Asbestos Survey London

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If you are the owner or manager of a London building, navigating asbestos management can feel like trying to solve a cryptic crossword puzzle. Yet, this crucial task is paramount in ensuring the safety of people who live or work in buildings that may contain asbestos. The UK’s primary tool for achieving this is the Asbestos Management Survey.

Why Asbestos is a Problem

Asbestos, once hailed as a wonder material due to its resistance to heat and insulating properties, has become a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Since 1999 the government has banned just about all use of asbestos after research and studies showed asbestos was highly hazardous to human health. If left untouched, it is unlikely to pose a risk, but during demolition or renovation work, if asbestos is disturbed, microscopic fibres are released into the air, which, when inhaled, can cause serious diseases, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, almost always caused by inhaling asbestos fibres.

Because asbestos fibres are so tiny and can remain airborne for extended periods, inhaling them without realising is common. After inhalation, the fibres can become lodged in the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system, where they cause inflammation and scarring over time.

Asbestos is often unknowingly inhaled and can take years before symptoms appear, and related diseases often go undetected. When symptoms are apparent, it is often too late for early-stage treatments, and the condition is irreversible, resulting in a shortened life.

Given these risks, effective asbestos management in buildings is not just a legal requirement but a vital step to protect health. 

ACMs - What Are They?

ACM stands for Asbestos Containing Materials. Asbestos was widely used in the construction industry for its excellent heat resistance and insulation properties. It can be found in various materials, such as roofing sheets, floor tiles, insulation boards, and pipe insulations, to name a few.

The Aims of a London Asbestos Survey

Imagine a super-sleuth assigned to ensure your building is safe. That’s the role of an asbestos management surveyor. The goal is to guarantee the safety of everyone on the premises by removing any potential harm caused by the presence of ACMs. This is achieved by meeting several key objectives:

Locate and Record

The survey locates and documents the presence and location of ACMs, and anything presumed to be an ACM within the building. It identifies materials that could potentially release asbestos fibres into the air.

Assess Condition

It’s not enough to just locate ACMs. The survey assesses the condition of the materials – if they are in good condition or showing signs of damage.

Prevent Disturbance

The survey aims to ensure that ACMs are not accidentally disturbed by routine activities, maintenance, or by installing new equipment.

Risk Assessment

The survey carries out a materials assessment which indicates the ability of the ACM, if disturbed, to release fibres into the air.

Asbestos Management Plan

The survey results will feed into your asbestos management plan, helping you manage any identified risks appropriately.

Prevent Disturbance

The survey aims to ensure that ACMs are not accidentally disturbed by routine activities, maintenance, or by installing new equipment.

The survey involves minor intrusive work and some disturbance, but the safety rewards are well worth the effort. It guides the building’s owner or management to prioritise any corrective work if needed.

UK Laws Regarding Asbestos

In the UK, especially in major cities such as London, asbestos regulation compliance is not a suggestion – it’s a requirement. These regulations ensure that asbestos is managed correctly and removed safely when needed. Here’s a rundown of the relevant legislation:

Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012

The CAR 2012 is the leading piece of legislation related to asbestos. It outlines three key legal duties:

Duty to Manage Asbestos (Regulation 4): This applies to the owners and occupiers of commercial premises (people known as ‘duty holders’) responsible for maintenance and repair activities. In addition to these responsibilities, they must assess the presence and condition of any asbestos-containing materials. If asbestos is present or presumed to be present, it must be managed appropriately.

Duty to Prevent Exposure (Regulation 10): This involves preventing or reducing the spread of asbestos to the lowest level reasonably possible.

Duty to Provide Information, Instruction and Training (Regulation 10): This stipulates that anyone who is liable to disturb asbestos during their work or who supervises such employees must receive the correct level of information, instruction, and training to enable them to carry out their work safely and competently and without risk to themselves or others.

London Asbestos Testing Guidance

Asbestos surveys and testing is a task that must be handled by trained professionals. If the survey reports find the ACMs are in good condition and not likely to be disturbed, they can often be left in place and managed.

However, if the materials are damaged or will be disturbed by renovations, repairs, or demolition, they must be repaired, sealed, enclosed, or removed.

In most cases, it is a legal requirement that a licensed asbestos contractor undertakes any work involving removing asbestos. There are some exceptions to this, known as non-licensable work. Still, even in these cases, workers must be adequately trained, and work carried out using appropriate controls and precautions.

Considering the legislation’s complexity and the hazardous nature of asbestos, professional advice should always be sought when dealing with this potentially lethal substance.

Asbestos in London

Impact of Asbestos on Homeowners, Landlords and Businesses in London

The presence of asbestos can have considerable ramifications for homeowners, landlords, and businesses. The impact of asbestos extends beyond health risks and into the realm of legal requirements and responsibilities.


If your home was built or refurbished before the year 2000, it may contain asbestos. Therefore, it's crucial to take precautions when carrying out home improvements or maintenance that may disturb asbestos. While homeowners are not legally obliged to conduct an asbestos survey report, it is wise to complete an asbestos survey if you're planning any renovations. Professional removal is highly recommended if asbestos is found, although not legally required for private residences.


