A quick guide to the two main types of asbestos surveys


| Author - Chris Bell

A quick guide to the two main types of asbestos surveys

Many people still believe that one asbestos survey is much like another. Yet asbestos surveys vary quite widely and this can have a big effect both on costs and results. Knowing the different types of asbestos surveys we offer can ensure that you get the right one and can potentially save you money and hassle further down the line! Here are the key facts about the two main types of asbestos surveys:

Asbestos survey type 1: Management survey

This is what is considered the standard type of survey. It’s the one we would use to identify, as far as is practical, the presence and extent of any possible ACMs (Asbestos-Containing Materials) with the potential to be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy. In this type of survey we also assess the condition of the ACMs and their potential to release fibres into the air if they’re disturbed. These surveys may entail some minor work and disturbance and usually involve sampling and analysis to confirm whether or not ACMs are present. They can also involve “presuming” the presence or absence of asbestos. A management survey can be completed by both sampling ACMs and presuming ACMs or by just presuming. However, any materials presumed to contain asbestos must also have their condition assessed. Presuming the presence of asbestos means that sampling and analysis can be put off for a later time. However, as well as having potential cost implications, this approach is less rigorous, can lead to delays in work and is more difficult to control.

Asbestos survey type 2: Refurbishment and demolition survey

As the name makes clear, a refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. We use this type of survey to locate and describe (as far as reasonably practicable) all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building, in the case of demolition. This is a detailed survey in which we inspect all areas, including those that are difficult to reach! However, we work hard to minimise disturbance for our clients wherever possible. In this type of survey, where the asbestos is identified so that it can be removed (rather than being managed), the survey doesn’t usually assess the condition of the asbestos beyond indicating areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present. However, where the asbestos removal may not take place for some time, the condition of the ACMs will need to be assessed and the materials must be managed.

What’s the right asbestos survey for you?

The best choice of asbestos survey will depend on the type, age and lifespan of your property. It may require a mix of the two over its lifetime. For example, you may need to have a management survey completed for the everyday use of the building, with a refurbishment or demolition survey required when the building (or part of it) is due to be upgraded, refurbished or demolished.

Like to know more about choosing the right asbestos survey for your property? Please get in touch.