Asbestos Surveys

Asbestos Surveys

The asbestos survey is an essential part of the management of any asbestos materials within buildings. However, it is essential that this is supported by an initial review to determine the need and extent of any asbestos survey. Not all properties need surveying, but all commercial properties and common parts of dwellings will need an asbestos management plan. Where our initial asbestos risk assessments indicate asbestos may be present within buildings, Thames Laboratories can perform asbestos surveys (also known as asbestos inspections).

Are you planning any Demolition or Refurbishment?

Yes - Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys

Refurbishment and Demolition surveys are to be carried out when a commercial building or residential property is to be demolished or when a major redevelopment is carried out. The survey should focus on the client’s requirements and the surveyor should be in the procession of the client’s development plans.

Importantly all Refurbishment and Pre-Demolition surveys should have air monitoring undertaken as part of the survey process. Such monitoring can only be undertaken by a UKAS accredited laboratory.

It is important to note that this type of survey will assess the type and volume of asbestos-containing materials (ACM’s) and that in doing this some may involve demolition in order to gain access to the samples. It is therefore important to note that some damage to the fabric of a building will occur during this type of survey.

The guidance suggests that this type of survey will provide sufficient information to formulate an asbestos tender document. We would strongly recommend that additional information be included in any tender documentation to safeguard against additional costs. For those clients unfamiliar with this type of work we would suggest to contact us for assistance with project management. Importantly the survey is only necessary for the part of a building that is being refurbished, so one floor may be surveyed while the others remain undisturbed; however, the survey needs to be appropriate for the type of refurbishment/demolition being undertaken.

No - Management Surveys

Management Surveys can be presumptive surveys i.e. because no samples are taken, suspect material is presumed to contain asbestos and the risk is assessed accordingly. This is usually the cheapest form of a survey in the short term, because this type of survey may categorise non-asbestos materials as containing asbestos, you can incur unnecessary costs for managing that material.

Management Surveys would normally be performed on a site where no renovation/refurbishment works are due to be carried out for the foreseeable future.

We employ highly trained, experienced specialists and are fully accredited by UKAS to carry out Management surveys.


We have 30 years of experience in performing asbestos surveys on all types of premises. Our experience has allowed us to design specific templates and methodologies to establish what asbestos is present in different properties and buildings, and how these materials are best managed. We are one of a limited number of organisations that are Accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) for asbestos inspections under ISO 17020.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now placing specific obligations upon clients to ensure that those employed for the performance of asbestos surveys are competent and as such Thames Laboratories meets all of these requirements. Many licensed asbestos removal contractors are not approved to these standards, as are indeed many of the organisations advertising asbestos surveying services on web search engines. Ultimately it will be the client who will be taken to task by the HSE if they have not undertaken appropriate checks.