Asbestos surveys are an integral part of the overall asbestos survey process and include a detailed physical and visual examination of every homogenous area of concern. In most cases, thorough structural imaging, including punching holes in walls, knocking holes in ceilings, and removing coverings is not a part of a standard survey. However, structural imaging combined with microscopic tests (to identify asbestos fibers) may provide some insight into the health risks of living or working near an affected building. Moreover, the information provided by structural imaging can help in determining whether asbestos was present prior to the current outbreak. Unfortunately, even when structural information is available, the survey cannot provide definitive proof that asbestos is present.
It should be noted that asbestos surveying is not a new practice; however, it has increased in popularity in recent years. In the past, asbestos surveys were done only by professionals. Professionals such as engineers, geologists, and surveyors were called upon to comprehensively survey large areas of suspected asbestos and collect samples to be tested by laboratory testers. For large-scale asbestos surveys, these professionals would travel to the site at night, usually travel by train, bus, or cab, and stay overnight. The goal of these inspections was to collect enough samples for accurate laboratory testing. Since it is difficult, if not impossible, to thoroughly inspect every inch of a building, the cost of such inspections was prohibitive.
With the advent of companies that specialize in asbestos testing, the cost of asbestos surveys has decreased dramatically, making them a more affordable option for most companies. However, despite the decrease in costs for asbestos surveying, the same basic steps must be taken to ensure that your company’s employees, facilities, or other property are not at risk for a potential health risk from the asbestos products that you or your company produce or store. As with any health risk, understanding the basic steps you need to take to protect yourself, your employees, your business, and your community is the first step towards reducing your company’s exposure to asbestos.
First and foremost, as a company that regularly performs asbestos surveys, you should make certain that all employees who could potentially come in contact with asbestos are wearing the appropriate safety equipment. For many companies, this includes the proper safety garments, eye protection, gloves, and a respirator. This protective gear is essential to protecting your employees from a variety of health risks associated with asbestos-containing materials. For buildings that have asbestos insulation, it is important to regularly assess the condition of the insulation to make certain it is intact and in good repair. In buildings with a history of asbestos, it is also necessary to regularly inspect for cracks and other damage to walls in these buildings.
Once you have determined that your employees are wearing the appropriate safety clothing, you will want to make sure they are receiving the necessary testing at the accredited laboratories. Testing at one or more accredited laboratories can be very time consuming and may not always yield results that you are happy with. However, by using an asbestos surveying company to test your buildings for compliance, you can be confident that your asbestos survey company is following the most stringent standards and can provide you with the information you need to make positive decisions about your building’s asbestos use. By law, asbestos is considered to be an asbestos product, so it is important to ensure that anyone operating a building containing this material is properly trained and is aware of the asbestos hazards. In addition to following the testing procedures outlined above, an asbestos surveying company can also help you monitor the progress of the testing through monthly or quarterly reports. These reports can help you make the most informed decision about your asbestos use and can also alert you to changes in the asbestos survey site that could affect your employees, your building materials, or the structure of your building.
As you may be aware, asbestos surveys are performed by trained professionals who are familiar with the material and the risks associated with it. This knowledge provides them with the ability to detect problems much sooner than if you were to attempt the same project yourself. Unfortunately, not all companies that perform asbestos surveys follow the highest standards of safety for their employees. This is why it is important to research your potential surveyor thoroughly before hiring them to perform a survey on your property. For this information, you will want to contact the Better Business Bureau or an asbestos survey company to ask them for detailed information about the professional firm they have assigned to perform your asbestos surveys. By choosing a safe company with a good track record, you can rest assured that your property is in good hands.
Once you are satisfied with the asbestos survey company you have hired, they will usually provide you with written estimates of the cost of their asbestos surveys. Since the majority of these surveys are performed outdoors, the amount of survey time required will vary. However, most estimates are typically rather affordable and provide for prompt completion of these surveys. The company will usually give you an approximate timeline for the completion of the asbestos surveys and will also discuss the best way to monitor the surveys once they begin.
The entire process of hiring an asbestos survey company for the purpose of completing surveys in your home can be tedious due to all of the tedious work that goes along with it. There are so many things that need to be done to ensure that asbestos containing materials are properly removed from your home. The good news is that these companies are quite knowledgeable and use a number of advanced tools to complete the necessary surveys. However, it still takes time and a great deal of dedication on your part in order to successfully remove these suspected materials from your home. As a result, it may be beneficial to contract with a professional company that can offer ongoing assistance should you find that you cannot remove the suspected asbestos containing materials on your own. In addition, such a company may also offer additional services including real estate due diligence services.