I have just bought a property – could it contain asbestos?
Asbestos may be part of any commercial or domestic building which was built or refurbished before the year 2000. Asbestos can typically still be found in any of the following:
- asbestos cement products (pipes, flues, roofs etc)
- lagging (on pipes and boilers etc)
- water tanks and toilet cisterns
- asbestos insulating board (AIB – which closely resembles typical plasterboard)
- loose asbestos in ceiling and wall cavities
- sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams / columns
- textured decorative coatings (commonly referred to as Artex)
- floor tiles
- textiles and composites
If you are concerned that your property may contain asbestos please contact Hatch Consultancy for further advice.
I think I may have asbestos in my home – what should I do?
Do not try to repair or remove any asbestos materials yourself. You should seek advice from an approved asbestos consultant. If you are sure (or strongly suspect) that your home contains asbestos materials then it is often best to leave them where they are – especially if they are in good condition and unlikely to get damaged. You should check the condition of the materials from time to time to make sure they haven’t been damaged or started to deteriorate.
If you are planning any DIY home improvements, repairs or maintenance – and intend to bring in any additional builders, maintenance workers or contractors – you should inform them of any asbestos materials in your home before they start work.
In addition, please be aware that ACMs need to be legally disposed of as hazardous waste. This should not be mixed with normal household waste. You may be able to arrange to have it collected or there may be special facilities in your area you can use to dispose of it.
The only way to be certain that a material does or does not contain asbestos is to have the material sampled and analysed for asbestos.
Do I need an asbestos survey?
An asbestos survey is an effective way to help you manage asbestos in your premises by providing accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2013 there is a duty to manage the risk from asbestos. While an asbestos survey is not a legal requirement, if you are to manage the risk from asbestos then you need to know where these risks are. Alternatively, you may choose to presume there is asbestos in your premises and you would then need to take all appropriate precautions for any work that takes place. However, it is good practice to have an asbestos survey inspection carried out to assess whether asbestos is present or not and to undertake an asbestos assessment to ensure that appropriate management controls are implemented.
How to check for asbestos?
As part of the asbestos inspection a thorough visual assessment is made of all areas of the property. Whilst a trained asbestos surveyor may be able to visually identify some asbestos materials an asbestos survey will also usually involve sampling and analysis to determine the presence of asbestos. Asbestos surveys should only be carried out by competent surveyors who can clearly demonstrate they have the necessary skills, experience and qualifications.
Who is responsible for commissioning an asbestos survey?
The duty to manage asbestos is contained in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This requires the person who has the duty i.e. the “dutyholder” to manage the risk of asbestos.
In many cases, the dutyholder is the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract.
The extent of the duty will depend on the nature of that agreement. In a building occupied by one leaseholder, the agreement might be for either the owner or leaseholder to take on the full duty for the whole building; or it might be to share the duty. In a multi-occupied building, the agreement might be that the owner takes on the full duty for the whole building. Or it might be that the duty is shared – for example, the owner takes responsibility for the common parts while the leaseholders take responsibility for the parts they occupy. Sometimes, there might be an agreement to pass the responsibilities to a managing agent. In these instances it is often come for the cost of the survey to be shared by the owner and the leaseholders.
Where there is no tenancy agreement or contract or where the premises are unoccupied, the duty is placed on whoever has control of the premises which is usually the owner.
How much does an asbestos survey cost?
The cost of the survey is dependant on a number of factors but primarily size, age and location. Typically residential asbestos surveys start from £150.00. For a free no obligation quote please contact us here and wherever possible we guarantee a quotation within 24 hours.
If you have a question that you feel is not answered on this site then we would love to hear from you. Please email us with your asbestos related questions.