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Bought A House That Has Asbestos, Now What?
When it comes to purchasing a house, there are a couple of important steps to take to ensure that the property you’re buying doesn’t come with any nasty surprises. Unfortunately, a survey might not reveal all of the secrets a house could be hiding. In some cases, it might leave out certain details or the survey might not include methods of detection for certain problems.
Perhaps the most worrying issue is realising that the home you’ve just bought is full of asbestos. This is usually the case for an older home, especially if it’s been around for some time. If you’ve found asbestos in your property, then it’s crucial that you take the right steps to remove it.
How do I test for asbestos in my property?
Testing for asbestos usually involves hiring a professional asbestos analysis company. This is arguably the safest and most secure way to check for asbestos without putting yourself at risk. A fully managed asbestos survey will help you reveal all of the details regarding asbestos in your property. However, you can also purchase a self-testing kit on websites such as Amazon. However, asbestos is a hazardous material and we don’t recommend that you try to handle it yourself as it could lead to health risks. As such, we highly recommend looking for a professional company to help you perform a property-wide survey that checks for asbestos.
Firstly, look for a certified asbestos inspector in your local area. Any accredited company will do, but it’s preferable if they have a lot of resources at their disposal such as a testing laboratory. This shows they have the tools and expertise needed to analyse your samples for asbestos, thus giving you more accurate results. You’ll have to schedule an inspection first, so try to get an appointment as early as possible.
Once the inspector has arrived, they’ll need to collect samples from various areas in the house. If you have any information that could help them, then it helps to point them in the right direction so you can speed things up. In most cases, an inspector will check areas such as ceilings and insulation as these are the most common areas. After the samples have been collected, the inspector will take them to a laboratory for analysis.
Depending on how advanced the company is, they’ll use a variety of different equipment to identify asbestos fibres. They’ll compile a report on the samples they took, and this will give you detailed information on the situation in your home.
Who can remove my asbestos?
Whoever performs your asbestos survey will notify you of what kind of asbestos removal service you’ll need.
In most cases, low-grade asbestos from areas like cement, floor tiles, and artex ceiling can be removed by a UKATA-trained and insured business such as JS Removals. This is usually a quick and simple process that will clean up the asbestos and give you peace of mind knowing that your home is safe and free of those problems.
However, if there is asbestos in your insulation board, then you’ll need to get in touch with an HSE-licensed contractor.
How can I be sure I am using a reputable company?
There are a number of ways to ensure that the company you’re using is a reputable one.
- Check for reviews on Google. Reputable asbestos inspection and removal companies will have good reviews on Google. Look for any company that has close to five stars, but also check out the individual reviews to see what people say. This will give you the confidence to contact these specialists and also peace of mind knowing that they’re capable of doing their jobs properly.
- Do they carry out risk assessments? Also known as Risk Assessment Method Statements (RAMS), any competent company that performs work that could potentially disturb asbestos will carry out a thorough risk assessment before any work begins. This gives them enough time to put appropriate precautions in place and also establishes any potential risk to the inhabitants of the property.
- Do they have the right training and certifications? The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) dedicates itself to improving the quality and standards of asbestos training. Companies such as JS Removals have received full UKATA training, giving us the expertise and knowledge to handle a variety of different situations and workloads that involve asbestos. If the company that you’re hiring doesn’t have any kind of training or certifications, then it’s a good idea to skip over them and look for a more qualified company.
- Have they completed past projects? Lastly, make sure the company you’re hiring has completed past projects and has proof of this. This will give you peace of mind knowing that they’re experienced and have removed asbestos before.
How do I know my asbestos has been disposed of correctly?
Any competent company that is tasked with the removal of the asbestos in your home will need to provide paperwork on completion. This is known as a hazardous consignment note or asbestos disposal certificate. This will contain all of the information regarding the job and can be used to verify a job well done.
You can also review the company’s disposal protocols and even contact waste management authorities to ask about the disposal. There will be records of the disposal of the asbestos that can be traced back to the company if they have performed their duties correctly.
However, it’s also worth conducting a post-removal inspection to ensure that the asbestos in all of the affected and neighbouring areas has been removed correctly. Your asbestos inspection company should be more than happy to reassess the situation in your property, checking the same places and the rest of your home for any signs of asbestos. Some people may also want to consider contacting a separate licensed asbestos inspection service to get a different opinion on the matter.
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