Asbestos emergency? Call 0808 175 0296
Read our Google reviews
5 Stars
Check Asbestos

Help & Advice

Find answers to your questions about identifying and managing asbestos.
Free Quick Quotes
Rapid Response
Locally Based

Filter by Category

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Health concerns

The building I work in contains asbestos. What's the risk?

The presence of asbestos should not be the sole concern of the person working in a property. It is the legal requirement of the 'duty holder' (typically the building owner or property maintenance company) to carry out the appropriate checks on a regular basis.

Any damaged areas containing asbestos should not be touched until an asbestos survey and risk assessment is carried out. Any damaged asbestos should be sealed, enclosed or removed to prevent harmful fibres from circulating into the air.

Those most at risk and who should take extra care are commonly tradesmen or maintenance workers who can more easily damage the asbestos fibres during the course of their work.

What are the health problems caused by asbestos?

Today the figures show that asbestos is still a large cause of death, affecting over 5,000 people each year. Symptoms start to develop over 15-60 years. When asbestos fibres are released into the air it can cause fatal illnesses to the respiratory system from breathing it in. Such illnesses are;

Mesothelioma: A cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and the lining around the lower digestive tract. By the time of diagnosis it is often always fatal and this cancer is almost related to asbestos exposure every time.

Asbestos related lung cancer: Looks similar to lung cancer caused by smoking and is responsible for one lung cancer in every mesothelioma death.

Asbestosis: This scars the lungs after heavy exposure for years. It can cause shortness of breath and in some more severe cases cause death.

Pleural thickening: The lining of the lung starts to swell and thicken, it can cause shortness of breath and severe discomfort. This usually is due to heavy asbestos exposure.

It goes without saying that asbestos must be handled with extreme care. If you suspect asbestos is present in your property, book a survey. If you know asbestos is present and posing a risk, arrange for an asbestos removal and asbestos waste disposal operator to extract and dispose of it in a safe and legal way.

What makes asbestos so dangerous?

Asbestos can be present today in any building that was built before the year 2000, from which point the use of asbestos in building was banned. Until being banned, it was a widely used material in homes, commercial buildings and machinery.

The problems comes when asbestos is damaged. Damaged asbestos releases small fibres into the air. These fibres are easily inhaled and, once in your respiratory system, can be extremely harmful.

Health issues can take a long time to develop and ultimately cause fatal illnesses and death. Protecting yourself early from asbestos is the key, as once diagnosed it is often too late to do anything about the health implications.

To find out if your property contains asbestos, the best route is to have the suspected materials tested as part of an asbestos survey which will identify the presence and types of asbestos.

Identifying asbestos

How disruptive is an asbestos survey?

Depending on your property type (commercial or residential) and the reasons for having a survey undertaken, we will advise you on which of our five different asbestos surveys is the most appropriate.

Some asbestos surveys are non-destructive and primarily involve checking surfaces such as floors and ceilings.

Other asbestos surveys are destructive by necessity, such as the Renovation and Demolition Survey, which requires us to gain access to every area of the property which can require damaging the structure of the property.

You can read more about our asbestos surveys or get in touch with our team of experts to find the answers to your questions.

How do I check for asbestos?

Identifying asbestos in a property is more involved than simply making a visual assessment of the nature of a piece of building material. So you should always use a professional asbestos testing company to determine if your property contains asbestos.

Asbestos material testing consists of taking a small sample of material which is then tested by an external UKAS accredited lab.

Within 48-hours the lab results will provide the answer as to whether or not the sampled materials contain asbestos. Where asbestos has been identified it will need appropriately managing, and if the condition of the asbestos is not suitable to be managed, asbestos removal will be required.

How long does an asbestos survey take?

The duration of an asbestos survey depends entirely on the type of survey and the size of the property. The larger the property is and the more intrusive the survey is, the longer a survey will typically take.

Material Testing Surveys and Home Buyer Surveys for domestic properties are generally the quickest surveys we undertake, and in most cases we are able to return test results within 48-hours and full survey reports within 3-working days.

Please get in touch with a member of our team to get a better indication of how long your survey is likely to last. We will endeavor to carry out your survey as soon as possible, on a day and at a time that suits you.

How much does an asbestos survey cost?

The cost of an asbestos survey depends on the type of survey being carried out and the size of the property being surveyed.

You can request a fast free no-obligation quote today to find out how much your asbestos survey will cost.

I've just bought a property. Could it contain asbestos?

Any building built before the year 2000, either commercial or domestic, can possibly contain asbestos. Before 2000, asbestos was widely used in many building materials and can be present in many places in a property, both inside and outside.

