Asbestos Survey: A Crucial Step in Real Estate Due Diligence

January 31, 2024 by No Comments

One of the greatest threats to our health and wellbeing is asbestos. This substance can be found in hundreds of buildings, particularly those built before the 1980s, and can cause lung disease, mesothelioma, and cancer. Because asbestos poses such a significant risk, it is crucial to understand the importance of asbestos survey. In this article, we will dive deeper into why we need asbestos surveys.

Understanding Asbestos

Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring minerals that are made up of thin, fibrous crystals. These minerals were widely used in construction, insulation, and manufacturing because they were cheap and effective at insulating against heat and noise. However, asbestos is now known to be extremely dangerous and can release tiny fibers into the air that can be ingested or inhaled. Breathing in these fibers can cause severe health problems, including cancer, lung disease, and mesothelioma.

Why Do We Need Asbestos Surveys?

Asbestos surveys are crucial because they help identify the presence of asbestos and the risk of exposure. The survey provides information on the quantity, type, and condition of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in a building. By identifying these materials, asbestos surveys can help prevent exposure to asbestos fibers, which is essential for staying healthy.

The types of asbestos surveys that are typically carried out include:

Management survey: This is usually the first survey carried out. It uses non-intrusive methods to detect ACMs that could be easily disturbed and pose a risk to health.

Refurbishment/demolition survey: This survey is carried out when a building is being refurbished or demolished. It is more intrusive and designed to identify ACMs that may be hidden within walls, flooring, or ceilings. This survey is essential to ensure that all ACMs in the building are safely removed or managed before any work begins.

Benefits of Asbestos Surveys

Undertaking asbestos surveys can have many benefits. Here are some of the top ones:

Peace of Mind: By carrying out an asbestos survey, you can be confident that you have identified all ACMs in the building and that you are taking the necessary steps to manage the risks associated with them.

Legal Compliance: In many countries, it is a legal requirement to carry out an asbestos survey before any refurbishment or demolition work begins. By undertaking a survey, you can ensure that you are complying with the law and avoiding any potential legal issues.

Protecting Your Health and Wellbeing: One of the most significant benefits of an asbestos survey is protecting your health and wellbeing. By identifying and removing or managing ACMs, you can reduce the risk of asbestos exposure and the associated health risks.

Saving Money: Carrying out an asbestos survey can also help you save money in the long run by identifying and dealing with ACMs before they become a bigger, more expensive problem.


In conclusion, asbestos surveys are crucial for identifying the presence of asbestos and evaluating the risk of exposure. By carrying out these surveys, we can protect ourselves and others from developing health problems from exposure to asbestos. If you own a building that was constructed before the 1980s, then you should consider carrying out an asbestos survey. It is an essential step in the process of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those on the premises. If you are unsure about whether you need an asbestos survey, speak to a qualified professional who can assess your needs and advise you on the best course of action. Remember, prevention is always better than a cure.