Domestic asbestos survey is an effective way to help you manage asbestos in your home (residential) premises; this will help to provide accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present in your premises. A domestic asbestos survey can help give you peace of mind should you believe your property to contain asbestos.
A domestic asbestos survey may be required if refurbishment works are due to take place at a property and Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) are suspected to be present.
Where are asbestos found in homes
Due to its versatility, asbestos can be found in different places in domestic properties. The most common areas are kitchens, bathrooms, garages/sheds, lofts and basements. Although asbestos could be found potentially in any room in the form of flooring and ceilings, asbestos materials can also be found on the outside of a property in the form of soffits, porches, rainwater goods and firebreaks.
What domestic asbestos survey will do
Asbestos survey will help identify:
- The location of any asbestos-containing materials in the building
- The type of asbestos they contain
- The condition these materials are in
Point to note:
- Asbestos was a commonly used as a building material in both commercial and domestic buildings throughout most of the 19th Century. Banned in 1999, asbestos should be assumed to be present if the building was constructed before the year 2000.
- If you suspect a material contains asbestos, then unless it requires removing or disturbing, then a survey is not required. There are currently no laws which apply to home owners in terms of having a duty to manage asbestos in a residential property.
- The HSE guidance states that asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in good condition that are unlikely to be disturbed, should be managed and not removed.
- If ACMs are in bad condition or likely to be disturbed by normal occupation or indeed by project work, you may need to consider remedial actions. One such option would be to remove the materials but it may also be feasible to repair, ‘encapsulate’ or protect the materials to prevent damage and reduce risks.
Read Also: What is Mesothelioma; who is at risk?
How to choose a good asbestos surveyor
HSE guidance suggests that a competent asbestos surveyor should:
- Have survey knowledge, and know the risks in surveying
- Have recognised training (BOHS or RSPH) and experience, and understand their limitations
- Use a quality management system (ISO17020)
- Show independence, impartiality and integrity
- Do its work in accordance with good practice guidance, eg HSG264
Clients are required to assess the above points before appointing asbestos surveyors, failure to do so could result in prosecution if the work is not completed to satisfactory standards.