How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?
Asbestos Removal Cost
The average cost for asbestos removal is $20 to $65 per square foot with most homeowners spending between $1,212 and $2,821. Complete whole-home abatement for siding, tile, insulation, ceilings, attic, roof, and pipes can run anywhere from $15,000 to $48,000. Setup and sealing off the area makes up about 60% of your final cost. For labor, professionals charge between $60 and $120 per hour.
|National Average Cost||$2,016|
|Average Range||$1,212 to $2,821|
Table Of Contents
Asbestos Removal Cost Per Square Foot
Asbestos removal costs between $20 and $65 per square foot from start to finish including setup, removal, cleanup, and disposal. Many asbestos specialists have a minimum charge of $1,200 to $1,500 regardless of how big the job is. You will likely spend between $1,212 and $2,821 for a small asbestos removal project, and upwards of $15,000 for a large job.
|Asbestos Removal||Average Cost|
|Per Square Foot||$20 – $65|
|Per Hour||$200 – $600|
|Minimum Charge||$1,200 – $1,500|
|Average Project||$1,212 – $2,821|
|Large Project||$15,000 – $48,000|
Asbestos Removal Hourly Labor Prices
The national average cost to hire an asbestos removal professional is $60 per hour for labor alone. Usually at least two workers will be present, which brings it to $120 per hour before any charges are added on for setup, materials, or disposal fees. For complete abatement start to finish hourly rates range between $200 and $600, depending on the project’s complexity and the size of your home. On average, you can expect it to take 8 hours or more to complete a typical residential project.
Asbestos Removal Process
Once tested, the four stages of asbestos removal will include a few site preparations. Generally, a certified asbestos abatement company will do the following:
|Pre-clean and Setup||$40 per sq. ft.|
|Encapsulation||$2 – $6 per sq. ft.|
|Disposal||$15 – $25 per sq. ft.|
|Testing||$200 – $400|
Asbestos Clean Up
Asbestos pre-clean or setup will cost $40 per square foot to include:
- Install a new electrical system for negative air pressure equipment to prevent external contamination.
- Install a decontamination enclosure system.
- Mitigate the risk for asbestos becoming airborne by using a HEPA vacuum or wet wipes on objects that can’t be moved.
- Clean up with a HEPA-filtered vacuum and HEPA air filtration.
Dormant asbestos doesn't pose a significant health risk and typically is contained rather than removed. Encapsulation costs much less than removal at $2 to $6 per square foot to enclose and seal off asbestos.
Asbestos disposal rates are $15 to $25 per square foot to seal waste containing asbestos in leakproof containers, label, remove in clearly marked vehicles, and dispose of in special landfills. Expect to pay between $120 and $500 per ton for asbestos disposal depending on how much you need to dispose of and how close your home is to the dump. Typically dumps need 24-hour notice that asbestos will be dropped off, and many only take nonfriable asbestos. Permitting and licensing will vary from state to state, but all waste removal must meet minimum EPA Laws and Regulations for safe disposal.
Testing for asbestos after removal costs $200 to $400 to inspect the home again for asbestos levels. 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 0.1 fiber per cc, then the home is safe for your family to go back into.
Asbestos Abatement Costs
Asbestos can be found anywhere inside your home with prices ranging from $10 to $20 per square foot for abatement. Over 60% of your total cost will be attributed to setup and clean-up. Many asbestos professionals will charge a minimum of $1,200 for labor, permits, and disposal.
|Area to Be Abated||Abatement Cost|
|Ceiling Tile||$3.25–$6 per sq. ft.|
|Flooring||$2.25+ per sq. ft.|
|Water Pipes||$15 per linear ft.|
|HVAC Ducts||$12 per linear ft.|
|Drywall||$7–$9 per sq. ft.|
Asbestos Floor Tile Removal Cost
Asbestos tile removal costs around $10 per square foot for nonfriable asbestos. Floor tile usually has to be drilled to be removed because it’s glued or cemented to the floor. Some homeowners opt to install new flooring over it, but this can easily lead to more problems such as redoing the trim and raising the height of the doors.
