How much does it cost to do asbestos inspection and testing?
By now most consumers are well aware of the hazards of asbestos. It is a major carcinogen when it is inhaled as a dust, and this is the major reason that home and property owners are so desperate to inspect and test for its presence. Before anyone can properly undertake an asbestos abatement program (safely removing it from pipes, duct work, walls, and ceilings) they must first have the structure inspected.
Though costs will vary dramatically based on the size of the building and the scope of the specific project, for the purpose of this discussion we will consider the standard costs associated with inspecting and testing for asbestos in the modern home.
- It is hard to simply look at a material in order to know if asbestos is present, and this usually means that a sampling is the first step in the process. The SeattleAsbestosTest.com website indicates that a standard "on site" sampling will range from $250 to $750. Additionally, an air monitoring test will cost from $300 to $1200 and an official AHERA inspection will run from $250 per sample to $1000 per sample;
- Once the presence of the asbestos is determined, it is necessary to then do a full inspection of the entire site. The OlympianCares.com website indicates that an inspection of this type is going to average between $400 and $800. They also point out that all of the inspectors should be federally or state trained and licensed in their line of work and be willing to provide both references and credentials. This is important for a large number of reasons, but most significant where safety and resale of the property are concerned;
- Once the initial inspection is done, the removal begins. If the inspector identified areas of concern, most abatement professionals will use a HEPA vacuum system to pre-clean the entire area, at an average cost of $39 per square foot. The removal period is an entirely separate process and requires containment of any debris or dust. The average costs vary, but standard removal runs at $15 to $25 per square foot while encapsulation or enclosure of stable asbestos runs around $2 to $6 per square foot;
- Following the completion of the removal the inspector returns for a full, post-removal inspection which will accurately gauge the success of the work/abatement. If it is a matter of a simple re-inspection the charges will usually vary from $200 to $400, but if there are concerns about air quality the installation of monitors may be required. This is usually the case in public or non-residential buildings that can remain vacant for extended periods of time. Should the removal contractor fear the possibility for any kind of contamination in the home they will use abatement equipment and supplies that include air filtration devices, water atomizers to keep dust out of the air, plywood and polyethylene sheeting to contain the removal area and more. Average costs for materials such as this vary, but tend to remain under $2000 per project; and
- All contractors should be more than happy to work on a contractual basis, and to certify the inspections of the building. If this is not something offered it is best to find another provider, since a project such as this cannot be conducted in a manner that does not produce evidence that the property was thoroughly inspected and cleansed.