Pre-Renovation and Pre-Demolition Hazardous Materials Surveys

Young man looking through microscope

Apex EHS services extend beyond laboratory analysis. Our AHERA certified surveyors will carry out full pre-renovation and pre-demolition surveys as required by WorkSafeBC.

For even minor renovation projects it is a requirement that a pre-renovation hazardous materials survey is carried out by a qualified person and a copy of the report must be posted on site before any work is started. Several municipalities also require a copy of the report before a building permit is issued and some landfills require a copy of the report before accepting demolition waste. A copy of a report confirming the removal of any identified materials must also be posted on site before demolition.

Hazardous materials are not limited to asbestos containing materials and lead based paints. They also include:

  • Mercury (found in older thermostats and modern fluorescent light tubes)
  • PCBs (found in older fluorescent light ballasts and electrical transformers)
  • Ozone Depleting Substances (known as ODS and found in HVAC units, refrigerators and fire suppression systems)
  • Radioactive materials (found in small quantities in smoke detectors and sometimes in tile glazing)
  • Mould and microbial growth (small areas are not considered hazardous but extensive mould growth following a water incursion or firefighting activities must be considered)
  • Crystalline silica (found in concrete, bricks and tiles and presenting a significant health risk if ground, drilled or crushed)
  • Fire debris (fire debris can contain a range of toxic materials many of which are carcinogenic)
  • Flammable or explosive materials (such as stored solvents, fuel oil etc.)

For asbestos and lead paint most buildings built after 1990 are unlikely to contain these materials (though some lead based paints are still used in commercial or industrial buildings. PCBs were generally phased out in the late 1970s. The other hazardous materials however are often still present however and therefore all buildings whatever their age must have a survey before renovation or demolition work.

The disposal of PCBs and Smoke Detectors and Fluorescent light fittings has been simplified through BC recycling programs such as:

For more information please contact us