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How Much Does It Cost To Test For Asbestos?

Typical Range: $221 - $821

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Asbestos Testing Costs

The national average for asbestos testing is around $504, with the typical range between $221 and $821. It can cost as low as $85 or high as $2,000. Test prices increase with building size and the project complexity.
In the early to mid-20th century, contractors used this naturally occurring silicate in homes for its durability and insulating capabilities. However, when aged and damaged, it crumbles and flakes, which releases its fibers into the air. When people breathe in carcinogenic fibers, it can lead to fibrotic lung disease or mesothelioma. It's important to get a professional to test for its presence to see if your home needs asbestos removal or abatement.

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National Average
$504
Typical Range
$221 - $821
Low End - High End
$85 - $1,992

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,685 HomeAdvisor members in .
The cost of an asbestos inspection or survey is between $200 to $800. This test confirms the presence of the material to justify professional removal. Here's what you get out of the price:
  • A visual inspection for common risk factors.
  • Gathering samples from places like the walls, roof, and insulation.
  • Testing the samples in a lab.
  • Delivering reports on the findings.

Asbestos Test Lab Prices

Included in the inspection cost is the price of an asbestos lab test. During an inspection, the pro will take all the necessary samples and send them to the lab. An example of a single sample is a few scrapings from your textured ceiling to see if it requires popcorn ceiling removal.

Asbestos Report Costs

The price of inspection usually includes the cost of the asbestos report since the lab fees are often part of the package. After the examination, you receive a report that will either confirm or deny the presence of the hazardous fibers. You should provide this data to an abatement pro to show the fibers found where they're located in your home.
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Asbestos Air Testing Cost

Testing the air for asbestos averages $500. Depending on the amount of sampling you need and your home's size, costs range between $200 to $800. This is nearly identical to the typical costs of an indoor air quality test, which can sometimes include asbestos in the list of sought contaminants.
Testing the air is an additional cost to inspecting the building's materials.

Type 2 Asbestos Surveys

Pros now refer to a type 2 asbestos survey as an "asbestos management survey," which costs between $200 and $800. This management survey is just another word for an inspection that is a combination of the former Type 1 and Type 2 tests. It identifies at-risk materials and tests all the necessary samples.
  • Type 1 was the most basic inspection. A professional would observe the property and locate which materials were most likely to contain asbestos. However, they wouldn't take any samples for testing, which makes it insufficient for measuring any real risks.
  • Type 2 involved sampling all materials suspected of containing asbestos, but it didn't always comply with regulations.
Overall, identifying surveys by "type" are a thing of the past. A type 2 is now part of what we now call an inspection or a management survey.

Asbestos Refurbishment or Demolition Surveys

The cost of an asbestos refurbishment or demolition survey for a standard single-family home is $1,200. The average commercial building can cost around $2,000, while large industrial buildings can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Only a licensed inspector can conduct a pre-demolition survey, formerly known as a "Type 3 Survey". The price depends on the building's size and the scope of the project.
This inspection must happen before a property is fully or partially demolished. It also becomes an additional expense to the cost of house demolition. This is to make sure that when the building collapses, it won't release dangerous fibers into the air.
It also locates all risks through both non-invasive and intrusive manners, even in hidden parts of the building. The inspector will access places like the electrical system, ducts, lift shafts, and more. Sometimes, specialists like electricians, structural engineers or licensed contractors may assist.

Average Residential vs. Commercial Asbestos Survey Costs

The cost of asbestos testing is the same for residential and commercial properties. The amount of testing needed and the project's complexity impacts costs.

Asbestos Assessment Costs during a Home Inspection

Asbestos assessment costs during a home inspection is between $200 and $800 if you hire a pro separate from the home inspector. However, if you hire an asbestos-certified home inspector, he or she can attach a smaller fee to the average cost of a home inspection, which is around $330. It's important to mention that ordinary home inspectors do not do demolition, which includes scraping and taking samples unless they get the homeowner's permission.
 
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Asbestos Management Service Costs

The cost of asbestos management ranges between $1,200 and $3,000, depending on the project's scope. You will need management or removal if the tests come out positive. The costs are a combination of several factors.
  • Pre-cleaning before abatement averages $40 per square foot.
  • Standard removal averages $8 per square foot.
  • Encapsulation costs between $2 to $6 per square foot. This is an alternative to abatement or removal.
  • The cost of popcorn ceiling removal is $1 to $2 per square foot. This is an additional cost and not one included in the overall abatement or management cost.

