Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about our services.

Asbestos is a natural fibrous rock. It was widely used within homes and other buildings until 1999. There are three main types: Crocidolite (blue asbestos), Amosite (brown asbestos) and Chrysotile (white asbestos)
Asbestos materials only present a risk to your health when the fibres become airborne, which can happen when they become damaged or abraded. If the fibres are inhaled they can present a significant, life threatening health risk.

For those exposed to asbestos – such as construction workers – it is a significant occupational disease. HSENI statistics indicate that asbestos causes more than 200 deaths per annum in Northern Ireland.
Typically asbestos can be found in the following areas:
  • Eaves gutters and rainwater pipes
  • Garage and shed roofs
  • Linings for walls, ceilings and doors
  • Loose asbestos packing between floors and in patrician walls
  • Floor tiles
  • Central heating flues
  • Insulation panels in storage heaters
  • Bath panels
  • Fire blankets
The only definitive way is to have a sample of the material analysed by an independent, UKAS accredited laboratory. We can arrange this – it’s not an expensive process.
To determine if asbestos is present in your property, it needs to be surveyed during which samples of materials will be taken for analysis. The report prepared following survey will say if there is asbestos present, its type and its condition. Having a survey gives protection to those using the property, be they family, occupants or workmen, from accidentally exposing themselves, or anyone else, to asbestos fibres. Current legislation requires all commercial premises to have been surveyed and to maintain an Asbestos Register.
Probably not as much as you would think.

It will depend on the size and age of your property and, if you have sufficient information to hand, we may be able to give you an idea of what it would be over the phone.
Yes, our reports are written in plain English and can be understood by those not familiar with asbestos. We will go through the report with you, explaining everything.
You are required by law to make information on the location and condition of the asbestos available to anyone liable to work on it, or disturb it.

Employees involved in building maintenance work, or contractors working on the premises, should be told if the building contains, or may contain, asbestos.

They should also be told where it is and that there are potential risks to their health if they disturb it.
Asbestos only becomes a risk to human health when it is released into the air and breathed in, so the presence of asbestos alone should not be a cause for concern.

Duty holders – those responsible for maintaining or repairing non-domestic premises – are required to actively manage any asbestos in buildings.
Those responsible for the maintenance and/or repair of non-domestic premises

The duty holder may be the Business Owner, the Landlord or Tenant depending on the circumstances of the case.

The extent of the legal duty is determined by the terms of any tenancy agreement or contract that applies, and in the absence of any such agreement, on the degree of control the party has over the premises.

There is a requirement to co-operate, for example, that a landlord passes information on asbestos to a tenant, but if you call us we would be happy to advise on your particular circumstances.
Duty to Manage legislation was introduced when it was realised that at least a quarter of those dying from asbestos-related diseases had worked in the maintenance and building trades.

Much has been done to minimise the risk associated with asbestos, including requiring a licence for many types of work. AES Marconi is licensed by the HSENI to carry out asbestos works. Duty to Manage requires you to ensure that asbestos in premises is located, recorded and managed.

A survey provides this information. Then those who may disturb, or come into contact, with it are informed of its location, so they can take suitable precautions.
Asbestos is only a risk to health when it releases its fibres. So where the material is in good condition, and in a location where it will not be disturbed, it can be left in place and effectively managed.
No, it is prohibited to supply products containing asbestos, and this includes reusing asbestos cement.
Sorry, we do not know of any grants that are available for domestic removals.

Commercial enterprises can claim removal as a business expense; those remediating a (long-term) derelict or contaminated site may quality for 150% value of the cost corporation tax offset, but we can advise further on this if you call us.
If you are getting work done in your home, those doing the work have a duty in law to protect the householder and others. If the work involves products that contain asbestos, then the Control of Asbestos regulations also apply.

In an owner-occupied domestic property, the owner is not legally responsible for risks from asbestos as they, the owner, are not carrying out the work.
If it was built or refurbished before 2000 it would be possible – regardless of it being domestic or commercial. Click on the following HSE link asbestos image gallery for photographs of typical asbestos-containing materials that can still be found in property today
It is important not to disturb it by trying to repair or remove any asbestos materials yourself. If you are planning to bring in anyone to carry out repair to your property, you have a duty to inform them of any known or presumed asbestos materials in your home before they disturb it.

Please remember that it is illegal to dispose of Asbestos other than as hazardous waste at a licensed asbestos waste site. You can call us for free practical advice, or speak to the environmental health officer at your local authority/council or the HSENI.