If you think you have found asbestos in your property, do not attempt to disturb it or carry on building over or around it. Do not attempt to remove the asbestos yourself as this can release harmful particles into the air making it fatal to your health.

The best course of action is to book an asbestos survey which will identify the presence, type, location, and condition of the asbestos. Our survey reports include recommendations about how to deal with any asbestos that is identified, whether that be management or removal.

What happens if asbestos is discovered in a survey?

When an asbestos survey has identified the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM's) in a property, they will either need managing or removing.

The appropriate course of action will mostly be determined by the condition of the asbestos that has been found. Where asbestos is present, but in good condition, it can be appropriately managed and remain in place.

Businesses have a legal obligation to create an asbestos register that specifies, amongst other things, the location and condition of asbestos in their building.

Whilst the same legal requirement does not exist for residential property owners and tenants, if hazardous asbestos is identified in a survey, the asbestos needs removing and disposing of at an asbestos waste depot as soon as possible.

What is an asbestos Risk Register?

The requirement for an asbestos risk register applies to commercial and industrial properties. It is a key component to helping you manage your asbestos and it requires updating at least once a year. This register contains;

1. Dates of regular inspections of the condition of the asbestos in the property

2. Any changes resulting in the removal of asbestos

3. Any new asbestos surveys undertaken and the locations of identified asbestos

4. A record of any deterioration of the asbestos that is present

This is a very important document to have to hand when any maintenance is taking place on the property and, whilst being a legal requirement, ensures the occupants of the property and people working on the building itself are kept safe.

What is an asbestos survey and do I need one?

An asbestos survey will carry out a risk assessment and provide you with the details of;

1. The location of any asbestos

2. The type of materials that contain asbestos

3. The condition of any areas which contain asbestos

This will help you to identify any risks inside or outside your industrial or residential property.

You will be required to have a survey if you want to carry out any work on the property or just for general health concerns.

There are different types of survey available to accommodate these differing requirements. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

What is the 'duty to manage' asbestos and who has it?

The duty to manage is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (Regulation 4). It concerns the owners of commercial properties or those who have the responsibility for the maintenance of a commercial property.

Whilst this also applies to the shared parts of some domestic properties, it does not apply directly to entire residential properties and their occupants (home owners or tenants).

For more information about a businesses legal requirements in respect to asbestos, get in touch with our team of specialists for free help and advice.

What materials can contain asbestos?

Loose asbestos in ceiling or floor cavities: This was often used as insulation, between walls, under floorboards and in lofts. It appears as a fluffy white/blue substance which is very dangerous as if disturbed, large fibrous amounts are released into the air.

Lagging and insulation: Found on or around boilers, pipes and calorifiers. This looks powdery and flakey and can sometimes be painted. It is very dangerous to inhale.

Sprayed coatings: Containing 85% of asbestos in its material it is highly dangerous. It is found on the sides of industrial buildings and warehouses, insulation of the underside of roofs. Used on steel and reinforced concrete beams and underside of floors for fire protection. It appears as a white/grey colour on rough surfaces. Highly dangerous and easily disturbed.

Asbestos insulating board: Commonly used for fireproofing and other uses such as partition walls, soffits, ceiling tiles and lift shaft linings. This is very difficult to differentiate from normal plasterboard, ceiling tiles and wall panels and would need a professional to investigate. It can be dangerous when worked on for a long period of time.

Floor tiles, textiles and composites: Floor tiles were commonly used as a building material. Old textiles such as fire blankets, and heat resistant gloves contained asbestos. Textiles can be found in fuse boxes. Composites can be found in toilet cisterns, bath paneling, window sills and toilet seats. Asbestos paper was commonly used as a lining under tiles and on the inside of metal cladding. These materials are not easy to identify and would require professional help to distinguish as they can be dangerous to your health.

Textured coatings: This was once fashionable to decorate ceilings and walls with textured coatings known as ‘Artex’. This can be identified quite easily when looking at the area and knowing when your house was built. This also would require professional help as if damaged it can release particles into the air that you breathe.

Asbestos cement: Can be found on roofs, wall cladding, downpipes, gutters, cement flues, pitch water and sewer pipes. This just looks  like ordinary cement so will need a professional to help where there is damage or if any demolition of the property is required.

Where is asbestos found in a building?

Asbestos can be found all over a residential house and is commonly found both inside and outside. Such areas include lofts, cement water tanks, pipe lagging, insulation, artex ceilings, around windows, and boilers to name a few. Outside it can be found in roofs, downpipes, and cement panels.

