Ashburn, VA

Average cost for Asbestos Removal ranges from
$1,500 – $30,000

The average cost for asbestos removal is $3,000. Hiring a asbestos remover, you will likely spend between $1,500 – $30,000 to make sure the air is safe. The price of asbestos removal can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local asbestos removers or get free estimates from pros near you.

How much does asbestos removal cost?

Author: Daniel W.
Millions of people ask HomeGuide for cost estimates every year. We track the estimates they get from local companies, then we share those prices with you.

Exposure What is Asbestos? Types Testing Abatement Cost Factors Tips

Asbestos Removal Cost

Asbestos can be deadly, especially if disturbed. If your home was built before 1970, you likely have some asbestos in the home and will need to do an inspection to make sure the air is safe. While encapsulation is easier and cheaper than removal, removal might be necessary if you are remodeling.

Asbestos removal costs between $5 and $20 per square foot. Hourly rates to remove asbestos range between $200 to $600 depending on the project’s complexity and the size of your home. The cost for an average home to have all asbestos removed anywhere it might exist is $1,500 – $30,000 depending on many factors.

National Average Cost $3,000
Minimum Cost $1,500
Maximum Cost $30,000
Average Range $5 per square foot to $20 per square foot

This pricing guide covers:

How Serious is Asbestos Exposure?

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC):

“There is sufficient evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma, ... and cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovary. Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. ... Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis ... and other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques, ... pleural thickening, and benign pleural effusions. Although pleural plaques are not precursors to lung cancer, evidence suggests that people with pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos may be at increased risk for lung cancer.”

One of the most recent high-profile stories of asbestos exposure was on the World Trade Center in New York. With 400 tons of asbestos in the drywall, fireproofing, and insulation, quotes for asbestos abatement were $1M per floor. On 9/11, when the buildings were attacked and collapsed, asbestos from the fireproofing in just 20 stories became airborne and fell across the city, exposing 410,000 people. As of September 2009, the 9-11 Health Now organization reported 40,000 people enrolled in medical monitoring, with half of those in treatment and 817 already dead from various causes.

If your home was built before 1986 and you plan on remodeling, or if you are about to buy a home built before 1986, start the ball rolling by getting an inspection done so you know if there is anything that needs to be addressed. This way both your investment and your family will be protected. You can save yourself time and trouble by finding a local remodeling company that also provides asbestos removal service, like Leon Pro Services in Glen Burnie, MD.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which, because of its fibrous makeup, can become a cottonlike material, allowing it to be distributed and installed in rolls. It has been around for a very long time, and its installation as insulation material began in 1874 on a mass commercial scale. Being in full production until 1978, there are still significant risks of hazardous exposure in older homes and commercial buildings due to its toxic, cancer-causing nature. Up to 1973, it was virtually impossible to find insulation that didn’t contain asbestos.

IKG Property Maintenance, Inc., an asbestos abatement professional in Oak Lawn, IL, says products include but are not limited to:

  • Wall and attic insulation
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring
  • Adhesives and glues used in installation of floor tiles
  • Roofing shingles
  • Cement like wall siding
  • Textured “popcorn finish” ceilings
  • Patching compounds used on walls and ceilings
  • Walls and floors in HVAC/high heat- flammability areas – asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets in these areas
  • Pipe insulation covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Boilers/furnaces

The Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule was issued by the EPA in 1989. Despite the ban being overturned, the following products containing asbestos are prohibited: corrugated paper, roll board, commercial paper, specialty paper, flooring felt, and any new products that include the use of asbestos. With asbestos insulation, installers were allowed to use up whatever they already had in stock, which means that houses built up until 1986 could possibly contain asbestos.

What does asbestos look like?

Asbestos

Different types of asbestos

Amosite (also known as Grunerite) - ranges in size from 0.2 to 0.3 microns and is the least common type of asbestos.

Chrysotile (also known as white asbestos) - This is less friable (asbestos fibers that can be made into airborne dust) because of its curled fibers, and so less is likely to be inhaled. It ranges in size from 0.5 to 0.6 microns and is the most common type of asbestos. One example of an extremely friable substance is popcorn ceiling treatment.

Crocidolite (also known as blue asbestos) - Mined in Africa and Australia, it ranges in size from 0.7 to 0.9 microns and is the most dangerous of all asbestos.

Other types of asbestos

Actinolite - Rarely used commercially or in an industrial capacity, its airborne fibers are easily inhaled, causing damage.

Anthophyllite - This was also rarely used commercially or in an industrial capacity, although it is sometimes found in vermiculite—used as an oil treatment in agriculture in its exfoliated form to help soil aeration. Vermiculite, itself, is not a health problem, and because it is lightweight, fire resistant, and absorbs sound, it can be found used in attic insulation, but some earlier vermiculite insulation products that had asbestos fibers in them.

Tremolite - Rarely used commercially or in an industrial application like insulation, or for the strengthening of materials, although it has been found in certain talcum powders in the past.

Asbestos Testing

The older your home is, the more likely it has extensive amounts of asbestos, especially if it was built before 1970. An asbestos test or inspection is the only way to be certain if your home or commercial building has asbestos.

Asbestos Removal

Onsite Testing

According to Seattle Asbestos Test:

  • Standard onsite sampling - $250­–$750
  • Air monitoring test - $400–$1,200
  • Official AHERA inspection - $250–$1,000 per sample
  • If asbestos is detected, a full inspection is required - $400–$800

Mail-in Samples Testing

Samples can be of sheet vinyl, popcorn ceiling, flooring tile, vermiculite, wall board, roofing material.

