The asbestos removal cost will greatly vary depending on the amount, location, and types of ACM found in the building. It is reported that the average rate to hire a professional removalist in the US is around $1.694. Most homeowners spent between $1.099 until $2.538 when removing ACM from their house. In some cases, it can also be as high as $30.000 to do a complete removal in a 1500 ft2 home. Some contractors can even charge a minimum fee of $1.500; no matter how small the work is.
The high asbestos removal cost is a direct reflection of the energy and time that is required to perform it. You can do it alone if you are planning to remove non-friable fibres from your property. But always to keep in mind, that removing ACM by yourself is incredibly risky. There is a chance of falling when you are trying to remove ACM from your roof. But most of all, the risk of getting an asbestos-related disease outweigh all the reasons of doing it alone. Airborne fibres are known to cause aggressive diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. There isn’t any stage of the processes that makes it okay to do it by yourself. Here we will explain several processes along with the cost and risks of doing it.
Stage 1 – Asbestos Testing
Asbestos testing may include a simple assessment of what is necessary to be removed. This process alone can costs you up to $70 or more. Simple assessment may include an initial testing of a suspected material or sample in an accredited laboratory. You can legally do a sampling for non-friable fibres or contact a surveyor to do it. When doing a sampling, it’s necessary to purchase a protective equipment and clothing to ensure your safety. You must wear a P2 respirator, special clothing, and gloves that you may buy in local hardware store. To ensure maximum protection, you should use a HEPA vacuum to prevent the release of fibres to the surrounding environment.
However, if you deal with friable fibres, you have no other option than hiring a professional surveyor. Hiring an asbestos surveyor to do a sampling for you can cost up to $50. Friable fibres are considered more dangerous than the non-friable one. Improper handling of friable fibres can also increase the risks of exposure inside and outside the building. After you are done with the sampling, you have to dispose all equipment and tools to a legal facility that accepts hazardous materials for disposal.
The presence of fibres in a suspected material can only be confirmed by a microscopic analysis in an accredited laboratory. You have to send the sample to a certified laboratory, and it can cost you more than $50. The same principle applies to the owner of a commercial building or large premises. A full survey of a commercial building can be as high as $200.
Stage 2 – Beginning of Removal
Once the sampling and testing are finished, then you can start removing ACMs from your property. At this point, a licensed removalist usually will do one initial step before removing ACM which is encapsulation. The purpose of encapsulation is to make and isolate the suspected material, so it is safe to be removed. The material will be coated with a special adhesive material to eliminate the risk of fibres release. Encapsulation usually cost around $10 for each square foot.
Stage 3 – Full Removal
The final and the most crucial step of the process is the complete removal of ACM, which is something that can be handled by a professional removalist. You are legal in removing asbestos alone if the material is non-friable and the area of ACM does not exceed 10 m2. However, improper handling of non-friable material can make this type of fibres becomes friable. Thus, increasing the risk of exposure to you and people around you. A removalist will ensure that all processes will be handled safely; starting from encapsulation until disposal of the hazardous material. The cost to remove fibres is significantly varied. Usually, the rate will be around $50 per square foot depending on the location, type, and the size of ACMs.
So, the high asbestos removal cost: is it worth it? The answer depends on you. If you care about the health and safety of yourself and people around you, then it is worth it. It is reported that asbestos-related disease causes more deaths compared to car accidents. However, if you’re on a tight budget and confidence on your skill to remove ACM alone, then the risk is yours.