While buying a new property is exciting, there are some significant aspects to check out. This helps you know exactly what you are purchasing! One of the important questions to ask is whether or not the property is likely to contain asbestos.
This blog will help you identify if you should have an asbestos survey when buying a property.
Is an Asbestos Survey a Legal Requirement When Buying a Property?
Carrying out an asbestos survey is not a legal requirement when buying a property for homes built after 2000. However, there are many reasons why it is a good idea. Most importantly, carrying out a survey will help you confirm that the property you are purchasing is safe from the health risks of asbestos. If asbestos is present, the survey will issue you with recommendations for dealing with the material safely.
When is a Property Likely to Have Asbestos?
If your property was built before the year 2000, there is a chance the material is present.
Asbestos was widely used by builders due to its strong, low cost, insulating, water and chemical resistant properties. However, the fibres the material is composed of are extremely toxic and dangerous when airborne and inhaled. The fibres do remain safe if left alone and the material is not damaged or disturbed.
Unfortunately, Asbestos was used in properties and building work up until as recently as 1999. Since then, there has been a ban on use of the mineral within the UK. This has led to research suggesting that around half of all homes in the UK are at risk of asbestos. And this figure is even steeper for other types of buildings, with a government report finding that a massive 75% of schools in the UK are at risk of having asbestos containing materials within the properties!
There may not be an immediate risk if the asbestos is left alone. However, there is still the possibility of a significant health risk within a property containing asbestos as the fibres can become disturbed. For example, water damage to a ceiling containing asbestos could disturb and disperse the dangerous fibres. Additionally, many insurance policies will not cover the damage if the material is found. They will however sometimes cover the cost of asbestos removal as part of your claim.
Where Would Asbestos Be in a Property?
If you suspect there may be asbestos within a property, there are some places you are most likely to find it. Two of the most common places are within decorative ceiling coatings and vinyl floor tiles. Other common areas include insulation, internal garage roofs, storage tanks, rainwater pipes and gutters.
If there is a chance asbestos is present in the building you are interested in buying, an asbestos survey is always recommended. This is the same regardless of whether the property is a residential home or a commercial property.
If you are looking for a qualified and experienced team to carry out an asbestos survey for a property you are buying, contact us as South East Asbestos Surveys Ltd for a free quote.