Asbestos Surveys

Since 2004 it has been a legal requirement for all commercial premises in the UK, built before 2000, to have and maintain an asbestos register.

An asbestos survey will identify potential asbestos containing materials within the building fabric and provide you with a register of all such materials.

The register is a document containing photographs of suspected materials and a location plan to help building owners and users to identify where the suspect materials are located.

Suspect materials will be tested for the presence of asbestos and the result of the test result will be included in the asbestos register identifying whether or not the sample contains asbestos and if it does, what type of asbestos is present.

The asbestos register will also provide a risk management tool allowing the building user to determine the level of risk posed by the material, taking into account the usage of the building in the location where the asbestos is present.

The process of obtaining an asbestos register and organising an asbestos survey is simple. Just call 0121 711 7110 and we’ll provide you with an instant price indication without any obligation.

Type 1 Asbestos Survey –
Management Asbestos Survey

The names of asbestos surveys have changed!

The old type 1 asbestos survey is the simplest and most commonly requested of all asbestos surveys and will not usually involve sampling. This is now referered to a being a management asbestos survey.

This type of asbestos survey is a visual, rather than invasive that involves the surveyor examining all accessible areas of a building looking for asbestos containing materials (ACM’s).

All materials that could possibly contain asbestos have to be presumed to contain asbestos.

asbestos contained in vinyl floor tiles and stair nosingsOnly testing can rule out the presence of asbestos in a material, so typically, a management asbestos survey would presume materials such as:

  • Damp proof courses
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Suspended ceiling tiles
  • Artex
  • Fireboard
  • Stair nosings
  • Certain lavatory cisterns and seats

This list is by no means exhaustive and serves only to demonstrate a few of the places where you might expect to find asbestos, depending on the age of the building and/or the materials.

It is not necessary to test any of the materials in order to comply with the CAW regulations, but in some cases, it is recommended that some materials are tested in order to rule out the presence of asbestos, especially where not to do so would result in increased building maintenance costs.

The aim of the old Type 1 Asbestos Survey is to prepare the asbestos register so that any asbestos which may be present in the building can be easily identified before being disturbed or worked upon.

Type 2 Asbestos Surveys –
Refurbishment Asbestos Survey

The old type 2 asbestos survey (also referred to as a sampling survey), is now called an “Refurbishment Asbestos Survey,” following the publication of HSG 624 (Asbestos: The Survey Guide” by the Health & Safety Executive.

Like the old type 1 asbestos survey, the type 2 asbestos survey is a visual survey and is non-invasive.

The asbestos surveyor will take small samples of materials suspected of containing asbestos and then arrange for laboratory testing to confirm or rule out the presence of asbestos.

It is important in this case that the asbestos surveyor is properly trained and experienced in conducting asbestos surveys and has undergone the correct training that will allow him to safely sample materials.

Analysis of asbestos samples must be undertaken by a laboratory that is accredited by UKAS as complying with ISO 17025 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories BSI).

The Control of Asbestos Regulations specify that all testing must be carried out by a UKAS approved asbestos testing laboratory.

All samples taken by our asbestos surveyors are tested by independent UKAS approved laboratories.

When the laboratory analysis is complete, the asbestos register will be compiled, complete with the laboratory results, identifying the type of asbestos identified, it’s location and condition, allowing the material to be safely managed.

The testing of materials identifies not only whether asbestos is present or not, but also the type of asbestos.

Type 3 Asbestos Survey

The old “type 3 asbestos survey” is now referred to as a Demolition or Refurbishment Asbestos Survey, since this type of survey takes palce in areas of buildings that are to undergo major refurbishment or be demolished.

This page still refers to the old names, since many of visitors are unaware of the recent changes to the survey names.

A type 3 asbestos survey is required whenever a building is to be demolished or the subject of a major refurbishment.

When a type 3 asbestos survey is undertaken, the asbestos surveyor will conduct an invasive survey, which means that there will inevitably be some damage caused in the areas affected by the survey.

It is not necessary to have a type 3 asbestos survey conducted on pasrts of a building unaffected by demolition or major refurbishment, so if a 3 storey building is only having one floor refurbished, then only that floor need be the subject of the type 3 survey, not the entire building.

Due to the invasive nature of the type 3 asbestos survey, it is strongly recommended that the areas affected by the survey are not occupied at the time of the survey.

The asbestos surveyor will sample all materials suspected of containing asbestos, unless, as in the case of fire doors for example, doing so will compromise the integrity of the material.

Also, electrical switchgear and equipment will not be opened and tested, as this often presents unnecessary health and safety risks.

It is easier (and more cost effective for the client) if items such as hand dryers, fuse carriers, etc are presumed to contain asbestos, so that when they come to be removed, they are simply placed, undamaged, into an asbestos skip for proper removal.

Asbestos fire doorA Note About Testing Fire Doors

However, such drilling not only ruins the door (and any fire protection), it may also contaminate the surrounding area.

For this reason, most asbestos surveyors will presume that older fire doors contain asbestos, so that they can be safely disposed of in an asbestos skip.

The image to the left shows a metal fire door from the 1970s. This type of door contains an Amostite (brown) asbestos sandwich. The surface of the door is perforated through which the asbestos content can actually been seen.

Asbestos Testing Service

We also offer an independent asbestos testing service for clients who simply need to know whether a material contains asbestos.

This service is available via our dedicated asbestos testing web site.

Unit 3 Radway Industrial Estate
Radway Road
West Midlands
B90 4NR

Tel: 0121 711 7110