Home Asbestos Understanding Asbestos Survey

Understanding Asbestos Survey

Understanding Asbestos Survey


An asbestos survey is an examination of a structure (commercial or private) to determine whether or not obscene levels of asbestos are present. Once widely used in all construction efforts, asbestos is now considered a hazardous and life-threatening agent. As a result of their inherently dangerous characteristics, an asbestos survey is a comprehensive and necessary procedure designed to identify asbestos materials within a structure.

This process is considered mandatory during renovations and demolitions. A failure to conduct an asbestos survey during construction can result in a spread of asbestos fibers which can cause mesothelioma or other diseases associated with the lungs. Contact asbestos lawyers for legal advice and assistance.

Why an Asbestos Survey is Mandatory

The majority of laws associated with asbestos are regulated on a local level. The laws associated with the mandatory inclusion of an asbestos survey are governed through state and jurisdictional laws. In some region, an asbestos survey is required for all construction projects or major procedural changes to structures which contain asbestos.

These states require all construction companies or private contractors to conduct an asbestos survey for both remodeling and demolition of a structure. A failure to administer an asbestos survey will impede the company from obtaining a building permit and effectively halt the construction process.

An asbestos survey is mandated by State law because of the potential dangers associated with removing or ripping asbestos-based materials during a construction process. When asbestos is inert and undisturbed, the products are not considered harmful. However, if ripped apart during a renovation or demolition, they can release asbestos fibers into the air. When these fibers are inhaled, they attack the lungs, and overtime can develop cancerous tumors or cells. As a result of this process, an asbestos survey is a crucial step in a renovation or demolition project.

Asbestos Survey Process

When asbestos is identified in a structure, specially qualified personnel will be hired by the construction company or private contractor to remove the dangerous products.  In cases where the asbestos survey is coordinated by an owner-occupied building, the individual doing the renovations may remove the asbestos him or herself so long as they follow the proper protocols for handling and disposal. These protocols are issued by each state and jurisdiction. To observe your particular area’s jurisdiction for an asbestos removal project, contact your local town hall or government agency for information.

When an asbestos survey professional is incorporated into the process, the surveyor will look at all materials and components of the structure which may contain asbestos. In a standard sampling, samples are taken of all materials and sent to a lab to determine whether asbestos is present. The most extensive forms of asbestos surveys are found in pre-demolition and major refurbishment projects.

These surveys are extensive and will address concerns about disturbing wall insulation, under layers of floors, and other areas where asbestos may be present. The results of an asbestos survey will include a comprehensive discussion about all the areas where asbestos has been found, along with recommendations for remediation.