$50 per material

DIY Kits

DIY Kits can be purchased to test for asbestos for about $40, which involve testing up to eight areas around the home and sending in the swabs to a lab for testing. Given the crucial nature of the potential for hazardous exposure should asbestos become frias, especially if any remodeling or demolition is planned, and the potential for incomplete or tainted results, the safest option is to look for an EPA-licensed professional to carry out the testing on your property.

Asbestos Abatement

Asbestos abatement is the industry term for the removal of asbestos. There are three classes of abatement work:

  1. Class 1 - focuses on the removal of asbestos that was installed for the purposes of stopping heat loss or gain.
  2. Class 2 - covers the removal of items including construction mastics, floor tiles and sheeting, roofing, siding shingles,& and wallboards which are nonthermal.
  3. Class 3 - covers repair and maintenance of any materials containing asbestos.
It is completely critical to hire professionals to do this work. Not only is there the need for the right equipment and a set of industry processes to follow, but there are also strict regulations that have to be followed to keep yourself and others clear of any possible toxic exposure.

The work has to be carried out by EPA licensed asbestos abatement contractors, and they are trained in abatement area safety, establishing decontamination units, pre-abatement procedures, asbestos waste handling and disposal procedures, protective clothing and breathing protection, abatement area preparations, and worker decontamination.

For instance, PuroClean in Waukesha, WI, uses Environmental Protection Agency-registered, safe products to provide up to three months of protection that prevents contamination.

When asbestos is left undisturbed, the chances of it becoming the source of a toxic exposure are minimal, but if you have any plans for remodeling, both you and the contractor you select for that work need to be aware, and abatement needs to be carried out before that work starts. If your home is older than 1986, don’t ever arrange for contractors to work on your home without knowing if there is asbestos present in the home or not—so they don’t start tearing away at walls, etc., causing asbestos to become airborne.

Residential Asbestos Abatement Cost Factors

The factors which will determine a final cost include the following:

  • Amount of asbestos insulation in the attic, walls, ceiling, wall finishes, roof tiles, floor tiles, plaster, caulking around furnaces, and around heaters and piping
  • Square footage of affected areas
  • Difficulty of accessing affected areas
  • Amount of interior room sealing required
  • Where you live
  • Length of time to complete work because of size, type of asbestos, difficulty, etc.

Homeowner’s insurance does not cover asbestos removal.

Asbestos abatement site preparation process

Once determined, the complicated process for removal will include a few site preparations. Generally, a certified asbestos abatement company will do the following:

Preclean - $40/sqft

  • Determine the work area.
  • Cut off all power.
  • Ensure all AC and heating is disabled.
  • Install a new electrical system for negative air pressure equipment to prevent external contamination.
  • Install a decontamination enclosure system.
  • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal all openings.
  • Mitigate the risk for asbestos becoming airborne by using a HEPA vacuum or wet wipes on objects that can’t be moved.
  • Seal items that cannot be moved using duct tape and plastic sheeting.
  • Cover any surface which won’t be abated with plastic sheeting.
  • Put up warning signs that read: Asbestos, Danger, Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard, Protective clothing required.
  • Clean up with a HEPA filtered vacuum and HEPA air filtration.

Encapsulation - $2–$6/sqft

  • Enclose and seal off asbestos.

Removal - $15–$25/sqft

  • Seal waste containing asbestos in leakproof containers, label, remove in clearly marked vehicles, and dispose of in special landfills.

Reinspection - $200–$400

  • Once the process of asbestos abatement has been completed, and the air inside the building and specifically targeted rooms or areas have been tested showing less than 0.1fibre per cc, then the home is safe for your family to go back into.

The type of process used, length of time the project takes to complete, and associated costs will be impacted by the type of asbestos that needs to be removed, where it is, the amount of asbestos in the property, and if it can easily become airborne.

Commercial Asbestos Abatement Cost Factors

Most states require an asbestos survey before giving a renovation or demolition permit for public or commercial buildings. Larger buildings like older schools, colleges, hospitals, and office buildings present a higher level of challenges for abatement teams, because it is not always possible to completely empty the building for the duration of the abatement work.

In cases like this, a project plan has to be devised and then flawlessly executed to ensure the absolute protection for those still working in the building. For multi-story buildings, this typically means working floor by floor. For single story buildings, the plan of attack would take the approach of working specific corridors, depending on their length or the location of critical rooms.

This level of complexity can push out the end date as much as ten years or longer before all the asbestos has been safely removed. In contrast, most average-size homes can have the abatement process completed in under a week.

Depending on the amount of asbestos and the manner it was used in a building, there are cases where complete removal is not completely necessary. For example, asbestos-laden materials can be enclosed or encapsulated to eliminate the potential for exposure for the inhabitants of that building. Any building that has asbestos that has to be demolished still has to have asbestos abatement work done prior to demolition.

Finding an EPA-licensed asbestos abatement professional

Get bids from 3–5 -licensed contractors for the work to be done. Once you have quotes detailing prices and the extent of the work they can cover, you can eliminate the companies you don’t want to work with. In making your final selection, it is normally good advice to steer clear of selecting the cheapest vendor and settle somewhere in the middle. To build your list of the initial 3–5 companies, look for companies who show as many as possible of the following criteria:

  • In business for a number of years
  • A+ rated on Better Business Bureau
  • Licensed and insured
  • Bonded
  • Long history of excellent compliance
  • EPA approved and certified

Hire your asbestos abatement professional today.

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