If you suspect that there could be asbestos present in your premises, booking an asbestos survey is the first action to take.
In fact, asbestos surveys are key in any asbestos management process, and there are many specialised contractors like ourselves who offer this service.
However you may be wondering how much an asbestos survey typically costs.
Let’s answer this question below, since there are various factors that come into play.
What is an Asbestos Survey?
First of all let’s explain what an asbestos survey actually entails.
Put simply, it is a basic investigation into your building to check whether there are any asbestos-containing materials present.
As asbestos fibres are microscopic, it’s necessary to take a sample of any suspect materials found, which are then checked in a laboratory to identify whether asbestos is present or not.
The survey will also provide important details including the type of asbestos discovered, if any as well as the quantity, and the location within the building’s structures.
Hence an asbestos survey is critical for asbestos management as it provides you with key information on how to proceed in removing or dealing with it.
A full risk assessment and a written plan of action is generally provided at the conclusion of the survey.
Type of Survey Required
There are three different types of asbestos surveys. They are:
Asbestos Management Survey
An asbestos management survey is the type carried out on regular buildings which are not regarded as especially old.
This was typically referred to as a type 1 or type 2 survey, and basically involves a visual inspection of the building.
This is a standard type of survey that is typically carried out for asbestos management where no works will need to be carried out.
Asbestos Demolition Survey
This asbestos survey is recommended for older properties and involves a thorough, and fully intrusive inspection.
The surveyors will perform more detailed inspections of the materials present in the building to see exactly what they are, and whether there is any asbestos present that poses a health hazard.
Asbestos Refurbishment Survey
An asbestos refurbishment survey is performed before any intrusive work is carried out.
The surveyor will inspect carefully the places and locations where works shall be carried out to ascertain whether there is any asbestos present that may present a danger to health.
Type & Size of Property
The type of property and size inspected has a direct impact on the cost of any asbestos survey.
The bigger the building, the higher the survey’s cost is naturally going to be.
When the asbestos survey is carried out, the surveyor will need to detail each room and space in the property, and assign it with a reference.
Hence a building that comprises several rooms or individual offices might be more costly than say an open plan warehouse for example.
This is because it will take more time to inspect each and every room individually, regardless of whether the warehouse is considerably larger in surface area.
As a result, there’s generally a notable difference from one property to another as it depends on the type of property, its composition and size.
Age of Property
The age of a property is also a key feature when it comes to asbestos survey costs.
If a building was built before the 1990s, there’s a far greater chance that there were asbestos-containing materials used during its construction.
One would also need to take into account the types of asbestos products present in the property, including tiles, roofing, siding, etc.
The older a building, the more samples will need to be taken and the more extensive the asbestos survey will need to be.
Hence the cost of the survey will typically be considerably higher.
Type of Contractor
You may wish to carry out some research on the services offered by different contractors, as well as their rates for asbestos surveys.
It is important to know who you will be hiring for such a sensitive job.
Make sure that the contractor has plenty of experience, both with regards to expertise as well as technical knowledge and number of years in this field.
Having a contractor who works according to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) standards and places utmost importance on best safety practices is of critical importance in this case..
You may thus wish to check reviews posted by other clients, as well as verify with the UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) that the contractor is accredited and trustworthy.
Better still, use a fully licensed asbestos removal contractor who has all the necessary certification from the HSE.
Number of Samples Taken
In some cases, surveys are charged at a set day rate.
During this time, several samples are taken.
However some contractors might charge per sample they take.
This might vary from one contractor to another, as well as according to the type of building.
As noted earlier, the older a building is, the more samples tend to be taken.
The level of accessibility of the property is also going to affect the cost of the survey.
Some commercial properties will have certain security restrictions, and so permission might need to be sought for site access.
For more intrusive surveys, the occupants of the building will need to be vacated while the survey is carried out.
In some cases, planning will need to be put in place to stagger the survey schedule, or have the contractor conduct the survey outside normal working hours.
Some areas in the building might also be difficult to access physically.
If there are heights or obstructions involved, the survey cost will increase.
A risk assessment is generally carried out in such cases as there might be the need to set up scaffolding or use certain equipment to perform the survey.
While in most cases an asbestos survey ranges between £300 and £500, it all depends on the contractor, the age, type and size of the building.
In some cases, a more intrusive survey carried out in a large property with areas that may be difficult to access, might exceed £1500.
Prices also vary according to the type of asbestos survey performed, as discussed above.
Hence, it’s best to ask your contractor for a tailored quote to be better able to understand what the work entails and why the survey cost is as quoted.