You may have heard the phrase where there’s muck there’s brass – well if this is true it is doubly true if the muck is regarded as deadly – which is where the asbestos removal business opportunity really lies.
Over the years (from the 1980s onwards) asbestos has gained almost the same reputation as nuclear waste. Finding it in a building is a major concern and if that building also happens to have the public wandering through it, then alarm bells will ring loudest of all.
The reason for this has been driven by legislation, but underlined rather darkly by actual death and disability that has proven over time that legislative action really was, in fact, required.
The figure above shows how recorded asbestos related death and disability cases have risen steadily from 1978 onwards. Whilst much of this rise is an ageing population of men involved in the post Second World War construction trade, it nonetheless clearly demonstrates the dangers of the material.
In fact, it is this heavy period of construction after the war where asbestos was extensively used that drives the removal industry today. As refurbishments or demolishings take place, the asbestos needs to be identified for safety purposes and removed.
The extent of this is surprising. Asbestos is present in millions of homes and commercial properties built or refurbished as late as the 1990s. In general, if undisturbed, asbestos is not a hazard, but with a major trend in redeveloping homes and other buildings, the management and removal of asbestos continues to be a growing business area.
In its headline summary of the asbestos industry, Plimsoll reports that there are (at the time of writing) 524 substantive businesses removing asbestos in the UK today. Of that total, 65% of those asbestos removal businesses are in a healthy or very healthy state – clearly a glass more than half full situation.
You can get a view of the activity in this industry by typing in the key term ‘asbestos removal’ into Google search and seeing how many companies are competing on adwords using this term. In fact (again at the time of writing) in its keyword selection tool, Google cites the term ‘asbestos removal’ as being one that is highly competed upon with 9,900 average monthly searches on this term over the last 12 months.
Let’s just be clear about what that last bit means. It means lots of competing companies, but it also means lots of people looking for help. With most businesses competing in a narrow geographic area, there is plenty of business there to be taken advantage of.
Of further interest is that, whilst the EU has banned asbestos throughout, it is not banned within the United States and indeed worryingly, developing countries are embracing the use of asbestos as enthusiastically as developed countries did in the last century. For those with sufficient expertise and enterprise, the world may indeed be your oyster.
To give a scale of what is affected by asbestos and the size of the asbestos removal business opportunity, the following is a list of items that have traditionally contained the dangerous mineral.
- Ceiling tiles
- Pipe insulation
- Sprayed and textured coatings
- Asbestos cement sheeting
- Board around windows, radiators and fireplaces
- Fire doors
- Gaskets and sealants on pipes
- Electrical boxes
- Wall cladding
- Cement flues
- Textiles, such as old fire blankets and heat resistant gloves
- Asbestos paper was also used for lining under tiles and inside metal cladding
- Loose fill asbestos
- Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls, beams and columns
- Asbestos cement water tank
- Loose fill insulation
- Lagging on boilers and pipes
- AIB ceiling tiles
- Toilet seat and cistern
- AIB partition walls
- AIB panels in fire doors
- Asbestos rope seals, gaskets and paper
- Vinyl floor tiles
- AIB around boilers
- Textiles eg fire blankets
- Textured decorating coatings on walls and ceilings eg artex
- Asbestos cement roof
- Asbestos cement panels
- Asbestos cement gutters and downpipes
- Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement
- Asbestos cement flue
AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board
Research, undertaken by Censuswide in September 2014, shows that while more than half of all trades people (53 per cent) knew that asbestos could be in old buildings built before 1970, only 15 per cent knew that it could still be found in buildings built up to the year 2000.
Because of this, the HSE launched a new safety campaign in October 2014, even backing it up with a web app which can be found here: http://www.beware-asbestos.info.
Asbestos has been found by archaeologists in debris dating back to the Stone Age and it is also believed to have been used for wicks in lamps and candles as early as 4000BC. It is clear that, despite the best efforts of government and quangos alike, the removal of asbestos will continue to be a good business opportunity for some time to come yet.
As luck would have it, we just happen to have an excellent asbestos removal business for sale right now. Located in the North East, but fully relocatable you can find more details here of this asbestos removal business opportunity.
The above content contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence.