Asbestos Removal Cost

How much does it cost to remove asbestos?

Among one of the only household projects legislated by strict laws is the removal of asbestos. Why? When the substance ages it can begin to flake and crumble, which releases potentially harmful dust particles into the air. When it is flying freely it is readily inhaled by all who pass by, and since it is known as a very risky carcinogen its handling is usually strictly regulated. It is, in fact, a major cause of lung cancer and should not be handled carelessly or with any sort of indifference.

Many homeowners discover that the old pipes and outdated duct work in their homes are wrapped in an asbestos compound. As long as it is stable and in good condition it can usually be left in place and professionally enclosed, but if it has started to degrade it usually must be professionally removed from the premises.

Though costs and projects range widely, for the purpose of this discussion we will examine one of the more common asbestos removal projects - the elimination of asbestos around a section of piping in an older home.

  • According to RemodelGuide.com, the removal of asbestos (or asbestos abatement) calls for proper preparation of a "containment area" as well as careful removal of the materials. They put the cost of the average contractor at $200 to $400 per hour, though they also indicate that a large number of professionals will also "quote by the job" too;
  • DoItYourself.com, however, states that a single, ten foot section of asbestos wrapped piping will cost between $400 and $700 to be professionally removed. The site also goes on to emphasize the need for a professional inspection both before and after the process is complete. This will come at an additional cost of $600 to $1000. Is it necessary? Absolutely, the pre-removal inspection will ensure that the contractors take the proper steps to create a barrier or containment area for any particulates that are created. The post-removal inspection will usually gauge the air quality and also ensure that conditions are safe for the inhabitants of the home or structure;
  • It is important to also accept the fact that some asbestos contractors refuse to work "piece meal" and will insist that an entire project, or at least a set amount of the budget is managed in a single job. For example, here we are discussing the costs for a single ten foot section of insulated piping, but a contractor may not want to setup, inspect, and re-inspect for such a small amount of work. Instead they might insist that the homeowner have two or three sections dealt with all at the same time. This could mean that a $1700 budget/project is bumped into the $3000 range instead; and
  • Finally, if a contractor does not want to work on a contractual basis, or refuses to certify the removal of the material from the building it is best to find another provider. This is for several reasons, but the most important is that a project such as this should not be conducted in a laid back or informal manner. Additionally, should the home be sold it will be necessary to produce evidence that the materials were formally removed.