How Much Does It Cost to Do Asbestos Inspection and Testing?

Average Cost
(physical sample asbestos test, carried out professionally)

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How Much Does It Cost to Do Asbestos Inspection and Testing?

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(physical sample asbestos test, carried out professionally)

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Reviewed by Irene Pomares. Written by

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that was once believed to be safe for use in home construction. It was seen as a durable and effective form of insulation, but over time, it was discovered that asbestos breaks down into tiny fibers that float around in the air of the home. These fibers pose a serious health risk to anyone breathing them in and can lead to life-threatening illnesses like lung disease. If you are worried about the possibility of asbestos in your home, asbestos testing can help.

Asbestos testing can be carried out in various formats for between $250 and $800, with most homeowners paying $500 for a physical sample asbestos test, carried out by a professional.

Asbestos Testing Cost

Asbestos Testing Cost
National average cost$500
Average range$250-$800
Minimum cost$75
Maximum cost$1,500

Asbestos Testing Cost by Project Range

DIY asbestos testing kit and lab report
Average Cost
Physical sample asbestos test, carried out professionally
Air asbestos test and inspection, carried out professionally

Where Is Asbestos Found in Homes

One of the issues with asbestos that makes testing for it so important is that it can hide all over the property, from the attic to the basement. It is typically located in vinyl flooring, popcorn ceilings, wallboards, sections of pipe cement, roof tiles or flashing, fire protection panels, drywall, thermal insulation around water heaters and boilers, heating pipe insulation, cement tile sidings, and ceiling cavities.

Asbestos was commonly used in housing construction for many decades up until the 1990s. It was especially popular from the 1930s to the 1950s. The older your home is, the more likely it will contain asbestos, and even some newer construction can contain asbestos. Along with the walls, ceilings, and floors, asbestos can also be found in old appliances, such as stoves, coffee pots, slow cookers, toasters, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. It can even be found in artificial ashes and embers used in gas-fired fireplaces, meaning there are many potential sources of asbestos in the typical home.

Consult with a pro when testing for abestos

When Is Asbestos Testing Required?

Asbestos testing should be considered whenever you are planning a renovation, remodeling, or DIY project where you may be exposed to asbestos fibers, such as installing new flooring or insulation, working with drywall, and fitting new ceiling tiles. Testing is vital for your health and the well-being of others in the area, especially in homes built before the 1990s. In some areas, it is a legal requirement when moving into a home that was built before the 1990s.

If you are not planning a big DIY project, remodeling, or other work around the home that might disturb certain structures or materials containing asbestos, testing is less urgent and may not be necessary.

Asbestos Testing Cost

In the past, asbestos testing was divided into two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 tests were general surveys of a home where different surfaces and materials were checked for asbestos. Type 2 surveys were more specific, in which samples were collected from key areas around the home where asbestos was believed to be present.

Testing has evolved and taken on new forms, and the old Type 1 and 2 tests are typically not used. Today, homeowners have more options for testing their homes for asbestos. Asbestos testing costs vary depending on the type of test.

Asbestos testing costAsbestos Testing Cost

Type of TestingAverage Cost
Off-Site Lab Testing$50 to $100
Dust Sample Testing$200 to $1,200
Physical Sample$250 to $750
Asbestos Inspection$400 to $900
Air Testing$400 to $1,400

Asbestos Lab Testing Cost

Asbestos lab testing is one of the simplest and cheapest options you can choose. For this testing, you typically use a DIY kit or collect a sample of a material you believe to contain asbestos, and then you place it into a bag and send it off to a lab for tests. The lab report usually takes a week or two, costing around $50 to $100. Some labs offer an urgent service where you can get the results faster for a higher fee.

Asbestos Dust Sample Testing Cost

Dust sample testing is relatively expensive for asbestos testing, but it is simple to carry out. For this test, either a professional or you collect a spoonful of settled dust from around your home, which is then sent off to a lab for analysis. This testing costs between $200 and $1,200.

Asbestos Physical Sample Cost

Physical sample asbestos tests are among the most common professional asbestos tests. A professional comes into your home, collects several physical samples, and then takes them back to a lab for analysis. They might scrape off part of a popcorn ceiling or take a sample from piping insulation. Expect to pay around $250 to $750.

Asbestos Inspection Cost

After the testing has been carried out, an inspection may be necessary if asbestos was identified. For this, you need a licensed professional to carry out a complete inspection of your home. They will locate the asbestos and provide you with a full report, outlining the locations, types, and estimated quantities of asbestos in the home. You can then give these reports to abatement professionals, showing them where the asbestos is located. This usually costs around $400 to $900, but prices vary depending on your home’s size.

Asbestos Air Testing Cost

Air testing is one of the most expensive kinds of asbestos testing. A professional takes air samples inside the home, collecting them into a special filter over a set period of time. The air particles are then examined under a powerful microscope to see if there are any signs of asbestos. Due to the special equipment used, it costs more, ranging from $400 to $1,400.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Asbestos Testing

A range of different factors affects the cost of asbestos testing, beginning with the type of asbestos testing you choose. A simple DIY kit and off-site lab test are much cheaper than an air test. Your home size is another key factor. Larger homes may require more thorough inspections in more rooms and spaces, leading to more work and higher costs.

How Long Does Asbestos Testing Take?

