Before having all or part of a building demolished, it’s essential for you to have a demolition survey carried out by an asbestos specialist. Asbestos was very widely used in construction throughout the 20th century in the UK. Unfortunately it has now been established that asbestos can cause a number of highly debilitating conditions and it was completely banned from use by the UK government in 1999. Nevertheless, buildings that were built before 1999 often contain the substance.
As long as asbestos is in good condition it only poses a risk to human health if it is moved or otherwise disturbed. So in most cases there is no cause for concern even if you know there is asbestos somewhere within a property.
Asbestos demolition surveys – what to do
An exception to this is when a building is demolished. If the demolition process is carried out on a building containing asbestos, the fibres from the material will be released in the atmosphere. This is where they are a danger as breathing these fibres into the lungs is hazardous to human health.
So if you are demolishing a part of building, you need to establish whether it has asbestos inside. To do this you need a demolition survey. This survey will use intrusive surveying methods throughout the building to attempt to locate any asbestos that may be hidden.
Asbestos can often be found in parts of the building that are difficult to access such as on the inside of walls, under solid floors, in roof voids and other areas that are hard to reach without specialist equipment. A demolition survey will carry out a thorough search throughout the building, often using destructive techniques to be able to establish where asbestos is present.
If asbestos is found on the property you will be need to put a plan in place to deal with it so that the demolition can be carried out safely. This might involve having the asbestos removed from the building or putting additional plans in place to ensure that no workers are exposed to asbestos fibres in the air.
If you’re having a building demolished anywhere in the South East of England, Crucial Environmental can carry out a full demolition survey for you. Get in contact or call us on 01903 297818 for more information.