As mentioned above you require an asbestos refurbishment survey before you undertake any intrusive, or destructive, refurbishment work. The current refurbishment asbestos survey guidance clearly states the difference in the level of survey needed for refurbishment works and for demolition of a building. As a duty holder you will need an asbestos demolition survey (more information on this can be found on the next FAQ below) if you’re proposing to entirely demolish a building. Asbestos refurbishment surveys are used to locate and describe (as far as reasonably practicable) all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in an area or building where refurbishment work is planned. An asbestos refurbishment survey may also be needed in other circumstances e.g. if more intrusive maintenance and repair work is planned, or for plant removal or dismantling.
What’s involved in an asbestos refurbishment survey?
Asbestos refurbishment surveys are fully intrusive, and involve quite destructive inspection methods to allow our surveyors to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. As well as this we utilse quite aggressive inspection techniques to lift up carpets and floor tiles, break through ceilings, cladding, walls and partitions, and open up floors – we advise that asbestos refurbishment surveys should generally only be completed in unoccupied areas and the area should not be operational, in order to minimise risks to people on the premises.
If an asbestos refurbishment survey is being undertaken is so that the asbestos can be removed then the survey will not normally assess the condition of it – except to indicate areas of damage, or where additional asbestos debris may be present. However if the removal of asbestos may not take place for some time, the condition of asbestos-containing materials will usually be assessed, so that a full asbestos management plan can be implemented.