Asbestos Ceiling Tile Removal Cost
Removing asbestos ceiling tile will cost $3.25 to $6 per square foot depending on how the ceiling tile is installed—whether it’s laid in, stapled, or glued. The grid will also need a full clean. Most ceiling tile should be removed rather than have another ceiling installed under it, as the old tile can deteriorate.
Popcorn Ceiling Asbestos Removal
Safe removal and disposal of popcorn ceiling asbestos costs $10 to $20 per square foot. Expect to pay a minimum charge of $1,500–$2,500 total because of setup, containment, air handling, and final cleanup testing.
Asbestos Pipe Insulation & Wrap Removal Costs
Asbestos pipe insulation removal costs $500–$1,000 per pipe if trying to saw or chisel it off. It’s much faster and cheaper to cut out and remove the entire pipe for $15 per linear foot. Costs will depend on whether the asbestos is glued on or taped on and where the pipes are—if in food prep or medical care areas, prices will double or triple. 
- Taped on asbestos can be removed with gloved bags, or the whole wrapped pipe cut out and removed, for $300–$500. It takes one hour at the cost of $250 to glove and remove a 10 ft pipe.
- Containment—putting a protective covering over it—will cost $25–$350.
- Pipe replacement will cost $200–$300.
Add the additional 70% for full protection setup and a HEPA-filtered ShopVac cleanup and wipe down of potentially contaminated areas.
Average Asbestos Cleanup Costs in Ducts
At a very broad average, it costs about $12 per linear foot to remove asbestos in ducts or $650–$1,500 per job minimum. According to Jupe Environmental, Inc. in San Antonio, there can be a wide variation in the cost because prices depend on:
- The size/width of the ducts
- If they flexible or are on hangers
- If the removal crew has to cut into drywall or shiplap to get to them—it will cost $15,000-$16,000
- If they have to remove nails, it can cost $3,200-$3,400 to remove all the ductwork in a 1,300 sq. ft. house. If possible, it’s cheaper and easier to rerun new ductwork around the existing ducts.
Most HVAC units will not have asbestos in them, but the vibration damper—the felt between machine and ducts— can cost about $250 to remove. Some professionals may recommend replacing the ductwork and AC unit instead. If there is no asbestos present in your air ducts when tested, regular duct cleaning costs an average of $35 per air duct, with most homeowners paying around $350.
Asbestos in the Air
Asbestos air testing costs $400–$1,200. If there is asbestos in the air, it is because the spores are coming from an undisclosed source. Find the source, and you’ll end the asbestos spores in the air. While the abatement crew is in your home, they will seal off the area that has the asbestos in it and the entire passage from there to your front or back door. Once the material has been removed, they will run the HEPA filter vacuum and air filtration until it reads clean air before letting you back in.
Asbestos in Drywall
Removing and disposing of asbestos in drywall costs $7 to $9 per square foot or about $1,300 for the removal of one wall in a 12’ x 12’ bedroom. Drywall installation costs an average of $872 for a 12x12 room.
Asbestos Removal in the Garage, Basement, or Attic
Asbestos abatement costs for the garage, basement, or attic can vary dramatically. Removing asbestos insulation typically costs $6.50 per square foot, whereas garage removal costs about $15 per square foot.
|Area to Be Abated||Asbestos Removal Cost|
|Garage||$15 per linear foot|
|Attic Insulation||$6.50 per square foot|
Cost of Asbestos Mitigation from a Garage
A basic garage with no windows or caulking will usually not have asbestos problems, but windows can, with asbestos namely found in the glaze and caulk around the windows. Removing that costs $15/LF. Add more if there are flooring tiles, drywall, gaskets, or water seals to be removed.
Basement Asbestos Remediation Cost Estimate
Along with all the costs mentioned above for walls, windows, ducts, and insulation, boilers and furnaces with asbestos can cost a hefty amount of money to remove—full removal starts at $2,000 for very small boilers, with many costing $20,000 to $30,000 to remove, depending on their size and setup.
Removing asbestos insulation from an attic costs $4 to $8 per square foot. Keep in mind, new attic insulation costs between $813 and $1492 or $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot.
Vermiculite Insulation Removal Costs
Vermiculite attic insulation removal costs between $4 to $8 per square foot on average. Be sure to test for asbestos first as not all vermiculite contains asbestos.
