Though it comes from nature, asbestos (which is a blend of six minerals) is hazardous to human health. And that is remarkably unfortunate because it is a material that offers fire resistance, heat resistance, and can be impervious to some chemicals. Because of its great benefits, it was once used very widely in all kinds of building materials, and yet when it breaks down and becomes airborne particles, it can enter human airways and lead to conditions such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and more.
Many homes in the United States (built before 1980) had a lot of asbestos, and today it may be necessary to remove it from a home before selling it. If left intact, it may force the seller to take a deep discount on the asking price and sell the house “as is.” In some instances, the asbestos removal is mandatory, and it takes a particular set of steps and procedures to do so safely.
The cost of the work depends on several factors, including the amount of space being purged of asbestos, the difficulties in sealing off space entirely, and the proper disposal of the materials. There is also the need to test for asbestos, which has to be calculated into the total costs, and testing determines the type of asbestos and how dangerous it will be to remove.
Asbestos can be blue (the most hazardous and dangerous), white or brown. Each comes with a different price for removal. There will also be many materials that a homeowner is responsible for purchasing as part of the project.
Asbestos may be in everything from floors and walls to ceilings, and even insulating pipes. The average price to remove it from a single area or space is from $1,100 to $2,000, but an entire home is likely to cost $15,000 to $30,000, or more if there are any mitigating circumstances.
Asbestos removal: 1,500 sq.ft. house.
|Testing||$250 to $1,000|
|Cost of Removal per hour:
|Labor||$200-$700 per hour (Most set a minimum of $1,500 to $3,000 for labor)|
|Materials (Includes disposable gloves, boots, and coveralls, as well as eyewear, vacuum gear, respirators, and more)||$2,000|
|Encapsulation||$2-$6 per square foot|
Other considerations and costs
- To ensure safety, the area of removal should be 100% sealed off from the rest of the home, including ductwork and any other methods by which the particles could travel.
- Remember that asbestos removal will mean repairing any damages done. That may mean anything from full sheetrocking a room to installing new floors, ceiling, or insulation. This is not part of the average cost calculation.
Oddly enough, many areas do not mandate professionals to remove asbestos. This is not a DIY project, however, and it is best to work with a contractor that can supply written proof of the job correctly done. You also want to get a home fully inspected once the work is complete.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.