Asbestos surveys and removal services for homes and commercial buildings

Posted on March 25, 2024 by Categories: News

Asbestos was once widely used in construction projects around the world, including in England, and it’s something we still come across when demolishing and clearing existing structures. The use of asbestos was banned in the UK 1999, but around 5,000 people still die every year from asbestos-related diseases. That’s why the identification of asbestos in buildings is carefully regulated, and its removal needs to be carried out by Trained Operatives.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at what asbestos is and why it’s so dangerous. Before sharing the rules, you need to know how it can be safely removed. At David Horton Contractors Ltd we offer a full range of asbestos services, from site surveys to removal, so we know what we’re talking about. Our asbestos removal and site survey services are in high demand in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties as people transform old properties and sites into their perfect new home or business premises.

What is asbestos and why was it used so much in buildings?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of thin fibres that are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals. Those desirable properties meant it was a popular and commonly used material in lots of industries, including the construction trade. Asbestos was extensively used in the British building trade, as well as in other countries, primarily for insulation, fireproofing and soundproofing purposes. It was incorporated into products such as roofing materials, insulation boards, ceiling and floor tiles, pipe insulation and cement products.

Why is the use of asbestos now banned?

It was later discovered that prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres poses serious health risks. By the 1960s the UK government began regulating how and when asbestos could be used, but over the following 30 years, more comprehensive studies provided definitive evidence of the link between asbestos exposure and various serious health conditions. Those conditions include mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs and abdomen. These findings led to stricter regulations, increased awareness campaigns, a ban on two types of asbestos in the 1980s and eventually a full ban on the use of asbestos in construction materials in 1999.

Is asbestos still a risk today?

Because the full ban didn’t come into effect until 1999, any home built before 2000 could contain the material. Asbestos is dangerous when it’s disturbed because the fibres it is made from become airborne. Anyone working on the site and nearby can breathe the fibres in and inhale asbestos into their lungs. This can lead to deadly diseases such as mesothelioma developing later in life. That’s why anyone working on buildings – demolition or stripping out for refurbishment – that were built before the turn of the century need to be careful.

There isn’t a register of buildings in the UK that contain asbestos, but the estimated number thought to contain asbestos is around 1.5million, including homes, places of work, commercial buildings and even schools and hospitals. That puts builders, plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople at risk, just from going about their daily work. The UK’s Health and Safety Executive estimates that 1.3 million tradespeople are at risk of exposure, and that they could come into contact with asbestos more than 100 times a year. The Control of Asbestos Regulations applies to people working in and maintaining non-domestic premises and ensures there is a duty to protect people from exposure when they are at work – including in domestic premises.

What does that mean for my construction project?

It means that you need us! If you’re planning to have an existing structure (built before 2000) demolished or stripped and refurbished, then you’ll need an asbestos site survey. We’re qualified to carry out surveys, where we come to your site and identify if any of the materials in the construction contain asbestos. We’re able to remove low risk asbestos if it’s identified in a property. High risk asbestos should be removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor, this is also something we are able to assist with this.

Our operatives are trained in working safely and efficiently to remove asbestos from any premises with minimal disruption to the project. Our team can remove roof sheets, roof tiles, ceilings, fire doors and cement-based asbestos. We’re experienced in working in industrial facilities including offices and warehouses, and domestic properties. We regularly work in both derelict and occupied buildings and will ensure the work is completed thoroughly and professionally, enabling your project to move to the next stage. 

If you think you need an asbestos survey or know there’s asbestos in a building on your site that needs to be removed, get in touch to get a quote.