Asbestos surveys, also known as asbestos inspections, are conducted to determine whether your home or office has asbestos and to what degree the contamination exists. They are most often conducted prior to asbestos abatement (removal), but are also performed after treatment to ensure that the asbestos has been properly removed. If you are about to have an asbestos inspection, here is what you can expect during the process.
Premise Inspection — Step one of the process involves the physical inspection of the entire exterior of your property. The asbestos inspector will check every room and all areas of the home, office or commercial property, which includes the flooring, furniture, walls, attics and basement. This physical inspection is conducted to unearth any telltale signs of friable and nonfriable asbestos. Friable asbestos is asbestos that is in solid form, meaning that it has not dissolved into a powdery substance that can become airborne. Nonfriable asbestos is asbestos that has degraded to powder form that can become airborne if it’s touched or moved in any way. It is the most harmful type of asbestos because it is breathable and can enter the bloodstream when inhaled or when absorbed through the pores. Nonfriable asbestos has been linked with lung problems, lung cancer and other breathing issues. Inspectors will take samples from all material suspected of containing asbestos for lab testing, and they will also take photos of every area that they have inspected.
Air Testing — Asbestos inspectors will also take samples of the air quality at your home or office to test for the presence of asbestos. Many inspection companies bring the air testing machines to the inspection to obtain immediate results. The process of air testing is sometimes referred to as fibre air monitoring, as the goal is to determine the level of risk present on a property that may be infected with nonfriable asbestos. If the air level is sufficiently contaminated, the inspectors may recommend evacuation from the premises. The air testing also helps an asbestos remediation company develop a plan of treatment based on whether the asbestos has become airborne.
Survey Report — A survey report includes all the testing results and the information gathered from the physical examination of your property. The report will include all photos, test results and other visual evidence. It will indicate the amount of asbestos in your home or office, including nonfriable asbestos levels and friable asbestos levels. It will detail the testing methods, provide a comparative chart that shows you what normal air quality levels should be versus what they are at your property, and make a final recommendation about how to deal with the asbestos in a safe and effective manner.