An asbestos survey or testing is typically needed before any construction/building demolition, remodelling, renovation or repairing of any structure. All potential suspect asbestos containing materials (PACM) should be suspected to contain asbestos unless tested by an accredited asbestos surveyor who is qualified and authorised to do so under the relevant building control authorities in your country of residence. Any suspected asbestos must be removed as soon as is practically possible, otherwise it could become airborne and cause health issues for anyone living or working in the affected area.
There are a wide variety of different asbestos regulations in force in various countries around the world. In the UK there are specific regulations for the safe removal and disposal of asbestos; these usually cover work carried out on commercial or public sector buildings. The main parts of the body of a building that may be vulnerable to the risk of asbestos include the roofs, floors, walls, partition panels, pipes, ventilation systems, electrical systems and insulation.
Where the risk of asbestos contamination is highest a special procedure called sub-slab depressurization is undertaken, which is aimed at removing any traces of asbestos that remain within the building. This is followed by the immediate removal and replacement of all asbestos-containing materials.
Prior to any demolition or repair of a building or property to a qualified asbestos surveyor must be consulted. They are professionals who are fully trained and experienced in the removal of asbestos and will use high quality equipment with specialised asbestos brushes to clean affected areas.
The most effective way to remove asbestos from a structure is through the ‘punching out’ method, where a large amount of asbestos is first brought into the area to be worked on, then subsequently removed with specialist equipment. It is vital to remember that even the smallest amounts of asbestos can prove deadly and therefore it is essential to eradicate the asbestos from a structure as soon as possible.