Asbestos Removal Costs Outside the House
Outdoor asbestos costs the same as indoor removal because everything must still be contained and removed safely.
|Area to Be Abated||Asbestos Removal Cost||Install Over|
|Siding||$4–$6 per square foot||✓|
|Soffits||$75 per square foot||✗|
|Roof||$4.50 per square foot||✓|
Asbestos Siding Removal Cost
On average, asbestos siding removal costs between $4 and $6 per square foot. If installing new siding, you can install it over the existing asbestos siding as long as the existing siding is flat. The minute you start removing it, you’ll disturb the asbestos and need professional abatement.
Asbestos Guttering and downspouts can be wet, cut out, gloved and removed for $1,500& to $5,000. Some gutter companies will offer a large discount if you use them to install new gutters as well. Unless your gutters were installed between 1930–1950, it’s unlikely there’s asbestos in them. Nevertheless, it can be found in asbestos cement roofs and becomes friable when buildings are neglected and the gutters begin to break down.
Roof Asbestos Shingles Removal Cost
Older roofing is sometimes composed of asbestos-laden tiles. Asbestos shingles removal costs $450 per roofer’s square (100 square feet). The underlay does not need to be removed.
Asbestos in Soffits and Fascias
Removing asbestos in soffits and fascias costs $75 per square foot on average. AIB (Asbestos Insulation Board) can contain 25–40% asbestos. Containment is unlikely because just to cover it requires disturbing it with screws or nails so they will need to be removed and replaced.
Asbestos Encapsulation Costs
Asbestos encapsulation costs much less than removal at $2 to $6 per square foot to enclose and seal off asbestos. Because dormant asbestos—that is, undisturbed and unexposed asbestos that may be found in certain areas of your home—typically doesn't pose a significant health risk, the norm is to contain the asbestos rather than remove it.
Larger encapsulation jobs will carry a smaller price per square foot or per hour depending on how the contractor prices the work. Additionally, in larger spaces, the work is done quicker when compared to working in smaller rooms in a house, but generally, the same types of work are done which is either removal or encapsulation.
Cost To Encapsulate Ceilings, Roof, and Pipes
|Containing Area||Average Cost|
|Ceilings||$40 per square foot|
|Ceilings with Sealant||$219/five-gallon bucket at a coverage of 50-100 sq. ft./gal|
|Pipes||$71 per linear foot up to 1,000 linear feet
$29 per linear foot > 1,000 linear feet
|Pipes with Glove Bags||$61 per linear foot up to 1,000 linear feet
$46 per linear foot > 1,000 linear feet
Calculating Asbestos Removal Costs
The type of process used, length of time the project takes to complete, and associated costs will be impacted by the kind of asbestos that needs to be removed, where it is, the amount of asbestos in the property, and if it can easily become airborne. 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
- Whether asbestos is glued or cemented on or taped on
- Amount of interior room sealing required
- Where you live - The cost for asbestos abatement in your home will depend mainly on local labor costs and how far abatement specialists have to travel to your home and to dispose of your debris. Some metropolitan areas have labor prices higher than 30% of the average cost in the US.
- Length of time to complete work because of size, type of asbestos, difficulty, etc.
Asbestos Removal Cost for Commercial Buildings
Larger buildings like old schools, colleges, hospitals, and office buildings present a higher level of challenges for abatement specialists because it is not always possible to completely empty the building for the duration of the abatement work, but the cost of abatement is similar to the price for residential abatement.
The one massive difference for multi-story buildings is that abatement is removed floor by floor, which 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.
Asbestos Testing and Inspection Cost
Standard on-site asbestos testing costs between $250 and $750, air testing costs between $400 and $1,200, and an official AHERA inspection costs $250 to $1,000 per sample If asbestos is detected, a full inspection is required for $400 to $800.
The older your home is, the more likely it has extensive amounts of asbestos, especially if it was built before 1970. An asbestos test kit or inspection is the only way to be certain if your home or commercial building has asbestos.
- Standard onsite sampling - $250–$750
- Asbestos air testing - $400–$1,200
- Official AHERA inspection - $250–$1,000 per sample
Mail-in Samples Testing
Mail-in samples can be of sheet vinyl, popcorn ceiling, flooring tile, vermiculite, wallboard, roofing material, and testing costs $50 per element.
