Do I Need An Asbestos Survey?

Asbestos surveys are regulated by legislation. If you wish to carry out a survey or perform one yourself, then you need to be sure you are within the law. Asbestos surveying is not a safe work activity. This is because the material can be deadly and in many cases is known to have caused diseases such as mesothelioma.

In order to comply with the law, it’s important to understand just why it’s necessary and how it affects you. To begin with you need to know exactly what an asbestos survey is. It is performed on pre-existing pipe work that may need to be upgraded due to age or the presence of a condition. The asbestos is then removed to either be disposed of properly or replaced with materials that do not contain this dangerous material. Sometimes the replaced materials will also be subject to additional asbestos testing requirements.

For example, if your new boiler may need to be fitted with a heat exchanger and the existing one is not subject to survey, then your surveyor will check that there are no places where the material can break up and cause harm. You need to have your existing installation survey and then a subsequent survey conducted in order to find out if your new boiler may need a safety treatment. Your surveyor will inform you whether this treatment is applicable and if it’s he must also confirm that the installation survey was undertaken in line with the letter of the law.

An installation survey is essential when fitting a new boiler. For example, if your new boiler comes with flue pipes that must be connected to the main gas supply then your surveyor will check that these pipes are connected and sealed correctly. If the gas engineer finds any places where the pipe could split, then he will advise the manufacturer of your boiler as to the right course of action.

If your new boiler is subject to a gas leakage or if the gas escapes from your existing flue pipes then your gas engineer will be required by law to carry out a subsidence survey. Your surveyor will report back to the manufacturer and if there is evidence of structural failure then he will make suggestions as to how to address the problem.

Another type of asbestos survey is where the material is removed from inside the building. In this situation the surveyor may advise you as to the best place to have the material removed safely. For example if you had an asbestos roof installed over your attic then your surveyor would advise you as to the best place to have the asbestos removed safely. You need to find out from your surveyor what sort of preparation needs to be done before removing the material. The most common reason for removing asbestos is to create a safer environment for humans and/or animals.

If you believe you have asbestos in your home then you must carry out a Health and Safety Survey. It is recommended that you do so as soon as you suspect there may be a problem. The Health and Safety Survey will need to identify the asbestos as well as the depth of the suspected contamination, the type and quantity of asbestos and its location. This information is needed to assess the scale of the contamination, the safety needs and the risk of removal.


Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.