbestos containing materials.
Why are surveys useful?
An asbestos survey can provide accurate information on the location, quantity, condition and type of asbestos in a property, as well assessing the risk. If asbestos is found within a premises, a management plan can be implemented to ensure that it is dealt with safely.
A survey is also useful for planning next management steps, whether it be encapsulation, removal or simply leaving the asbestos undisturbed. They are also important when planning refurbishment and demolition works.
Surveys are important to ensure the occupants are safe from the risks of asbestos exposure. They also help protect workers from exposure during maintenance or construction on a building with asbestos-containing materials.
Do I need an Asbestos Survey?
If you suspect that your property may contain asbestos materials, a survey can help confirm the presence of asbestos. It will also help you determine the next steps, whether it be to remove, encapsulate or leave the asbestos undisturbed.
For commercial properties that are built pre-2000, you have a responsibility to have an asbestos management register in place. This requirement is applicable to all non-domestic buildings, including shops, hotels, offices, warehouses, etc. Additionally, if asbestos has been found in your property, an asbestos management plan and risk register will be required. These records will need to updated annually, and re-inspection surveys may be required.
For properties that were built pre-2000, you will need to conduct a refurbishment and demolition survey prior to starting any new construction or redevelopment. This is a legal requirement enforced and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive.
When buying a property, an asbestos survey can help determine the presence of asbestos, as well as providing a better understanding of the type, quantity, condition and risk of any ACMs.
If a property is found to contain asbestos, ongoing management and inspections will be required to ensure that the ACMs remain safe. Monitoring and re-inspection normally occurs on an annual basis.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) require asbestos-containing materials to be identified, assessed and monitored. It is the responsibility of the property owner (or lead contractor of refurbishments and demolition) to ensure that these regulations are followed, and manage the risk of asbestos throughout the premises.
What type of Asbestos Survey do I need?
Surveys can vary greatly between properties, with numerous factors influencing the size, complexity and type of survey required. The design, structure and age of a property can all affect the amount and type of asbestos that is found within a premises. Surveys must be conducted by trained professionals, who follow the guidance and guidelines provided by HSE. There are two types of asbestos surveys – Management Survey and Refurbishment & Demolition (R&D) Survey.
This is the standard survey that is carried out to determine the presence of asbestos in a property. This is a less intrusive survey, and is designed to assess the amount, type and condition of asbestos containing material within a building.
A Management Survey will ensure that:
- Asbestos-containing materials remain in a good condition
- The ACM will not be accidentally disturbed or damaged
- ACMs do not pose a health risk to occupants if left within the premises
Asbestos management surveys involve a material assessment of ACMs that may be disturbed or damaged during normal activities, maintenance or through the installation of new equipment. One of the main objectives of these surveys is to assess the ability of ACMs to release dangerous asbestos fibres into the air, if disturbed or damaged.
The survey will help determine the best treatment for the ACMs, including removal, encapsulation or leaving them in place. This is influenced by whether the asbestos-containing materials will be disturbed or damaged during normal occupancy, and whether there is any risk to the occupants.
In cases where asbestos is encapsulated or left in place, management surveys are conducted on an ongoing basis (at least once a year), to inspect and monitor the condition of ACMs. This is important to keep a property’s asbestos risk register up to date. During follow up management surveys, the register will be updated with the current condition of the asbestos, additions made if new asbestos-containing materials are found, and deletions made when ACMs are removed from the premises.
The findings of a management survey will form the basis of a property’s asbestos register. An asbestos register is a document that lists all identified, or assumed, asbestos containing materials within a building. The building owner or duty-manager must ensure that the register is kept up to date and is readily available at the building.
Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys
A Refurbishment and Demolition Survey is more extensive and intrusive than a Management Survey, and is carried out prior to any construction, refurbishment or demolition work takes place. They are often required prior to certain maintenance and repair work.
A Refurbishment and Demolition survey will:
- Ensure that nobody is harmed as a result of working with or near ACMs
- Ensure work on or near ACMs will be carried out by the right contractor in the right way
An R&D survey is used to identify asbestos-containing materials before construction or refurbishment work begins on a building. The survey will include the location, condition and type of ACM found in the premises, both structural and within equipment.
These surveys often use intrusive and destructive methods to provide a complete analysis and reach areas of the property that are likely to contain asbestos. A Refurbishment/Demolition survey does not require a record of the asbestos condition.
To reduce timescales and costs, some R&D surveys can be restricted to just the areas directly affected by the demolition or construction work. This will reduce the amount of time required to carry out the survey, and consequently costs, due to the smaller region of possible ACMs.