Industrially it can be found in the above locations and also other places such as fire doors, fire blankets, beams, and partition walls to name a few.

If you suspect there are asbestos-containing materials (ACM's) in your commercial or residential property, we recommend arranging for an appropriate asbestos survey to be carried out.

Removing asbestos

Can I remove asbestos by myself?

Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove asbestos by yourself.

As stated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos removal should be carried out by a certified asbestos services company to ensure no harm comes to you, the environment, or anyone else in the vicinity.

Any attempt to remove asbestos by yourself can result in serious long-term health conditions and death. When asbestos is disturbed or damaged, dangerous fibres are released into the air which will be easily inhaled.

If you suspect there is asbestos in your property, the first step is to book an asbestos survey. You can get a fast free quote for this from our team today.

Does asbestos always need removing?

The short answer is 'no'.

When we carry out an asbestos survey, one of the main things we are checking for is the condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACM's).

Where asbestos is undamaged and undisturbed, we can provide guidance on how to best manage the asbestos without having to remove it.

However, asbestos that is not in a good condition can be hazardous and will most likely need removing from the property.

To find out how you should manage the asbestos in your property, get in touch with our team.

How much damage does removal cause?

As you would expect, to effectively remove asbestos from a property our team first needs to be able to access the areas where the asbestos is located, and then proceed with extracting it in its entirety.

In some instances this is a disruptive and intrusive process, and in others it is comparatively straightforward. This typically depends on the quantities of asbestos that need removing and where they are located in the building.

To find out how disruptive the removal of any asbestos from your own property would be, get in touch with our team today for free help and advice.

How much does asbestos removal cost?

The cost of asbestos removal depends on a number of different factors including the quantity of asbestos, the location of the asbestos in the property, and the type of asbestos.

You can request a fast free no-obligation quote today to find out how much your asbestos removal project will cost.

Disposing of asbestos

Are you certified to collect asbestos waste?

We have the necessary permits, certifications, and training to carry out asbestos surveys, remove asbestos from any type of building, and dispose of asbestos in a legally compliant manner.

When asbestos is removed and disposed of from your property, you will be issued with documentation to evidence that it was done in a legally compliant way. Our team prepare and provide all such documentation, making the process simple and hassle-free.

It is your responsibility to use a fully certified operator such as Check Asbestos and to retain your documentation after the work if completed. Failure to do so can result in significant fines.

How much does asbestos disposal cost?

The cost of asbestos disposal depends on the quantity and location of the asbestos that needs collecting and disposing of.

For any quantities under 2 tonnes, our van collection service is typically faster and cheaper than hiring an asbestos skip.

You can request a fast free no-obligation quote today to find out how much it will cost to have your asbestos collected and disposed of.

How should I dispose of asbestos waste?

You should not attempt to dispose of asbestos waste by yourself. There is a significant risk to you, the local eco-system, and other people who may come into contact with the waste.

We offer a licensed asbestos waste disposal service that is both convenient and cost-effective. We remove the entirety of the waste. This includes any contaminated materials such as rubble, PPE, rags for cleaning, contaminated tools and building materials.

They are all put into red liners for the inner bags and then on the outer liners we will label them correctly for hazardous waste and warning symbols. Large areas of asbestos will be wrapped in polythene sheeting (1000 gauge) and labelled.

The waste is then transported to our licensed disposal site located in Hull, East Yorkshire.

How soon can my waste be collected?

We aim to respond within 24 hours and in some instances can offer a same day asbestos waste collection service, subject to our collection schedule on the day.

Our team will take care of everything including loading your waste into the van and disposing of it at our national waste disposal facility.

All we require to load your asbestos waste is good access to the site, and for larger loads we can supply extra labour to carry out this work.

We will also provide you with a Certificate of Disposal so you can evidence the legal disposal of your asbestos.

What amounts of asbestos do you collect?

Our van collection service is most commonly used by people looking to dispose of asbestos roof sheets and bagged asbestos waste.

We can collect up to 2 tonnes of waste in our asbestos vans, and we will undertake the loading, transportation, and disposal of the waste on your behalf.

For amounts up to 2 tonnes, van collection can be for more cost-effective than hiring a skip, not to mention faster and less disruptive. For amounts greater than 2 tonnes, we can arrange for an appropriate skip to be delivered.

We're here to help

Our team of asbestos specialists are on hand to provide free expert help and advice. You can call us on 0808 175 0296, speak with us on live chat, or request a free quick quote by completing the form.

0808 175 0296

Get a quote

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.