Asbestos Testing & Removal Costs
Most homeowners spend between $474 to $993 nationally.
Get free estimates from local contractors who can Test or Remove Asbestos.
For even the most experienced DIYer, dealing with asbestos is better left to the pros. Although asbestos was used widely until the 1970s, the material has a number of health hazards and just touching it can be risky. However, that doesn't mean you should ignore the asbestos in your home. Use this guide to get a better understanding of the costs involved with testing and removing asbestos.
If you think you have asbestos in your home, get in touch with a local contractor.
National Test or Remove Asbestos Costs
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|National Average Cost||$882|
|Average Range||$474 to $993|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 1870 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Asbestos Testing Cost
- Asbestos Removal Cost
- Asbestos Services Cost Factors
- Where Can Asbestos Exposure Happen?
- When To Test For Asbestos
- How To Test For Asbestos
- Types Of Asbestos
- How Pros Remove Asbestos
- Hiring Asbestos Pros
- Find An Asbestos Pro
Asbestos Testing Cost
The average cost to test for asbestos is $584, but we’ve seen homeowners pay as little as $200 or as much as $950 to test for asbestos. Sadly, this is not a testing process that just anyone can perform, and it pays to spend a little more on an expert in your area. The tester has to be completely sealed off from the environment because checking for asbestos can dislodge pieces and cause immediate respiratory issues.
If you want to save money, and ignore experts’ warnings, you can buy home-test kits at your local hardware store and mail the sample to a lab.
Asbestos Removal Cost
The average asbestos removal cost is just under $2,000. Nevertheless, once your home has been tested and asbestos has been detected, it should be removed. Not only will you have to fix it before you sell your home, but you’re also putting your family’s health at risk.
The asbestos abatement cost can be divided into two categories: labor and materials.
Asbestos removal should be done when the home is empty. Doors and windows have to be sealed during the process to limit exterior contamination. As you might imagine, the cost of such a lengthy process can be expensive, but most companies are able to complete this and other asbestos removal projects for under $2,000.
Asbestos Services Cost Factors
Since the amount of asbestos used differs from home to home, removal costs also vary. Below are just a few of the common factors that alter the cost of asbestos removal and testing. While you won’t have control over all of them, knowing the basics will help you get an accurate asbestos quote from a local pro.
Most homeowners leave asbestos testing to the pros, but sadly, every pro has their own price point. Nevertheless, you’ll have to pay to have the pro come out and test the area. If they find asbestos, you should remove it before any structural home remodeling work.
All homeowners are highly encouraged to hire different asbestos pros for testing and removal. As you might expect, there is a severe conflict of interest if the same contractor performs both.
Furthermore, once the asbestos has been removed, that pro or indoor air specialist will have to come in and test the air quality. According to our cost estimator, the average price to hire an indoor air specialist is $405.
Part of the total expense depends on where the asbestos was used. Removing it from interior insulation or from the roof, for example, can be more expensive than simply removing tiles or replacing all of the siding. Overall, your asbestos removal cost will be less if it’s concentrated in one area. If it spread to other areas of the home, your asbestos removal cost will rise.
Amount of Asbestos
More asbestos requires more tools, more labor and more time. As you might expect, larger asbestos or home safety projects cost more than smaller ones. In addition to setting up and blocking off multiple rooms, removing large amounts of asbestos requires more testing, driving up the total cost.
Bear in mind, when pros are removing asbestos, the affected room is off limits. Therefore, while a large asbestos project may hurt your wallet, it’s smarter to complete everything at once versus delaying projects. Oftentimes, pros offer discounts for completing larger projects at once as opposed to dividing up into longer, smaller assignments.
Different pros use different materials to test and remove asbestos or other harmful materials. Some of the tools include:
- Disposable Coveralls
- HEPA Vacuum
Your asbestos removal cost will greatly depend on the materials your pro uses. In addition, the use of materials like vermiculite, which is often also contaminated with asbestos, can drive up the total cost.
The Environmental Protection Agency has very strict guidelines on asbestos removal. In fact, asbestos pros have to follow local, state and federal regulations when it comes to testing or removing asbestos. Once completed, the contractor has to prove that the all procedures were followed. This process affects the asbestos testing cost.
