If there’s asbestos in your building, it’s essential you know about it

If you are an owner of a building, chances are you are aware of the very stringent legislation pertaining to asbestos. If this is new to you, you will need to take the necessary steps to become legally compliant as soon as possible, as asbestos is now an illegal substance and is a known health hazard. There are now regulations in place, since 2012, that places the responsibility on owners of buildings and landlords to manage the risk that asbestos might pose on their premises. Thus, if you own a commercial building, you are required to carry out an asbestos survey to ascertain the presence and condition of this substance. If your building was built prior to 2000 the chances are that some asbestos might be found as it was declared illegal only in 1999. Prior to this, asbestos was used extensively in buildings due to its fire-retardant properties. It was thought that it was not only a safe but an advantageous material to have in a building, but this thinking has now completely reversed.

The process of asbestos removal from your Wakefield home or building

The first step will be to call in experts who will know where to look for asbestos. It is essential that you check that the company you engage with is licensed to carry out this inspection and has had the necessary training. If you are in doubt, you can contact the Asbestos Removal Contractor Association which will be able to recommend certain companies. There are some 400 training courses in the UK around asbestos, which gives you an idea of the severity of the problem and the importance of proper knowledge. Click here to learn more.

Depending on the nature of your request, the survey would be conducted differently. For example, if you are a homeowner and you simply want the peace of mind of finding out whether there’s asbestos in your home, you might arrange for a non-intrusive survey. This way, the inspection will look thoroughly through all visible parts of your home, but will not knock through any walls or open any cladding. This is because asbestos is usually only dangerous when it’s disturbed and the fibres break free into the atmosphere. If you have asbestos as part of your roof tiles, for example, it may be that you’re given the green light that they don’t pose any immediate danger. However, the presence of the substance will be noted in an asbestos register for future reference. This will also be on record when you want to sell the house.

Refurbishment or demolition require different rules

If you are embarking on large renovations or intend to demolish a building, a full, intrusive inspection for asbestos is mandatory. Any asbestos found will need to be removed and your building will be secured and made airtight. Qualified workers will know exactly how to dispose of the substance, and will leave the building and your property decontaminated at the end of the process.

If you have asbestos in your home or building you might legally require it to be removed. ACS Health, Safety & Environment has expertly trained staff to assist you with asbestos removal in Wakefield.

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