Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once widely used in a variety of construction materials. Although its use has declined in recent years, asbestos is still present in many older buildings. If not properly managed, asbestos can pose a serious health risk. Asbestos was made illegal in the UK in 1999, but it can still be found in many older buildings. If you think there may be asbestos present in your domestic or commercial property, you should have an asbestos survey carried out by a professional such as DES Holdings. What is an asbestos survey? An asbestos survey is a process of inspecting a property for the presence of asbestos. The survey will identify the type and location of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present. Asbestos surveys are conducted by trained and qualified professionals and there are two different types of asbestos surveys: Management survey and Refurbishment/demolition survey. Management survey: A management survey is the most common type of asbestos survey. It is usually carried out when a property is first built or when it changes hands. The purpose of a management survey is to locate and identify all ACMs present in the property so that they can be managed properly. Refurbishment/demolition survey: A refurbishment/demolition survey is required when works are being carried out that will disturb asbestos-containing materials. This type of survey is more intrusive than a management survey and will often involve destructive testing such as drilling or cutting into surfaces. The purpose of a refurbishment/demolition survey is to locate and identify all ACMs so that they can be removed or safely encapsulated before work begins. For more information from the government, please click here. When is an asbestos survey required? If you think there may be asbestos present in your property, you should have an asbestos survey carried out by a professional. If you are planning to carry out any works that will disturb asbestos-containing materials, you will also need to have a refurbishment/demolition survey carried out. The purpose of surveying is to make a materials assessment: To find ACM and record what it is, where it is and how much there is To record how accessible it is, the condition, and any surface treatment To record the asbestos type through sampling or presumption When do I need to have an asbestos survey? If you think there may be asbestos present in your property When a property changes hands When carrying out works that will disturb asbestos-containing materials Purchasing a property pre-2000 Selling a property (if you know there is asbestos present this must also be disclosed) Entering a lease Landlord common areas (i.e. stairwells, roof spaces, car parking areas) Why are asbestos surveys important? Asbestos can be harmful to your health if it is disturbed or damaged. Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause serious illnesses, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. If you suspect asbestos in your property, do not try to remove or contain it yourself, professionals should be contacted to handle it correctly. Professional asbestos surveyors If you suspect asbestos at your property or wish to undertake a professional survey to rule out the presence of ACM, please get in touch with DES Holdings to arrange a survey or get further advice.