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Discovering asbestos in your home is a serious worry, both for the potential health risks and the financial burden. You might be tempted to save money by doing the asbestos survey yourself, but this is one area where tackling it yourself can backfire badly.

At Prokil, our mission is to help everyone live in a safe and comfortable home. Below, we’ll explain why skipping a professional asbestos survey is a risky move that could end up costing you more in the long run.

What is asbestos and why is it dangerous?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals known for their heat and fire resistance. These minerals can be broken down into very thin fibres that are invisible to the naked eye. When these fibres are disturbed and become airborne, they can be inhaled and become trapped in the lungs, leading to serious health problems like:

  • Mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs or abdomen.
  • Asbestosis, a serious lung disease that causes shortness of breath and coughing.
  • Lung cancer.

Because of these dangers, it’s vital to identify and properly manage any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in your home.

Why shouldn’t you attempt an asbestos survey on your own?

Here’s why attempting your own asbestos survey is a gamble:

  • Asbestos can be disguised in various building materials, like flooring, insulation, and textured ceilings, and a layperson might miss them entirely. Professionals possess the knowledge and experience to locate and assess potential risks, drawing on years of training to recognise ACMs in all their forms.
  • Proper asbestos testing involves collecting samples and sending them to a certified laboratory for analysis. Professionals understand the proper sampling techniques to deliver accurate results.
  • Depending on your location, regulations might mandate professional asbestos surveys before renovations or demolition. A DIY survey won’t fulfil these legal requirements and could lead to fines, project delays, and even lawsuits if asbestos exposure occurs.
  • Disturbing ACMs during a DIY survey can release asbestos fibres into the air, posing a serious health risk. Professionals have the training and equipment to minimise this risk.

What happens during a professional asbestos survey?

During a professional asbestos survey, a surveyor follows a standardised process. Here’s what they’ll do:

  • Before setting foot in the building, the surveyor will collect information about the building’s history, construction materials used, and any asbestos surveys conducted previously. This helps them target areas where asbestos was commonly used in past construction practices.
  • The surveyor will move through each room of the property, looking for materials that match the profile of potential ACMs based on the information gathered earlier. They’ll also pay attention to the condition of these materials, as damaged or deteriorating ACMs pose a greater risk of releasing harmful asbestos fibres.
  • Not all suspicious materials require sampling. However, if the surveyor identifies materials that they can’t definitively rule out as asbestos-free through visual inspection alone, samples will be collected. These samples are then sent to a certified laboratory for analysis using specialised techniques to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos fibres and their type.
  • Once the inspection and any lab testing are complete, the surveyor will compile a comprehensive report detailing their findings. This report acts as a roadmap for managing the asbestos situation in the building. It will typically include:
    • A detailed inventory of all identified ACMs, including their location and type (e.g., asbestos-containing ceiling tiles, pipe lagging).
    • An assessment of the condition of the ACMs, determining if they’re in good condition and unlikely to release fibres or if they are damaged and require further action.
    • An asbestos risk assessment based on the type, location, and condition of the ACMs. This helps determine the potential for occupants or workers to be exposed to asbestos fibres.
    • Recommendations for managing the ACMs. Depending on the survey type (management survey or refurbishment/demolition survey), the recommendations will address how to safely manage the ACMs in place or plan for their removal before renovation or demolition work.

Get peace of mind with Prokil’s expert asbestos surveys

While the DIY spirit is great for fixing leaky taps and painting walls, asbestos surveys are definitely one job best left to the professionals. Their expertise, equipment, and adherence to safety protocols result in a thorough and accurate assessment, ultimately protecting your health and saving you money in the long run.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy asbestos survey team in the South, look no further than Prokil! We’re fully qualified by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) to take samples of any suspicious asbestos in your home or business, send them to a specialised lab for analysis, and pass over the report they provide. If the results show asbestos, we can recommend a UKATA-approved removal specialist to safely remove it from your property.

Safety and fair prices are our top priorities. No matter the size or type of your property, we can find even the tiniest amount of asbestos and help you make your space safe again.

Our services cover much of the South, including London, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Devon, Kent, and further afield. If you’re ready to get started, book a survey online or call us on 01202 515566 today!

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