For landlords, the legal responsibilities increase. While landlords of private domestic properties are not explicitly required by law to have an asbestos survey, it is considered best practice, especially if refurbishments are planned. Landlords are, however, legally obliged to assess and manage the risk of asbestos exposure in communal areas of flats and houses in multiple occupations (HMOs). This requires conducting an asbestos management survey containing any asbestos found in the communal areas.


For businesses, the rules are stricter. Any non-domestic premises, including retail, commercial, and industrial properties built before 1999, are legally required to have an up-to-date asbestos register, survey, and management plan under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to hefty fines or even imprisonment.

Is There Much Asbestos In London Buildings?

London is one of the cities with the most asbestos in the UK. It is also one of the areas in the UK with a high occurrence of mesothelioma, a cancer almost always caused by asbestos exposure.

Asbestos was widely used in construction materials until 1999. Therefore, if, like many buildings in London, your home was built before the year 2000, you could be at risk from asbestos. Before starting any renovation work, you must hire a trustworthy asbestos surveying company to inspect your property to ensure it is safe.

The exact amount of asbestos present in London buildings is difficult to determine, as it may not be visible or easily detectable without specialised testing and analysis.

Asbestos surveyor working

Professional Asbestos Survey Specialists In London

If you’re planning to renovate your property or worried about asbestos being present, we’re here to help with surveys, management, and removal if needed.

Our London Asbestos surveys involve a thorough inspection to pinpoint and evaluate the existence of asbestos-containing materials in London buildings. Our qualified asbestos surveyors conduct surveys throughout London and the southeast, and we follow the strict guidelines and regulations set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

AJC Environmental surveyors inspect each property thoroughly, examining areas where asbestos is likely present, such as roof tileswater tanks and floor coverings. We take samples of suspect materials for laboratory analysis to determine the presence and the type of asbestos.

Asbestos Management Survey UK Compliance

Asbestos Testing London

Our asbestos testing in London involves the analysis of samples collected from suspected asbestos-containing materials to determine the presence and type of asbestos fibres. We use accredited laboratories to conduct the tests, following established protocols and standards. The process begins with the secure collection of samples by our trained professionals, ensuring minimal disturbance and the use of appropriate safety measures to prevent asbestos fibre release.

Once the samples arrive at the laboratory for testing, they undergo rigorous laboratory analysis using specialised techniques, such as polarised light microscopy (PLM) or transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These methods allow for the identification and quantification of asbestos fibres present in the samples.

Asbestos Reports

Our asbestos survey reports contain comprehensive information regarding the findings of the asbestos survey. Our qualified asbestos testers prepare the report and typically include an overview of the purpose and scope of the survey, including details about the property, survey date, and the names of the surveyors involved.

This report has an “Executive Summary” section summarising the survey’s findings and recommendations, highlighting any significant asbestos-related issues or areas of concern.

The report also describes the survey methodology used: a Management Survey or a more extensive Refurbishment Demolition Survey. It outlines the areas surveyed and the techniques used, such as visual inspections, sampling, and analysis.

Survey Results

This section presents a detailed account of the survey findings. It includes information about the location, condition, and extent of any identified asbestos-containing materials. The report may include photographs, diagrams, or sketches illustrating the identified ACMs.

hTe survey report considers the potential risk associated with the identified ACMs. It looks at the condition, accessibility, and likelihood of disturbance or damage, providing a risk rating for each ACM. The report offers recommendations for managing the ACMs based on the survey results. This could include suggestions for asbestos encapsulation, ongoing monitoring, or removal, depending on the level of danger and compliance requirements.

Asbestos Register

The report includes an asbestos register, a detailed record of all identified ACMs. This register is a valuable reference for future management and maintenance.

Compliance and Legal Considerations

The report highlights the legal responsibilities of the duty holder or property owner in managing asbestos risks. It may include information on the Control of Asbestos Regulations, guidance on compliance, and actions required to meet the regulations. 

A London asbestos survey report aims to provide a comprehensive and clear overview of the asbestos-related risks in a building, along with practical recommendations for managing those risks and ensuring the safety of occupants and workers.

Our Services

We provide London asbestos surveying services, including management surveys and refurbishment and demolition surveys. We have many years of experience in identifying ACMs. We use the latest equipment and procedures to ensure accurate and thorough surveys.

If you are a London homeowner or building manager worried about asbestos in your surroundings, we advise you to contact us as soon as possible. We will perform a thorough asbestos survey and assessment of your premises.

As well as asbestos testing, AJC Environmental Ltd also provides asbestos removal services in London. Our competent contractors can safely and efficiently clear and dispose of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from buildings or land in London.

Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, or business owner, understanding the potential presence of asbestos in your building and complying with the applicable laws and regulations is essential to safeguard your health and avoid legal complications.

Should you have concerns, contact us to discuss an Asbestos Risk Assessment without delay.

We cover the London area

AJC Service Area London