It is a legal requirement to carry out an asbestos survey first!

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What is a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey?

A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used 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 if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach.

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Why do I need a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey?

A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, eg when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out. There is a specific requirement in CAR 2012 (regulation 7) for all ACMs to be removed as far as reasonably practicable before major refurbishment or final demolition.

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Why a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey is important.

Refurbishment and demolition surveys are intended to locate all the asbestos in the building (or the relevant part), as far as reasonably practicable. It is a disruptive and fully intrusive survey which may need to penetrate all parts of the building structure. Aggressive inspection techniques will be needed to lift carpets and tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors. In these situations, controls should be put in place to prevent the spread of debris, which may include asbestos.

Refurbishment and demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to minimise risks to the public or employees on the premises. Ideally, the building should not be in service and all furnishings removed. For minor refurbishment, this would only apply to the room involved or even part of the room where the work is small and the room large.

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Where can asbestos be located?

Asbestos could be present in any building that was built or refurbished before the year 2000.

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Water Tank

Is usually made of asbestos cement and is often found in older properties (pre 1980).


Pipe Lagging

Asbestos insulation on pipes. Used to keep heat in or cold out. Often painted over or protected by outer coating so not obviously asbestos.


Property Insulation

Loose asbestos can be found as insulation in wall and floor cavities and in lofts.


Textured coating (eg artex)

Can be found throughout property on ceilings and sometimes walls.


Soffit Board (roof overhang)

Soffit board sits behind fascia at eaves level. Board can be made from asbestos cement or asbestos insulating board.


Toilet cistern

Toilet cisterns can contain asbestos-reinforced resin composite materials.


Wall Panelling

Asbestos can be found as external wall cladding and as internal wall panelling both particularly around windows.


Fuse box

Often found in hall or under stairs. Each fuse wire has an individual asbestos flash guard. Panel behind fuse box can be asbestos.


Heater Cupboard

Heater cupboard around domestic boiler often contains asbestos insulating board.


Floor tiles

Vinyl and thermoplastic floor tiles can contain asbestos. The tile backing may also contain asbestos paper.


Rainwater items

Roof gutters and down pipes can often be made of asbestos cement.