Asbestos Removal Cost - Why it Pays To Hire Asbestos Professionals
Asbestos Removal Cost - It still not unusual to find Asbestos in both domestic and commercial premises despite the fact that the substance was banned from use in the UK in 1999.
Due to its highly dangerous nature it is recommended that asbestos professionals are called whenever asbestos is suspected to be present.
Asbestos Removal Cost
It is important to note that asbestos is a highly dangerous material and if fibres enter the lungs fatal diseases can result, therefore extreme care must be taken and we would always recommend using trained asbestos professionals under all circumstances.
However, from a legal point of view there is a distinction between asbestos found in a domestic residence and asbestos found in a commercial property.
If you were to find asbestos in your own home, then it is up to you how you deal with it - legally you can take the decision whether to remove it yourself or call in the experts.
In contrast, asbestos found in a workplace is treated very differently - those responsible for the running of the working premises have a duty of care as set out in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR) to dispose of any Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) safely and responsibly.
Removing Asbestos from a Domestic Property
Whilst homeowners are legally allowed to make their own decisions on exactly how any asbestos is removed, it is highly recommended to use a qualified professional as the removal process is the time when individuals are most at risk from contamination.
In fact, asbestos is only dangerous when it is disturbed, whether by natural or artificial means, as this is when the dangerous fibres are released into the air and can be breathed in by people in the vicinity.
Do You Need an Asbestos Removal Cost Estimate?
It can be difficult to tell if asbestos is present without an intrusive survey and as discussed, asbestos is generally considered not to be harmful whilst it maintains its structure.
One way to get a good idea if your property is likely to contain ACMs is by date of construction.
Asbestos was banned in 1999, so any property built after this date will not have ACMs present.
However, if your property was constructed between 1920 - 1999 it is likely that ACMs are present!
So if your property was built between 1920 - 1999 to get an asbestos removal cost estimate you will almost certainly need an asbestos survey.
Where is Asbestos Likely to be Found in a Home?
Asbestos is most likely to be found in roofing of homes as it was used extensively in this way, however many cement walls contain asbestos, as well as insulating boards and cavity walls.
It is also often found in flooring, gutters and pipes. Click here to read more about asbestos removal in London
Removing Asbestos – Commercial Property
The first question here is;
what constitutes a commercial property?
The CAR legislation does not actually define exactly what is considered to be a commercial property, however the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) takes a broad view and it is probably more accurate to talk about ‘non-domestic’ properties.
A commercial or non-domestic property would be any property in which members of the public either in the course of their work or regular every day activities have access to that property.
This includes commercial premises, retail premises, offices, industrial premises, hospitals, schools, universities, prisons as well as places of worship.
Also included in the definition of non-domestic property would be common areas in blocks of residential flats, in garages or car parks, access and circulation areas for flats over a retail unit and, in relation to hotels, pubs and halls of residence, all guest accommodation and communal areas.
Who is Responsible?
The individual(s) responsible for ensuring compliance with CAR is the ‘duty holder’.
The duty holder includes anyone responsible for upkeep, maintenance or repair of the premises, it also includes, where there is no contract or tenancy attached to the building any person(s) who have any measure of control over a building, or part of it, and persons who have means of access or egress to the property.
In short that broad definition covers any tenants, landlords and freeholders of a property.
What are the Responsibilities?
As far as the HSE is concerned the duty holder must assume that ACMs are present unless they have comprehensive evidence to the contrary.
This means that any property constructed prior to 2000 will almost certainly need an asbestos survey to assess any risk – if you are buying or renting a non-domestic property you will need to be aware of what measures have been undertaken in regard to CAR because as soon as you become the owner or tenant you will become responsible as the duty holder.
It has recently been reported that up to 90% of the schools in England contain asbestos and that the CAR requirements have been poorly managed, prompting the HSE to start making plans to carry out inspections in school which are not “managing asbestos in line with regulatory requirements”.
Asbestos Disposal Costs: What Are the Different Types of Asbestos?
The asbestos disposal cost can depend on the type of asbestos present in a building and there are two main types of asbestos that were used in the UK;
Chrysotile (white asbestos) is generally found in buildings, homes and garages and is identifiable by its grey/white colouring and its flexible but strong structure.
Amosite (brown asbestos) is also used in buildings but is usually found being used as thermal insulation.
As discussed above, whilst legal to deal with yourself, it is highly recommended that anyone wishing to remove asbestos contact an expert before doing anything else.
Asbestos Removal Cost Estimate - Does it Need Removal?
Apart from the safety aspect when getting an asbestos removal cost estimate, there is also the question of whether the asbestos actually needs to be removed - asbestos only represents a danger to health if its fibres are released into the air. This means that as long as the substance maintains its structural integrity it is not hazardous.
Calling in a qualified and experienced asbestos expert can help determine exactly how you should proceed if you suspect asbestos is present in a property.
Asbestos Removal Cost Factors
Ultimately, like any professional service, the amount of work involved will dictate the costs of removal. Therefore, the quantity of asbestos, combined with exactly where it is located and what needs to be done to gain access to the area containing the asbestos, will all need to be factored in.
Whilst the cost of removing asbestos will vary on a case-by-case basis the process undertaken will be more-or-less the same in every situation.
First of all a survey will need to be undertaken to establish whether asbestos is found in a premises, in what quantity it is present and what the risk to human health may be as a result.
There are different levels of intrusiveness when it comes to asbestos surveys and the asbestos removal cost will depend to a large extent on the findings of the survey you can read about asbestos management and refurbishment surveys here.
Once the survey is complete there are three broad outcomes possible;
firstly that the asbestos remains structurally intact and therefore presents no risk to human health and no further action is required and therefore no further costs are incurred.
The second possibility is that the asbestos does pose a threat, but that 'encapsulation' rather than 'removal' is possible.
Encapsulation is where the asbestos surveyor has determined that the asbestos fibres can be contained by applying a layer of protective adhesive material to all ACMs which locks the fibres in and prevents them becoming airborne.
The third option will be the most expensive, this is where the asbestos is considered to be a serious risk and removal is the only option. The cost of removing asbestos is much more than encapsulation due to the fact that it almost always requires changes to the structure of a building and depending on the size and layout of the premises could involve significant work.
Asbestos Removal Price: Summary
Asbestos is viewed differently in the eyes of the law based on whether it is found in a domestic or a non-domestic property, however, whichever type of building it is found in, asbestos represents a major health danger and as such, regardless of the law, should be treated with the utmost seriousness and an asbestos removal price should always be sought from a qualified asbestos professional.
It is highly advisable to contact an asbestos expert if you suspect asbestos is present in your domestic property and if you are a duty holder for a non-domestic property then this is a legal requirement as well as potentially fatal health issue.
For a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced asbestos surveyors please call 01322 273517 or simply complete the form below and we will call you back.