All in all, there is a lot of red tape when it comes to asbestos.
Where Can Asbestos Exposure Happen?
Alone and undisturbed, asbestos is not hazardous. However, exposure can happen when these fibers are released into the air, such as during a remodeling project.
Since asbestos is odorless and tasteless, it’s imperative to know if changes to your home involve removing asbestos. Here are a few common household places you may find asbestos:
- Floor Tile
- Window Caulk
When To Test For Asbestos
Prior to 1979, asbestos was a very popular option for insulation. However, prior to 1970, it was never regulated. Later on, the naturally occurring mineral with six variations proved hazardous and all new buildings were banned from using it. Nonetheless, all homes built before 1979 are still at risk.
Again, left alone and undisturbed, asbestos is not hazardous. However, if your home was built before 1979 and you’re undertaking a structural or home remodeling project involving the eight areas mentioned above, you need to test for asbestos.
How To Test For Asbestos
While we do not recommend, you can test for asbestos yourself. Before you do so, make sure you have the following materials:
- Disposable Gloves
- Rubber Boots
- Disposable Coveralls
The best way to test for asbestos is to get a sample and send it to an official testing center. To make sure you collect the asbestos safely, follow each step below:
- Identify Potential Asbestos Areas: If you’re remodeling, start in those rooms. If you’re doing a general test, examine the eight areas mentioned earlier.
- Do Not Clean the Area: Before collecting your sample, turn off all HVAC systems. Then, put your gloves, boots, eyewear and respirator on before anything else.
- Apply the Sample: Wet the surface of the sample area and swab the sample area with your testing sheet. Again, make sure you’re wearing all protective gear.
- Mail It In: Place the sample in a plastic bag or bag that came with the testing kit. Mark your ID number and date collected. Finally, mail it in to an accredited EPA testing lab.
Types Of Asbestos
Before jumping into asbestos removal, all homeowners embarking on any asbestos project should know the three major types. Luckily, most HEPA vacuums (more on this in the next section) can catch and remove all forms. Therefore, the process of removing the asbestos should not change no matter the type.
- Chrysotile: This is the most common type of asbestos. The size ranges from 0.5 to 0.6 microns.
- Crocidolite: This is the most dangerous type of asbestos. The size ranges from 0.7 to 0.9 microns.
- Amosite: This is the least common type of asbestos. The size ranges from 0.2 to 0.3 microns.
How Pros Remove Asbestos
If your home tested positive for asbestos and you plan on completing a home remodeling project in the area, you must remove it before work begins. To do so, pros take every precaution.
First and foremost, pros try to contain the asbestos particles before exposing them. That why all pros seal off the room and their bodies. Then, following all EPA guidelines, the pro removes the affected areas, gathers it and lawfully disposes it. Now, they have to clean the air.
Once the asbestos is removed, contractors use a HEPA vacuum or filter to remove all asbestos particles in the air. All HEPA vacuums should be able to catch asbestos particles as small as 0.3 microns. If you’re working with amosite asbestos, pros will use an industrial HEPA vacuum. Beware, if you are DIYing this project, industrial vacuums ($600) are much more expensive than the average ($300).
Finally, good asbestos removal companies will (HEPA) vacuum the entire house. When you’re dealing with a dangerous material like asbestos, you can’t be too careful.
Hiring Asbestos Pros
While most asbestos companies handle testing and removal, you should never hire the same company to do both. It may be convenient, but it could you cost you in the end.
Thinking logically, asbestos pros want business. They know that most homeowners don’t know all the specifics of asbestos. Therefore, they may or may not lie about the test results or fail to ever send it in to an accredited testing facility. Therefore, no matter who you hire to test your home for asbestos, make sure you analyze the results. Go over the results with other asbestos pros and call the testing facility to confirm.
Before you sign any contract with an asbestos testing pro, make sure it does not include removal as well.
Find An Asbestos Pro
Asbestos used to be a popular home building material. Today, it’s proven to cause serious health issues. Therefore, every home should test or remove asbestos if it was built before 1979. Thankfully, the cost of asbestos removal isn’t too severe.
If you’d like the peace of mind that comes with a safe and asbestos-free home, let us help you find the right contractors in your area!
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Last updated on Mar 31, 2017