Asbestos Test Kit, 24hr Results & Certificate For Under £30
Is This Service Too Good To Be True?
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In September 2022, I needed to test some material before I could start a home improvement project.
I was concerned that it might contain asbestos and wanted to make sure before I started the project.
I purchased this testing kit on Amazon from a company called Asbestos Sampling and sent off a sample for analysis at their UKAS-accredited lab.
This is my honest review of the service they provided.
I have not been asked to provide this review, and I paid for the testing kit and service with my own money.
The service provider makes the following claim on their website:
All orders placed before 2:30pm are despatched on the same day, samples results will usually be available by close of business the day they are received.
My Experience With This Asbestos Testing Kit
I ordered the testing kit on Amazon on the 12th of September at 20.45.
The kit arrived at lunchtime on the 14th of September.
I chose the cheaper testing kit that doesn’t come with PPE. If you haven’t already removed the asbestos from the property, you can buy the slightly more expensive kit that comes with PPE or you can buy your own kit separately.
The kit I received included two sealable bags, an instruction booklet, a form and 1st class return envelope.
The first step is to register the kit online so they have all the details on their system. This only took a few minutes and they gave me a reference number.
The paper form is easy to fill in, they just require details that will be shown on the certificate they send you – address, location of where the sample was taken etc.
Taking and Posting the Sample
My sample was already wrapped in plastic and was taken from a roof gable, this item is often referred to as an “undercloak” and is used to support cemented tiles at the edge (gable) of a roof.
Up until the mid-1980s, this material was made from a mix of cement, sand and asbestos fibre reinforcement.
During the 1980s and 1990s, asbestos was phased out of many products and undercloaks were often made from an alternative, more flexible material that wasn’t as brittle.
My property was built in the late-1980s, a time when many asbestos products were being phased out but hadn’t been fully banned.
I posted my sample on the 20th of September (one day after the queen’s funeral which was a bank holiday). On the 26th of September, I received an email from them with the results and the certificate.
The Results and Certificate
Below you’ll find a screenshot so you can see the results and certificate:
As you can see, the sample I sent them didn’t include asbestos.
The certificate included the details I wrote on the form, address and location etc. This is an important feature for anyone who wishes to prove there is (or isn’t) asbestos present.
I rate this asbestos testing kit and service 8/10.
They delivered the kit within 30 hours of ordering it online but they were a little slow to test the sample and send me the results.
While there was a slight delay, I can’t say what caused it. I posted the sample on a Tuesday – a day after the queen’s funeral, there could have been a delay to the post and possibly a backlog at the testing lab but I still got the results within 5 working days of posting the sample.
I downloaded the certificate for my records and overall, I’m very pleased with the service, even if it wasn’t as quick as advertised.
Online Reviews of This Asbestos Testing Kit
As part of my research into this provider, I analysed all of the online reviews I could find for all their asbestos testing kits and services.
Based on over 1000 ratings:
- 92% of customers rated the service 4 or 5 stars out of 5.
- 4% rated it 1 star out of 5.
Many of the high ratings were from customers who praised the speed and simplicity of the service.
I looked into the low scores and while there were very few, some complained about the lab taking a long time to test the sample and get back to them with the results.
There were a few complaints about the lab never sending them results but these were vastly outnumbered by the positive reviews.
Several people complained that their kit didn’t contain PPE – I feel the provider should update their Amazon page to make it clearer that there are two options; with and without PPE.
The Pitfalls of DIY Asbestos Testing Kits
The results customers get from testing services such as this are only going to be as good as the samples taken.
Experts that work with asbestos on a daily basis will know where to look for this harmful material while DIYers may send off safe samples for testing while missing the asbestos which could be hidden by plaster or coatings etc.
A good example of this is Artex ceiling coatings which often contain asbestos but it may not be uniform across the ceiling.
If you’re in doubt, I suggest sending off several samples from different areas or paying for a professional to take the samples for you.
Make Sure You Buy The Correct Asbestos Testing Kits
This service provider sells two asbestos testing kits:
- With PPE.
- Without PPE
The kit without the PPE does not include details of how to take the sample while the kit that includes PPE does have step-by-step instructions.
You’ll need to make sure you choose the correct testing kit.
How The Service Can be Improved
While I’m very pleased with the service, there is room for improvement:
1) The instructions that came with the kit didn’t state how big the sample should be. It would be nice if they provided more info here.
2) They should include sample removal instructions in both their kits as some people will buy their own PPE.
3) After registering on their website, they could have emailed me or even put a notice up stating if there are any delays due to backlogs, Royal Mail etc. Some customers may get annoyed if they are expecting results in 24 hours and they have to wait 5 working days. Also, the lab’s website states that they aim to send results within 24-48 hours of receiving the sample while the company that sent me the sample kit stated on the packaging that it was 24 hours.
4) Update their Amazon page so customers can clearly see there are two options; asbestos test kits with and without PPE.
The Testing Process at the Lab
While I’m far from an expert in this field, I did some research, and the lab uses a process whereby light is shone on the sample and under a microscope, the operator will monitor the colour change as it passes through the material.
Asbestos fibres will cause the light to change to a specific colour, and the technician will be able to tell if the sample contains asbestos and, if so, what type of asbestos it is.
This process meets all the requirements set out by the HSE in the United Kingdom.
Asbestos Testing Cost
I paid £30 for this testing kit which didn’t include PPE.
The PPE asbestos testing kit costs £50.
In September 2022, I contacted 6 asbestos removal firms from around the UK and asked them how much they charge to take a small sample from a porch roof and send it off to a lab for analysis.
The prices I received ranged from £125 to £275.
Author: Daniel Woodley
Daniel has over 18 years of experience in the construction, home improvement, and landscape garden industries.
He previously worked as a project manager and has experience in managing teams of tradespeople and landscape gardeners on both small and medium sized projects.
Daniel is also a keen gardener and enjoys growing unusual plants and tending to his lawn.
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