Designated Substance Surveys: Common FAQs

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The safety of a property can affect everything about it, whether you are speaking of a commercial or residential structure. There are multiple ways in which properties are tested and measured for safety, and the designated substance survey is one of those ways. Provided by professionals in their field, this form of survey is unique from others. Take a look at some of the common questions people tend to have about the designated substance survey and the answers you may want to know yourself. 

What is a designated substance survey?

In the most general terms, a designated substance survey, which is commonly abbreviated simply to DDS, is a survey done by a professional to determine the presence of certain hazardous substances in or on a property. The professionals use multiple tools and testing devices to examine different components of a building, the ground around the building, or even the air within a building to make their determinations about what substances may be present and at what levels. Once the survey is completed, the information is given to the property owner so they can take the necessary next steps to make the property safer. 

What are the common types of substances surveyed during these inspections?

There are probably a few common types of substances that come to mind immediately when you consider substances that could be a potential threat to a property. For example, something like asbestos or lead gets a lot of media attention, so these are natural substances many people are concerned about. However, there are actually numerous substances that can generate problems, such as: 

All of these different substances have the potential to generate or propose some type of risk to a property, property owner, or the public. Even though the risks of each substance can vary, their presence is usually not a welcome thing.

When should a designated substance survey be done?

The DDS is typically ordered by construction companies, business owners, or property owners at certain points in time. For example, a property owner may want a DDS before they sell a property to make sure everything is safe and ready for the market. A commercial business owner may need a DDS to ensure the property is safe for employees, and a construction company hired for demolition may need a DDS before the demolition to ensure no risks are posed to the public during the dismantling of a structure.