Asbestos is a very hazardous material that can be found in some homes. This is a material contained in ceiling tiles, insulation, floor tiles, sprayed-on plaster, and the like. Though very tiny, asbestos fiber is airborne and can be inhaled. When this happens, the fibers can go deeply into the lungs and cause certain diseases as worst as cancer.
With such a danger of having asbestos products at home, it is of great necessity to remove them to make your home as safe as it can be for everyone. But before you do that, learn first how much an asbestos removal project will cost you.
The Cost Of Asbestos Removal
The usual cost of asbestos removal is $1,500 to $4,000.
This price refers to the removal of asbestos in a typical 2,000 square foot home with asbestos present in a few areas of the house only. The price already includes asbestos testing, removal, and disposal.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of Asbestos Removal
Amount of asbestos. The amount of asbestos present in your home can greatly affect removal prices. Notice that the above-mentioned price quote refers to a home where asbestos is concentrated in a few areas of the house only. If it happens that there is a huge concentration of asbestos in the house such as in the floors, ceilings, walls, roofs, and pipes, expect that the cost to remove the material is higher. In fact, a complete asbestos removal can go from $20,000 to $30,000 in cases like this.
Contractor. Your choice of asbestos abatement contractor also affects prices here. There are some abatement contractors that have a minimum asbestos removal fee of $2,500 even just for a small job. There are, however, some contractors that charge around $500 for removing a small amount of asbestos in the ceiling or insulation alone.
Additional Costs Of Asbestos Removal
You may need to hire an independent inspector other than the abatement contractor to do an initial asbestos inspection for you. This can cost you $400 to $800 extra. A separate inspector may be necessary because there can be a conflict of interest if the inspection is done by the same abatement company. The results provided by the independent inspector can guide you in terms of knowing the right amount of asbestos to be removed or if some materials can be contained instead of removed. This will increase your chances of decreasing the cost of the asbestos removal.
Re-inspection is necessary once the project has been completed. This will cost you $200 to $400 extra.
Getting a sample analysis for the inspection will cost you around $25 to $75.
Inspecting Your Home For Asbestos
Take note that asbestos removal must be dealt with only by professionals. In the event that you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, make sure you contact professionals to further inspect the area for you. Here are some places at home where asbestos is usually present:
- Heating ductwork. Some ducts are made of asbestos. In fact, there are metal ducts that are wrapped with cellulose asbestos. You can confirm this if the ducts have an off-white corrugated appearance. Take note that ductwork made of asbestos can be really dangerous because fibers are blown into the house once the ductwork starts to deteriorate.
- Wiring. Old knob and tube wires with white coating covered by black fabric have asbestos.
- Plumbing. There are some pipes, especially those connected to radiators, that are jacketed with asbestos. You’ll see that these pipes have a crumbly white surface.
- Fireplace. There are some artificial logs and ashes that contain flaking asbestos. These are usually those that were manufactured before 1978.
- Crawl space/basement floor. If you have ductwork or piping that may be contaminated by asbestos, be careful when getting into the crawl space or the basement floor. These areas may have collected asbestos fiber on the ground, which can really be dangerous to you once you inhale them.
- Flooring. Most vinyl flooring contains a small amount of asbestos. However, since the asbestos is ingrained in the tile, it usually does not offer a threat unless the flooring is sanded or scraped.
- Walls and ceilings. Sprayed acoustical ceilings have up to 40 percent asbestos content. Hence, sweeping or scraping the ceiling is not recommended. There are also plaster walls, present in older homes, that have blown-in insulation containing asbestos.
- Roofing and siding. There are older shingles made from cement or asphalt mixed with asbestos.
Take note that once you have noticed asbestos in your home, call an asbestos specialist immediately. In the meantime, be extra careful around the areas where asbestos is present and make sure not to do the following:
- remove or damage the asbestos material yourself
- dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may be containing asbestos
- saw, scrape, sand, or drill holes on materials with asbestos
- use abrasive brushes or pads on asbestos flooring
Some Tips Before You Decide To Remove Asbestos At Home
Always get two different contractors for the inspection and the actual asbestos removal. Doing this can help eliminate unnecessary removal work, which can only be achieved if the contractor you hire has no conflict of interest on the job at hand.
Always hire an efficient and licensed contractor to do the inspection and the removal for you. Asbestos is a very hazardous material so you want safety all throughout the inspection and removal process. Take note that the contractor’s health is not the only one at risk here. If the contractor does not know how to handle asbestos correctly, your health can be at risk, too.
Get a written statement from the asbestos abatement contractor at the end of the job to specify that all required steps are made following state regulations.
Seal off the work area from the rest of the house all throughout the removal process. The area must be marked hazardous so that people will not enter the area. Take note that the work area may have dangerous dust and fibers that can be inhaled by anyone entering it without proper gears.
It is not advisable to remove asbestos at home yourself, even if this will cost lower. If you are determined to do the job yourself, attend training programs first regarding the safe removal of asbestos. You can check with local health departments for training programs to prepare you for the right and safe way to remove asbestos.
Your Guide To The Right Asbestos Abatement Contractor
- Only deal with a licensed contractor.
- Ask for references from the contractor to see if the contractor’s work is satisfactory. Take note that there are some contractors that remove asbestos incorrectly and still will charge you a fee.
- Make sure that the contractor of your choice will specify all safety procedures in writing.
- Hire a certified asbestos consultant to review safety procedures and oversee the performance of the contractor. This will help ensure that the process is done correctly to ensure the safety of everyone.