Property development can often take the form of extensive, and exhausting, work. In many cases the project will only be completed once the property in question has been extensively refurbished or renovated, whether this involves structural developments or a more simple process of re-decorating. In the UK, where the use of asbestos was banned in all construction in 1999, any property refurbishment project managers must first be fully aware of the potential presence of asbestos on the property before commencing with the refurbishment tasks.
The problem with asbestos materials is that once they are disturbed, asbestos fibres can enter the surrounding air. Anyone who comes into contact with asbestos fibres, or inhales them, could be in danger of suffering long-term health complications. Asbestos related diseases and deaths are becoming more common in the UK, as they take years, and sometimes decades, for symptoms to display. Mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers are unforgiving, and if you are in charge of a property refurbishment, it is your legal obligation to ensure that everyone working on the project understands the presence of asbestos, the potential dangers, and that if asbestos is to be moved, it is done so by a professional, licensed contractor who knows how to handle the potentially dangerous materials.
In order to identify areas of a property where asbestos might be present, the best option to take is to work with a professional asbestos survey company. A specific pre-refurbishment asbestos survey will deliver to you a detailed report on the property you are about to conduct refurbishment work on. The survey will require access to all areas of the property in order to conduct as thorough an inspection as possible. It will locate all asbestos and describe, exactly, the asbestos materials found in the building.
In order to go ahead with a property refurbishment project, if asbestos is discovered and will be disturbed during the process, it is the legal obligation of the property owner to safely remove the asbestos before tradespeople commence refurbishment tasks. Failure to do so could put lives in danger, and on a personal level lead to a criminal conviction, fine and even imprisonment in the worst cases of failure of responsibility. Hiring a professional asbestos removal service is the most effective way to deal with asbestos at your property, as they have the protocols and safe processes with which to remove the harmful materials without putting people in danger.
A pre-refurbishment asbestos survey is quite intrusive, but it if required for extensive refurbishment projects on properties built prior to the year 2000. Due to its intrusive nature, this type of asbestos survey cannot take place whilst the building is occupied, or in cases where a property owner is to allow occupation of the building before refurbishment work takes place. Asbestos surveys should always be undertaken as part of a wider, detailed plan for the entire project, ensuring that the safety of all people working on the project, the building owner, and future occupants are all safe from harm in terms of exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related materials.