The time taken to carry out an asbestos test and get the lab results ranges from 24 hours to two or three weeks, depending on the service you choose. Many labs offer the option to speed-up the survey and get the results back to you more quickly, but you will pay a higher price. In general, lab tests take about a week or two, so you should get the results of your asbestos test within 10-15 days of the initial testing.

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Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

There are many risks and dangers associated with asbestos, especially if it is old or damaged and starts flaking away into the air. One of the worst parts of asbestos is that many homeowners do not notice it until it is too late because there are usually no initial symptoms. When inhaled into the lungs, the fibers lodge inside your body, which cannot break them down or remove them.

As explained by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), persistent inhalation of asbestos can lead to diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. These diseases may take years to develop but can be fatal, causing respiratory damage, lung failure, heart failure, and other serious symptoms.

The ATSDR also explains that mild exposure to asbestos is far less risky. In general, the severity of the symptoms of exposure depends on how much asbestos is present, how long you were exposed, and what pre-existing health or respiratory conditions you have. For example, a healthy person who is only exposed to a little asbestos for a small amount of time will be much less likely to suffer than a heavy smoker with respiratory problems who is exposed to asbestos for a longer time.

Laying a metal profiled sheet on asbestos-cement roof

Asbestos Removal Cost

If the testing comes back positive, an inspection will be carried out to identify the source of asbestos in your home, and then you need to remove it. Asbestos removal must be carried out professionally, costing an average of $400 to $500, but the costs can be much higher, getting into the $10,000+ range, depending on the type and quantity of asbestos. Generally, it is recommended to use different companies for testing, inspection, and removal because there may be a conflict of interest if the same company carries out all the work.

Post Removal Inspection Cost

Once the removal of asbestos has been carried out, a secondary inspection is needed to see how successful the work was and ensure that all the asbestos has been removed. The cost of this inspection is usually around $200 to $400. It is recommended to use a different company for the post-removal inspection to eliminate the chances of a conflict of interest.

How to Identify Dangerous Asbestos Insulation

Many homeowners worry about the presence of asbestos in their homes, but a quick and simple visual inspection can be a great way to gauge the risks and help you decide whether you need asbestos testing. Take a close look at the insulation around your home in places around pipes, flooring, attics, and walls. If you see that the insulation is in a blanket form, you probably do not have anything to worry about.

However, if your insulation is loose-fill, which is a kind of loose, lumpy, fluffy kind of insulation without any backing, there is a high chance that it contains asbestos. Vermiculite insulation is also a common holder of asbestos. This insulation looks almost like pebbles, usually a gray, brown, or golden color. It is made from a natural mineral, mined from the earth, which expands in warm temperatures to insulate the property. Vermiculite insulation is found in many homes built before 1990.

DIY Asbestos Testing Kit

If you are concerned about asbestos but do not have the budget or desire to spend a lot of money on processes like air and dust testing, you can opt for a DIY asbestos testing kit. These kits can be found for around $10 and allow you to collect your own sample and send it off to a lab. You will pay about $40 to $80 for testing, and the results are mailed back to you.

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Despite the dangers of asbestos, the U.S. has not officially banned its use, but other countries have. However, state and federal regulations can control how manufacturers, companies, and individuals use asbestos, and many people and companies no longer use any asbestos. It was commonly used in construction up to 1990, so homes built in the 1980s or earlier may contain asbestos. Even new homes have a slight risk of containing it.
  • When hiring an asbestos inspector, verify that the inspection includes a complete check of your home, proper collection of samples, and lab analysis of the samples. If the inspector finds asbestos, they should give you a written report about the location and severity of the asbestos, as well as recommendations for how you should deal with it.
  • In 1986, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act was introduced, requiring the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a new program for laboratories conducting asbestos sample analysis. The NIST keeps a list of all accredited asbestos testing labs.
  • When getting an asbestos inspection after testing, ensure that the inspector is either federally or state trained and fully licensed. Inspectors should provide their credentials upon request. It is vital to get a proper expert in for the inspection because someone without the relevant training and experience may not do a thorough job.
  • It is not illegal to remove asbestos on your own, but the EPA strongly recommends hiring an expert because it is easy for some of the asbestos to be overlooked by an amateur.


  • How long does it take for an asbestos test and to get survey results?

Asbestos samples can be completed in a matter of minutes, but you usually have to wait a week or two for the samples to be tested and analyzed in a lab. You can often pay extra for faster results.

  • How accurate is asbestos testing?

Asbestos testing is highly accurate, but you will get better results if you hire a professional, rather than using a simple DIY kit or trying to collect samples yourself.

  • What are the first signs of asbestos poisoning?

Some signs of asbestos exposure include coughing, chest pain, general breathing difficulties, or a kind of crackling sound while breathing.

  • Can a single exposure to asbestos be harmful? 

Short-term or one-off exposure to asbestos usually is not very harmful, and most of the diseases and conditions associated with asbestos develop gradually over many months or years of exposure.

  • Can asbestos be washed out of clothes?

No, asbestos cannot easily be washed out of clothes, and trying to do so may put you at risk of exposure. Specialized washing machines are required to treat asbestos-contaminated clothes, and your regular home machine is not strong enough. Therefore, any contaminated clothing should be disposed of in a suitable landfill.

Cost to test for asbestos varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Asbestos Warning Sign on Building Pipes


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Cost to test for asbestos varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources