The importance of an asbestos refurbishment survey

An asbestos refurbishment survey in action in Northampton

Asbestos has been dubbed as a “silent killer” for years now, although it’s an unfortunate fact that it kills more people every year – through asbestos fibres being inhaled – than people who are in road traffic accidents. It has been banned in Britain since 1999, which means any house built or refurbished prior to the year 2000 could potentially contain asbestos in some form. Asbestos refurbishment surveys are required for buildings pre-2000, but why should you arrange one?

What does an asbestos refurbishment survey do?

Any asbestos survey you take out will, in basic terms, identify whether you have asbestos material in your property. Non domestic owners have a duty to make sure any asbestos in their property is properly handled, not disturbed, and if it has to be disturbed, handled in the safest manner possible and minimise the risk of exposing its occupants to asbestos fibre.

Surveyors and companies performing the asbestos survey have different “types” to undertake, but the most common two are “asbestos management surveys” and “asbestos refurbishment surveys”. Asbestos management surveys are visual inspections of the building. Although these surveys are “non-intrusive”, samples of suspect materials are collected and then tested at a UKAS accredited laboratory. By contrast, asbestos refurbishment surveys are “intrusive and destructive”. Their purpose is to identify all asbestos containing materials within an area prior to it being refurbished, this may be part or an entire building. In addition to these surveys a third survey type can be undertaken which is an asbestos demolition survey. This survey is extensively destructive and is only undertaken when the building is to be completely demolished.

Guarantees Safety, minimises risk

First and foremost, there are no safe types of asbestos fibre. All types of asbestos are deemed to cause the same asbestos related diseases. As such they are all treated the same under UK asbestos regulations and guidance. Having the ability to have these potentially dangerous materials properly identified by a professional company is incredibly important and means that you can stay safe within your own property.

Accurate identification of ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials) also protects builders, contractors and anyone working within your property. Asbestos refurbishment surveys are all about minimising risk to all involved.

Provides peace of mind

Many older buildings which have decorative coatings, old pipe and boiler insulation and cement water tanks could pose a risk to you. But if you’ve already identified what and where potential asbestos is present when undergoing a refurbishment project, why do you need the survey?

A refurbishment survey will recommend looking at not only the material(s) in question, but also the surrounding areas – for example, if you want to take down your ceiling, the walls could potentially have some kind of ACM in it too, and through a refurbishment you’re disturbing it. So even though you think you’ve seen all the asbestos in your property, a survey is recommended to avoid any nasty surprises.

Consider the Contractor

A quick Google search will bring up loads of local and national companies whose speciality is property refurbishment. The problem is, even if you have them refurbishing your property, they need to take out a survey beforehand as they won’t just explicitly know you have ACMs in your property. The refurbishment survey should be the first “work” you carry out before you get the builders in.

If you would like to find out more about the asbestos surveys we at Acorn Asbestos carry out across the UK, please contact the team here.

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

England star Stuart Pearce has helped to raise awareness of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma: How an England footballer is bringing home the dangers of this hidden killer

THIS afternoon, England’s Three Lions made a winning start to their World Cup campaign beating Iran in their first match in Qatar. But one footballing legend fears he could be in danger of developing mesothelioma after starting his career as an electrician in the 1980s. While former England legend Stuart Pearce is now undoubtedly best … Read more

Viviana, one of the newest members of Acorn's team

Team talk: Meet Viviana one of the talented new recruits at Acorn Analytical Services

WITH the UK in the grip of an asbestos epidemic, recruiting talented, experienced staff to join the award-winning team of experts at Acorn Analytical Services has never been more important. Despite being banned in new buildings more than 20 years ago, asbestos remains a huge problem for many businesses and, as a result, demand for … Read more

It's time to learn your asbestos ABC

Asbestos: How learning your ABC could help us to save lives

At Acorn Analytical Services we have one very simple message – ABC – or Asbestos Before Construction. It’s a simple message but it’s also an important one. Before carrying out building work of any kind you must check for the presence of asbestos first. Not doing so could have potentially serious implications for the health … Read more

Our Movember heroes, Lewis, Dave and Dan

Meet Dave, Dan and Lewis – Acorn’s amazing Movember heroes

AS we start November, Acorn Analytical Services is very proud to be supporting Movember, the annual charity event which shines a spotlight on men’s health, in particular, mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. We pride ourselves on being at the heart of our community and we always try to give back … Read more

Asbestos management company is growing

Acorn Analytical Services: An ambitious asbestos management company which continues to grow

FROM small acorns strong businesses grow – something that everyone at Acorn Analytical Services is extremely proud of. Even in turbulent times, Acorn Analytical Services continues to lead the way, offering reliable asbestos management services to a wide range of businesses and organisations – from well-known high street brands to local schools and colleges. In … Read more

Asbestos training

Asbestos training: Acorn Analytical Services launches free session to build knowledge among architects

ASBESTOS has once again dominated the headlines this week reaffirming our worst fears that the UK is in the grip of an asbestos epidemic. Many older buildings, including factories, schools and hospitals, contain this dangerous material which over time is starting to degrade. It’s a ticking timebomb and, as one of the UK’s leading consultancies, … Read more

Mesothelioma dangers in the classroom

Mesothelioma: We must protect our teachers from any hidden dangers

BEHIND every statistic we read about mesothelioma there lies a story – the story of another life lost from prolonged exposure to asbestos. Sadly, over the years it’s a story that has become all too familiar. Despite being banned in the UK more than 20 years ago, asbestos is still all around us – in … Read more

Asbestos industry turbulence: Acorn remains strong

Asbestos industry turbulence: Acorn Analytical Services is strong, dynamic and well-placed to weather the storm

WHILE economic uncertainty may be starting to bite in the asbestos industry, Acorn Analytical Services continues to go from strength to strength offering essential support to clients right across the UK. With more than 20 years’ experience in the asbestos and health and safety industry, we’ve become a trusted partner to a growing number of … Read more

Mesothelioma day 2022

Mesothelioma Day: Shining a light on the work of Mesothelioma UK

TODAY, September 26, marks Mesothelioma Day in the US, an important day to raise awareness of the disease and of the dangers of asbestos worldwide. Even though asbestos was banned from new buildings in the UK more than 20 years ago, it is a problem we all still live with. Many buildings, including factories, schools … Read more

Behind the scenes of our laboratories

The science bit: Putting the important work of our laboratories under the microscope

AMONG the experts at Acorn Analytical Services is a dedicated team of laboratory analysts who work in our in-house laboratories in Northampton and Cleckheaton. Their work involves supporting our consultants, and our clients, by analysing samples of materials which are found on-site or sent to us to be investigated. Here we take a more detailed … Read more