As R&D surveys include asbestos disturbance, the area must be vacated during the inspection, and then certified ‘fit for reoccupation’ after the survey.
Before beginning an refurbishment/demolition survey, the surveyor should be provided with the site layout, building plans, architectural drawings and building specifications, as well as information on any previous asbestos related work.
After the survey, a report will be created. This will include information on the location, presence and extent of any asbestos-containing materials. This type of survey does not include details on the condition of asbestos, but will mention any ACMs that are in a dangerous state.
Unless you are fully aware that no asbestos is present, an asbestos will be required. This should be conducted by a trained specialist. You do not require a licence to have a survey conducted.
It is the responsibility of the duty-manager, building owner, employer and surveyor to understand the type of survey required, where the survey is needed, and what records will be created.
Type 1, Type 2 & Type 3 Surveys
Previously, asbestos surveys were referred to as Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3. The new surveys require greater inspection and records, with more responsibility now placed on the surveyor, property owner and duty manager. The ‘Management Survey’ is similar to the old ‘Type 2 Survey’, whilst the ‘Refurbishment and Demolition Survey’ replaces the role of ‘Type 3 Surveys’.
Asbestos Re-Inspection Services
Once an asbestos containing material has been identified, it is important that ongoing inspections are carried out, which should take place at least once per year. It is the property owner or duty manager’s responsibility to arrange the re-inspection. During a re-inspection survey, the condition of the asbestos will be assessed, and the asbestos risk register for the property will be updated.
What happens after the survey?
Once the survey has been completed, you will be provided with a full report of the findings. This will give you more information on what asbestos containing materials were found, including the type, quantity, extent and condition. You will also be advised on what the next steps should be, whether it be to remove, encapsulate or leave the asbestos containing materials undisturbed.
What we can provide:
Complete asbestos surveying – HSE legislation compliant asbestos surveys for all types of property throughout the UK, working with domestic, commercial and industrial clients.
Licensed asbestos contractors – All of our asbestos surveyors and removalists are trained, licensed and accredited, ensuring that you always receive a professional service.
High quality service – When it comes to your health and safety, we think it is important that you choose one of the best asbestos removalists and surveys in the UK.
Affordable prices – Our surveyor prices are extremely competitive, and we can help ensure you always get a great deal on your asbestos survey and management.
UK Wide Coverage – Our asbestos services cater to all areas throughout the UK, and we work with both private and public sectors, including commercial and domestic clients, as well as architects, loss adjusters, banks and insurance companies.
Request an asbestos survey quote:
We provide nationwide asbestos surveying and inspection services to both commercial and domestic clients. Our contractors are trusted and experienced, providing asbestos surveys to the private and public sectors. So whether you want the walls of your garage inspected or the roof of your warehouse tested, we can help! Simply fill in the form below to request a quote.
Changes to HSE Asbestos Guidance & Legislation
Since the Health & Safety Authority reviewed the guidance notes on asbestos surveying, there is now greater responsibility on the duty manager of a construction or demolition site, as well as property owners. It is essential that the risk of asbestos is identified and managed, which requires a trained and competent surveyor.
As part of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015, the HSE suggest that a more invasive refurbishment and demolition survey will be required on the approximate 1 million non-domestic properties that still contain asbestos. These guidelines and amendments are aimed at effectively managing asbestos as a building ages. The aim is to reduce serious and fatal illnesses arising as a result of improper management of ACMs.
Additional Guidance and Advice
There is a common misconception regarding the use of asbestos, with many thinking that it is a problem from the past that only effects non-domestic properties. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and the use of asbestos was only banned in 1999, so any homes built before the year 2000 could contain asbestos. Estimates predict more than 50% of privately owned homes in the UK contain asbestos. Asbestos was used in more than 3,000 different products, ranging from roof tiles to electrical appliances.
When carrying out works on a property, it is important that you do not assume that asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are not present. Negligence can result in criminal prosecution if workers and occupants are exposed to asbestos fibres. To determine the presence of asbestos, you should have an asbestos survey conducted, as per the CAR (2012) and CDM (2015) regulations.
Asbestos is one of the most dangerous health hazards in domestic, commercial and industrial buildings throughout the UK. If an ACM is in a good condition and is left undisturbed, it can often be regarded as a low risk, but management and monitoring plans should be implemented.
When looking for an asbestos surveyor, it is essential that you always choose a UKAS accredited asbestos contractor. These surveyors are licenced to conduct asbestos services, and will follow the current legal guidelines.