Asbestos is a hazardous substance when it is airborne. If there are asbestos fibers in the air that people breathe, they can become lodged in the lungs; this can cause scarring, ultimately leading to impaired lungs (asbestosis) and lung cancer. If the asbestos material present in your home is damaged, or you are planning to make alterations in the house, which might disturb the asbestos, then you need to repair it or have it removed by professionals.

The cost:

Asbestos removal costs would vary depending on what the circumstances are. If you are removing a section of pipe insulation made of asbestos, it would work out to $400-$650 for a ten-foot section. Some contractors charge a minimum fee amounting to $1500-$3000, irrespective of the size of the job.

If you want to remove all the asbestos from a home measuring 1500 square foot with a lot of asbestos in floors, walls, ceilings, roof, attic, pipes, the asbestos removal cost could work out to $20,000-$30,000.

It is better to have an asbestos inspection done by a firm of independent inspectors, which would cost you $400-$800 for a house measuring 1500 square feet. This would include lab fees; you can get your home re-inspected after project completion for $200-$400. If you want a separate lab report, sample analysis would be $25-$75 on average.

You should also get a written confirmation that inspection includes a visual examination, lab analyses of samples, and frequent visits to the site to ensure that the proper procedures are being followed.

The procedure:

  • The work area should be sealed and marked a hazardous area.
  • It is advisable to obtain asbestos removal cost estimates – get these from more than one company and check the references. Still, the initial costs of total abatement will be usually high; you will also have to replace the asbestos with materials, which can do similar functions, and this will further add to the asbestos removal costs. Further, the asbestos will have to be removed very carefully to minimize the risk of exposure.
  • There should be a written contract listing in detail the work to be done and the cleanup. If there are local or federal regulations, requirements of notification, or disposal procedures, these should be in the contract, too.
  • Another option you can explore to reduce asbestos removal costs is the abatement systems that prevent hazardous substances from releasing fibers into the air. These water-based systems are non-toxic and cost-effective.
  • Time taken for asbestos encasement is 10 – 30% of what is needed for removing and replacing asbestos found in, say, fireproofing insulation. These minimize downtime expenses and the costs will be 50-80% lower than asbestos removal costs and replacement costs.

The other problem of removal is the fact that the house owner is responsible for hazardous material irrespective of how and where they are being disposed of. The encasement method can do away with this liability; the hazardous materials are encased in durable and flexible jackets. This results in lower asbestos disposal costs and reduced liability.