Asbestos removal costs $1,175-$2,275, or an average of $2,050. Depending on the scope of the project, you can expect to spend anywhere from $378-$8,700.
Asbestos removal cost:
National average cost
Average cost range
Before you can create a budget for your asbestos removal project, you must understand all the factors that impact the cost. Everything from your home’s size to labor costs in your area will determine how much you’ll pay for asbestos testing and removal. You can explore all of the cost considerations and more in this guide.
What’s in this cost guide?
The bulk of the asbestos inspection costs goes to the lab fees. The more tests, the higher your total costs will be. For example, a Middleburg, Virginia, home inspection pro charges $300 to take a material sample and test for asbestos as part of a home inspection — and $225 of that fee goes to the lab to analyze the samples.
The cost of collecting and testing for asbestos is typically around $200-$250. This cost includes the collection of suspect materials and the lab tests. The Thumbtack pro in Virginia tests clients' homes for asbestos using this method. He always notifies clients during an inspection if he sees anything in the home that might contain asbestos.
Testing the air for asbestos fibers costs anywhere from $300-$1,200 due to the need for pricey equipment.
Professionals charge a project rate based on many factors, including the square footage, building height and asbestos location.
Your home’s size can influence how long the project will take, so it’s a top factor when estimating the potential cost. Contractors must inspect the home to find all the asbestos lurking inside and out.
Because asbestos materials often lie in the floors and ceilings, the building height also comes into play when pricing out the project. Asbestos removal in a single-story house will likely cost less than removing the substance in a three-story estate.
Location of asbestos
Asbestos removal prices also depend on the location of the asbestos, such as:
- Floor tiles and backing
- Acoustic and popcorn ceilings
- Insulation on ducts, boilers and pipes
- Wall patching and joint compounds
- Textured paint
- Door gaskets in wood stoves and furnaces
- Roofing and siding shingles
As contractors look at the location, they set the price by figuring out how long removal will take and the difficulty of the job, among other factors.
It’s important to remember that the cost of removing asbestos does not include the price of replacing the materials. You will also need to make room in your budget for renovations and repairs after taking out the contaminated materials.
The only way to truly know if your home has asbestos is by hiring a professional to come check it out. The mineral fibers are only observable under a microscope, making it necessary to have samples collected and tested to find out.
If you think your home could have asbestos, leave it alone, states the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Don’t try to remove it yourself. When the fibers enter the air, they can also enter your lungs — which is dangerous.
One more important note: If you’re thinking about remodeling your home, the CPSC recommends that you find out if there’s asbestos in your home before you begin your projects.
Depending on your situation, it may be best to repair the asbestos. This entails sealing or covering the material to prevent the fibers from being released into the air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Repairs are sometimes performed on insulation for pipes, furnaces and boilers.
Removing the asbestos from your property is a good option if it’s impossible to repair the asbestos material or you want to make major home improvements.
No matter which route you take, hire a professional — don’t attempt removing or repairing the material on your own.
Because removing asbestos is not a DIY project, you need to find a local professional to take care of the problem. When researching potential inspectors and contractors to hire, you need to:
- Verify their credentials. Look for both state and federal certifications and licenses. Ask the pro to explain what type of federal or state-approved training they’ve completed (like taking EPA-approved training courses).
- Ask about their experience with projects like yours. Inquire about past projects to see if they can properly handle the removal of asbestos insulation, ceiling tiles or flooring.
- Read reviews and ratings. On Thumbtack, read customer reviews for asbestos professionals near you.
- Get several price quotes. Try to get estimates from at least three pros so you can get a clearer picture of the cost — and choose the most reasonably priced service.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber. Its strength and heat resistance led to its widespread use as a material additive for construction projects up until the 1970s. However, exposure to these microscopic fibers can damage your lungs and boosts the risk of mesothelioma and asbestosis — which is why the fiber is restricted and regulated in the U.S.
Asbestos abatement refers to any procedure used to control fiber release from asbestos-containing materials in your home, which may or may not include removal. For example, a Virginia-based asbestos inspector says that if your floor is covered with asbestos tile, covering it with some other hard flooring can keep asbestos out of the air.
How do you remove asbestos?
Because asbestos exposure can cause major health problems, including lung cancer, always hire a certified professional to handle its removal. For even more peace of mind, plan to leave home along with your other household members and pets while they do the work.
How long does asbestos removal take?
The time it takes to test and remove asbestos from your home depends on how much material your contractors need to remove and how long the labs take to test it. For example, the testing process alone takes up to 48 hours when done by a professional, according to Bob Vila.
Your contractor will then need to remove all materials that tested positive for asbestos. Ask the professional how long they expect the removal to take.
How common is asbestos in drywall?
Manufacturers used asbestos to create drywall patching compounds and the like until the late 1970s/1980s.
What does asbestos insulation look like?
“If you have vermiculite insulation in your home, you should assume this material may be contaminated with asbestos,” states the EPA.
Vermiculite insulation looks like tiny golden to brown pebbles lying loose between the joists. You can visit the EPA website to see photos of vermiculite insulation. But keep in mind that the EPA does not recommend opening your walls to check for vermiculite.
Additional sources: The Asbestos Institute¹