Amount

The amount you have in your home will impact the removal cost. Most contractors will want to do the full job or a substantial portion at once. While this can be daunting if the price gets high, for a pro it is difficult to set-up, inspect and re-inspect in small increments. In this case, you might save time and money by doing large chunks of the job at once.

Location

Asbestos is often in old siding, drywall (both ceilings and walls), floors, attics, roofing materials, pipes or HVAC duct connectors. It was also commonly used in vinyl tiles and caulk. It hides in drywall, insulation, flooring, sprayed coatings, and decorative finishes. Location can also contribute to the cost of a test.
If all the hazards are in one area, then the cost to remove will be lower since the job is simpler. Overall, the less your contractor must prepare, contain and inspect, the less you will pay. The more effort it takes to reach the building materials, the higher the removal costs will be.

Using the Same Service for an Asbestos Check & Mitigation

It's best to not use the same service for the inspection and mitigation. This is to avoid a conflict of interest. You should use three different services to make sure the removal is complete.
  • A pre-removal inspection confirms the presence of asbestos.
  • Mitigation professionals then remove the asbestos with special safety equipment and tools so to free your home of hazardous materials.
  • A follow-up inspection should check the air quality after removal to determine if the area is safe for inhabitants, proving that the task is complete.
 

The Legal History

Though people were aware of its dangers as early as the 1920s, asbestos is not fully banned in the United States. Both OSHA and the EPA have been continually regulating the use of the material. Right now, the Toxic Substances Control Act, Clean Air Act, Consumer Product Safety Act all limit its use in construction.
An international ban in 1979 has made it so that building materials can only contain 1% or less of the fibers. However, pre-ban materials were still used in the United States throughout the 1980s. Though manufacturers can even legally make products that contain 1% of it, many choose not to. For this reason, your home built in 1989 or before has a higher chance of carrying the at-risk material. This doesn't mean that new homes can't contain the material, though.
 

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FAQs

What Does Asbestos Look Like?

It is a naturally occurring silicate that looks like long, thin or curled crystals. Its strength and fire resistance made it a popular material for insulation and cement in the early to mid-20th century before professionals knew of its dangers. You often cannot spot it with the naked eye. If your home was built before 1989, you should get an inspection to rule out its presence.

Are There Free or Cheap Asbestos Sample Testing Services Available?

Though there aren't free testing services available, you can find cheap testing kits online for as little as $30 per unit. These kits include:
  • Lab fees
  • Return shipping
  • Consultation
  • Sampling media
  • The results posted on an online portal.
However, you may accidentally breathe in the fibers when taking a sample and even let out some out in your home.

How Long Does It Take for the Asbestos Test & To Get Survey Results?

It frequently takes one to seven days to receive results if you are willing to pay for rushed services. Different labs have different turnaround times. Some consider a rush job any time within a week, while others complete expedited orders within 24 hours. Non-rush jobs can take as long as two weeks.
Before you order a test, ask your service provider when you should expect to hear from them.

Is an Asbestos Test & Removal Covered by Home Insurance?

Home insurance may not cover testing and removal. Many policies have a clause called a "pollution exclusion" which means they do not cover indoor pollutants, a category under which asbestos belongs. However, there is a chance your insurance company covers removal if its release isn't your fault, such because of storm damage.
If you release fibers from a DIY project or accident in your home, you must pay for the test and removal.
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Can I Legally Inspect and Remove Asbestos in my House?

Yes, you can legally inspect and remove asbestos in your house. The property must be a single-family home and not a multi-family unit. However, the EPA strongly recommends that a professional does the job. Also, some local laws require a demolition permit before you can remove it from your home. Therefore, check with your local health department before you start any removal project. You also need to dispose of the materials properly in an approved facility.
It's best to hire an asbestos inspector over making this a DIY project for safety reasons. Pros already have all the right tools and safety equipment. They also know how to properly collect samples, remove, and dispose of the materials safely. When you try to take samples yourself, you risk breathing in the harmful fibers. Though hiring help is costly, your health is worth more than hazardous material exposure.

 

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Jon Bazzell More than 1 year ago

Is there not a fund for mesothelioma? then the clean up from discovery should be included. Manufactures, government,residential development should beheld accountable. Contractors today do not take precaution nor care.

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