DIY Asbestos Test Kits
DIY asbestos test 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 fundamental 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 asbestos inspection on your property. Always be sure to use safety gear when testing for asbestos.
|Material and Equipment Costs|
|Respirators (Mouth and Nose)||$30 each|
|Respirators (Full Face Including Eyes)||$130 each|
|Protective Goggles||$20 each|
Asbestos Remediation Cost by Type
No matter what type of asbestos you have in your home, it will cost the same to clear it because of the rigorous standards required for asbestos abatement procedures. The three main types of asbestos are:
- 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) – Chrysotile asbestos 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Asbestos?
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which 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.
Can I Legally Remove Asbestos From My House?
There are no regulations at the federal level that prevent you from removing asbestos from your own home, but it is not like any other type of demolition or construction work because of the extreme health risks to you, personally, while doing the work and to your family, if the work is not done perfectly. You can also harm others if you do not dispose of the asbestos properly.
Is Asbestos Removal Covered By Insurance?
According to Esurance, “Homeowners’ policies may not cover expenses if asbestos simply exists in your place... But if a covered peril like a windstorm damages your roof, for example, and it disturbs previously dormant asbestos, there's a possibility your home insurer could cover a portion of the cost of removing or abating asbestos from the damaged areas.”
What Is The Difference Between Friable And Nonfriable Asbestos?
Friable is the term given to unstable asbestos that crumbles easily, and since it can then easily become an airborne threat to the inhabitants, it presents the greatest danger.
What Does Asbestos Look Like In Ceilings And Floors?
In ceilings and floors with asbestos insulation, you are likely to see either loose fill asbestos or blankets of cotton candy-like asbestos. Many times the loose fill comes as a gray or off-green colored product, while the newer rolls of insulation have a more white or pink mix.
Is Asbestos Removal Expensive And Necessary?
Asbestos removal is not always necessary. If the asbestos is stable and not an immediate health risk for the inhabitants, it may be sufficient to encapsulate the asbestos as a treatment rather than try to remove it. Average asbestos removal projects cost between $1,200 and $3,000.
Are There Cheap Or Free Asbestos Removal Services Available?
Unfortunately, there are no free or cheap asbestos removal services that will do a professional removal job. You can get free estimates from asbestos specialists on HomeGuide.
How Long Does Asbestos Removal Take?
Depending on the size of the home, the amount of work that needs to be done, and the size of the crew being brought in to take care of it, asbestos removal could take anywhere from one day with 2 to 3 workers or up to 5 days on a larger property.
How Long After Asbestos Removal Is It Safe To Enter My House?
Once the work of clearing the asbestos from the home has been completed, a final round of tests will be done. Once the contractors give the all clear, you can reenter your home.
Are Asbestos Abatement Contractors Licensed?
Yes, the work of removing asbestos from a building has to be done by EPA-licensed asbestos abatement contractors. These contractors are trained in abatement safety, establishing decontamination units, pre-abatement procedures, asbestos waste handling, disposal procedures, protective clothing and breathing protection, abatement area preparations, and worker decontamination.
Do I Need To Demolish My House With Asbestos?
At the very highest level of contamination, when the house is older than 1970, and there is friable asbestos in the walls, ceilings, and insulation around the water pipes, then demolition might be the only path to take. When demolition is the course of action chosen for a building, the process has to follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules and regulations regarding the destruction of asbestos.
Hiring Asbestos Removal Companies
It’s not a wise move to hire the same company that did your asbestos inspection to remove your asbestos. It’s not that most of them are trying to rip you off by pretending you have more asbestos than you actually have, but you might be the unlucky one. To protect yourself from the shysters, call the lab facility where the testing was done to confirm the results before you hire someone to do the relevant abatement work.
To select the best asbestos abatement team, use the following criteria when looking at the professionals here on HomeGuide before you make the final selection. Create a list of contractors who have as many of these as possible:
- Are A/A+ rated with the better business bureau
- Are licensed in your state to remove asbestos
- Insured and bonded
- Have been in business for at least five years
- Present you with documentation detailing their initial assessment and treatment plans
- Are highly rated on HomeGuide and Google
- Offer clear warranty documents
- Include cleanup and asbestos removal in the quote
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