Differentiating Invasive Versus Non-Invasive Asbestos Surveys

Reading this article means you are concerned about the presence of asbestos in your property. Aking the time to look for an asbestos inspection near me and thoroughly investigate the site is to be commended, but how do you tell which survey to get?

When inspecting your home or workplace for the mineral, you will likely encounter two types of inspections: a non-invasive and invasive asbestos survey.

How do they differ, and when should you get either? This article will guide you on the differences between the two.

Defining Non-Invasive Asbestos Survey

A non-invasive asbestos survey involves a thorough visual inspection of a building for signs of asbestos. This is used to identify and assess the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

During a non-invasive asbestos survey, a professional will carefully examine accessible areas, including the walls, floors, ceilings, and service risers, to identify any visible signs of the mineral. 

As the name implies, non-invasive asbestos surveys do not involve physical sampling or disturbance of ACMs. These are typically performed as part of management surveys, which aim to manage the risks of asbestos in buildings through routine assessments.

When to Perform a Non-Invasive Asbestos Survey

Since a non-invasive asbestos survey does not include disturbing materials, this is conducted as a starting point to determine ACMs in a property and evaluate their condition.

Non-invasive surveys are a part of management surveys and are important in creating an asbestos register, management plan, and regular inspections.

Defining Invasive Asbestos Survey

Unlike its non-invasive counterpart, invasive asbestos surveys involve intrusive methods.

Common examples of intrusive surveying methods are the following:

  • Sampling and Analysis – the most common surveying methods for invasive procedures involve collecting samples from suspected ACMs and analysing them under controlled laboratory conditions. 
  • Opening Structures – Professionals may need to break open certain areas of the property, such as ceilings, flooring, and wall panels, to access ACMs and allow for a thorough inspection.
  • Destructive Testing – Materials containing asbestos may be cut, scraped, or broken down to obtain samples for analysis. Note that only professionals are allowed to usethis method.
  • Accessing Confined Spaces – In some instances, professionals may need to inspect confined areas – including crawlspaces and air ducts – to inspect and sample ACMs. This dangerous method requires proper PPE and specialised tools for safe access.

When to Perform an Invasive Asbestos Survey

Invasive asbestos surveys provide more detailed reports about the presence and extent of the mineral in a particular area or component. 

This makes them highly effective for refurbishment and demolition projects. Invasive surveys are essential to inform the planning and execution of various construction activities and help determine the mineral presence and conditions inaccessible by non-invasive procedures.

Are you concerned that there is asbestos somewhere on your property? Engage Global Asbestos Audits to help you determine the presence of ACM and analyse the mineral’s state through their audit and removal services. Visit their website for more information.