Analysts believe that asbestos is still present in thousands of buildings across the country. Although it presents little risk if left undisturbed, it's definitely a major consideration whenever renovation or demolition is on the cards. Asbestos can represent an even bigger threat in an industrial facility, and if you are about to renovate an older property, you will need to work with experienced and accredited inspectors. Where can asbestos be found in an ageing building, and how can an analyst help?
While much will depend on the exact nature of the facility, expect to find asbestos within the frame of the building, heating or cooling equipment and within its internal structure. For example, if your operation has to be cooled by large volumes of water, you may have several tanks on-site and these may have been originally made with asbestos cement. The pipes that connect these tanks to your production process may well have been tagged to protect them, and you need to be particularly careful when checking the material placed around boilers or pipes.
Look around the outside of the building. Is it protected by cladding panels that have been in place for a long time? If so, the inspector will need to look at these panels. They'll check the condition of the roof to determine if asbestos was used in the construction process.
The facility may have been divided into different process rooms, offices and support areas. These areas may be delineated by petitions that could hide embedded asbestos. You need to be careful when you remove any ceiling tiles above or floor tiles below as well and check the installation that helps to protect the inside of the building from the high temperatures outside.
Inspectors will typically conduct a standard inspection in situ with as little disruption as possible. This will allow them to identify the presence of asbestos and, ordinarily, leave it in place. In the case of a renovation like this, however, they will need to be involved in the destruction process, and this can be time-consuming work that needs to take place in total security.
Bring in these inspectors as soon as possible and before you intend to begin any wholesale demolition or refurbishment. They'll be able to advise you as the process unfolds so that your work can take place in full safety and in accordance with stringent regulation. For more information, reach out to a professional who provides asbestos testing.