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How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?

Typical Range: $1,118 - $2,915

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April 14, 2021

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Home Building & Remodeling Expert.
Written by HomeAdvisor.

Asbestos Removal Costs

The national average cost for asbestos removal is $2,014. The average homeowner typically pays between $1,118 and $2,915. Extensive, whole-house remediation can run anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 or more. Pricing depends heavily on setup. Sealing off the area is the largest expense, composing about 60% to 70% of the final bill. Professionals figure $75 to $200 per hour for labor.

the average cost to remove asbestos is $2,000 or $500 to $5,000.

Despite the apparent dangers, removing it isn't always the right course of action. It only becomes a threat once it's airborne. The is to leave asbestos-containing materials that are in good condition undisturbed. However, leaving it be isn't possible when remodeling, renovating or adding onto an older home. You'll need to encapsulate it or possibly remove it.

Note: Local, state and federal regulations governing the removal and disposal vary. Always check with a local, licensed hazardous material abatement specialist before starting any remodel projects on homes built before 1986.

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National Average $2,014
Typical Range $1,118 - $2,915
Low End - High End $450 - $5,200

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,815 HomeAdvisor members in .

Asbestos Removal Hourly Labor Rate

On average, you'll pay $75 to $200 per hour for labor per crew member. It takes a two-person crew an average of 8 hours to complete a typical project with a cost of $1,200 to $3,200.

Asbestos is a set of natural silicate minerals. These fibers are carcinogenic, meaning they can cause cancer, particularly in the lungs and stomach.

Until its international ban in 1979, it was used extensively in both commercial and residential construction. After 1979, building materials can only contain 1% or less in the United States although stockpiles of pre-ban materials still made their way into homes throughout the 1980s. Fifty countries, including all developed nations, have complete bans on it.

Material & Equipment Costs

The average project requires $200 in materials and another $250 in equipment. Keeping asbestos from becoming airborne while also keeping the removal specialists safe during the abatement process requires extensive setup and specialized equipment. This process requires completely sealing the area, installing negative air flow fans, using safety gear and applying sealants.

Asbestos Removal Material & Equipment Costs
Respirators$30 to $150 per unit
Eyewear$10 to $30 per pair
Tyvek whole bodysuit$25 to $50 each
Rubber Boots$30 to $50 per pair
Disposable Gloves$10 to $15 per box
HEPA Vacuum$400 to $1,200

HEPA Vacuums

Small, portable HEPA vacuums for commercial use cost anywhere from $400 to $1,200 though larger HEPA dust extractor vacuums for abatement and remediation run $6,000 to $18,000. Renting costs an average of $110 per day for a large, professional 16-gallon wet/dry type.

Cleanup is part of professional remediation and removal services, so you don't need to worry about renting or purchasing this expensive equipment when you hire a pro. HEPA, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air, vacuums remove at least 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns or larger. This catches all types except for amosite, which is rare.

Asbestos Disposal

Asbestos disposal rates vary from state to state but generally run $10 to $50 per cubic yard with a permit fee of $50 to $100. All waste must follow EPA guidelines for disposal. Regulations usually require disposal as hazardous waste in a specially-designated landfill.

Residential vs. Commercial Removal Prices

There are no significant cost differences between commercial and residential pricing or removal techniques. Differences in permitting and licensing and will vary by city and state but must meet minimum EPA regulations.

Regional Price Factors

Overall costs differ slightly depending on where you live. Urban centers with higher costs of living tend to have higher pricing. Also, state regulations on licensing, permitting, removal and disposal all impact prices. Check with your local abatement professional for regional costs.

For instance, in New Jersey, you must take all asbestos-containing materials to certified landfills. In California, non-friable bulk types are not considered a hazardous waste and are not subject to asbestos disposal regulations. Contact your removal specialist for specifics on requirements and costs in your state.

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Asbestos Removal Costs Per Square Foot

Asbestos removal can range anywhere from $5 to $20 per square foot or more for internal projects. Some reported roofing and siding costs reach $150 per square foot.

Asbestos Abatement Costs

  • Setup time: 60%-70% of total project fees.
  • Contractor Fee: $800-$1,500 at a minimum to cover permitting, overhead and disposal
  • Encapsulation: 15%-25% cheaper than removal as there are no demolition or disposal fees.

Regardless of the location or type, accessibility, amount of material or demolition needs, the setup remains the same. Because of this, it's impossible to tell exactly how much a single type of installation will cost to remove.

For example, take a 10 foot insulated pipe that requires remediation. If it's exposed in a single open basement, it may run as little as $1,000. Only a small space requires sealing and with no demolition. However, if the same length of pipe is located inside a ceiling and crosses five rooms, removal requires all five rooms sealed and prepped with negative air fans. Parts of the ceiling require removal to expose the pipe. This can drive the price upwards of $10,000 or more.

Asbestos Ceiling Tile Removal Cost

Removing ceiling tiles costs between $5 and $15 per square foot. Paint popcorn or acoustic ceilings with a specialized thick sealant for between $2 and $6 per square foot. If your ceiling tests negative for asbestos, removing popcorn ceilings cost $1,600 on average.

Asbestos Flooring & Floor Tile Removal Cost

Expect to pay $5 to $15 per square foot. Floor tiles and the mastic used to glue them in place require mechanical removal. Most tile remediation only requires you encapsulate it and directly cover it with new flooring. Installing new flooring costs anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500.

Asbestos Pipe Insulation & Wrap Removal

In addition to setup fees of $2.50 to $10 per square foot, removing pipe wrap runs an additional $2 to $5 per linear foot. Hard to access areas may increase the price further.

Average Asbestos Cleanup Costs in Ducts

Licensed professionals include the cost of cleaning ducts as part of the overall price if they removed asbestos from ductwork. Test and inspect ducts before regular cleaning. Costs vary depending on the shape, length, accessibility and type of system you have. Ask your contractor to quote prices for ductwork abatement vs. ductwork replacement. If the costs are the same, new ductwork would be the better choice because there won't be any residual asbestos.

Roof & Roof Shingles Removal Cost

Roofing abatement costs $20 to $120 per square foot. This is one of the most expensive areas to remove due to access and containment needs. New asphalt roof installation costs $1,700 to $8,400.

Attic Insulation

Attic insulation removal runs anywhere from $800 to $15,000 total. It will largely depend on accessibility and the amount of insulation removed. New insulation installation costs an additional $900 to $1,900.

Wall or Drywall

For a 1,500 square foot home, this will run from $16,000 up to $20,000 or more. All walls built before 1986 may contain high amounts of non-friable asbestos. In most cases, you don't need to remove walls, try encapsulation for $2 to $6 per square foot. Installing new drywall costs $1,000 to $2,500 or more.

Cost of Asbestos Mitigation from a Garage

The costs for a garage are the same as any other source, requiring setup time, materials and labor. There is no difference in procedure for removing it from a garage over another area.

Basement Asbestos Remediation Cost Estimate

Unfinished basements can save up to 25% or more on setup and demolition costs compared to finished. Actual pricing will vary between contractors and locations.

HVAC Units

Removing insulation, gaskets and vibration dampeners from HVAC units varies widely from $800 to $2,500. In some cases, it may be less expensive to remove and replace the ductwork, furnace and AC units. It's best to compare the cost of remediation to ductwork installation costs of $1,100.If there is no asbestos present in your ducts, a standard duct cleaning costs $350 on average. The best way to find out what it would cost to get the chimney flue, boiler or furnace insulation removed is to get a free consultation from a licensed professional.

Guttering, Soffits & Siding

Asbestos siding repair costs $700 to $10,000. In some places, like New Jersey, siding removal isn't required. Instead, encapsulation with additional cladding materials laid over the top of the original siding is cheaper and often preferred.

Asbestos in the Air

If you have asbestos in the air before any construction or abatement work, you probably have damaged friable materials somewhere in your home. Contact a testing specialist immediately for an inspection. An asbestos test costs $250 to $850.

An abatement team uses negative air machines to make a miniature clean room in the area they are working so no dust should ever get into the HVAC system or left in your air. Clearance testing provides you with an air quality report for asbestos only. A complete air quality report costs $400 on average. Should any contamination remain, the contractor will clean your home again.

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Vermiculite Insulation Removal Costs

Vermiculite attic insulation removal costs anywhere from $4 to $10 per square foot. Not all vermiculite contains asbestos. Test it first. Most specialists encourage abatement. Installing new insulation costs an average of $1,400.

Asbestos Remediation Cost by Type

Though some sites report cost differences between types of commonly used asbestos, some contractors make little distinction. They all require the same equipment, time and setup.There are three predominant types in building construction.

  • Crocidolite is the most dangerous type. It ranges in size between 0.7 to 0.9 microns.
  • Amosite is a rare type that ranges in size from 0.20 to 0.26 microns. This is the only type that can pass through most HEPA vacuums unless it is industrial strength.
  • Chrysotile is the most common type. The fibers range in size from 0.5 to 0.6 microns.

Asbestos Encapsulation Costs

Encapsulation costs less than removal at $2 to $6 per square foot. Encapsulation quality sealant alone runs $115 per gallon. Actual pricing varies depending on the location and extent of setup required.

This process leaves the asbestos in place though seals it to keep it from becoming airborne. Usually, this requires a high-grade specialized sealant sprayed onto ceilings, walls and floors. Sometimes, this process is also applied to exterior walls and roofs.

Testing & Removal Costs

Asbestos testing and inspections cost between $200 and $850 including visual inspection and laboratory testing. Most abatement contractors employ third-party testing companies due to state regulations. Even if a state doesn't require a third party, it's a good idea to use separate testing and removal specialists.

Testing should be done before removal. Post-abatement testing, called clearance testing, is required. Often, contractors include clearance testing in the project pricing. Costs vary by city and state due to a wide range of regulations governing this specialty.

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What is the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos?

  • Friable means it can crumble easily in your hand and poses the more significant risk to homeowners. When disturbed, it can release particulates into the air, posing a severe health risk.
  • Non-friable types are locked in a stable matrix, like in most old flooring tiles. So long as the material is in good condition, it poses little risk.

What does asbestos look like in ceilings and floors?

Asbestos doesn't look any different from other floor and ceiling materials. Installations before the mid-1980s may contain asbestos. Always hire an inspector for a professional test before remodeling older homes.

Is asbestos removal expensive and necessary?

Asbestos removal is usually expensive but not always necessary. The general rule to follow is to leave asbestos-containing materials alone that are in good condition. In some cases, encapsulating it and leaving it in place is the best option. Hire an inspector to determine if you should remove or encapsulate.

Are there cheap or free asbestos removal services available?

There are no cheap or free removal services available. While it is possible to purchase cheap DIY kits, don't do it. Always hire a licensed and insured remediation specialist. As with any home repair, keep your receipts. This will be critical to getting the most value when you sell your house.

How long does asbestos removal take?

The average abatement job takes one day to complete using a team of two or three crew members.

How long after removal is it safe to enter my house?

After clearance testing completion, you can enter your home after asbestos removal.

Are asbestos abatement contractors licensed?

Federal regulations don't require certifications for abatement specialists. However, states and cities often regulate this industry, requiring certifications or specialized training. In any case, do ask for detailed written receipts as proof of the investment you have made for the safety of your house.

Do I need to demolish my house with asbestos?

You don't need to demolish a house with asbestos. Though demolishing a house costs an average of $18,000, it's not the most economical solution. You may need to encapsulate and remove significant portions, but generally, if it's non-friable and in good condition, leave it in place.

Can I legally remove asbestos from my house

Legally, you can remove asbestos from your home in most areas, but you shouldn't. Understand asbestos removal dangers before considering this as a DIY project. It's dangerous and potentially deadly. It's definitively linked to certain types of stomach and lung cancers and non-cancerous diseases. Although abatement isn't cheap, it's less expensive than a hospital bill.
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