In this article we’re going to cover the asbestos removal cost in-depth, so you have all the information you could possibly need before proceeding.
If you moved into an old house constructed between the 30s and 80s, then it is likely that your home has some parts made using asbestos. Whether this is still there or not, needs to be your first question.
This mostly is because it is flexible and provides excellent insulation which is why it is used in boilers and walls for soundproofing. Many countries banned the use of this harmful element, but in the UK it was still widely used until the ban which happened in 1999.
Asbestos is known to cause a wide range of respiratory and nervous problems in people who inhale it. While living in a house with this is not always dangerous; it is a good idea to think about removing it.
Asbestos, when stable, isn’t dangerous and you can live for years in a house with the asbestos without it causing any problems to your health. However, once the asbestos becomes damaged and starts breaking down, that is when it can be harmful to anyone in that house.
There are two significant ways to take care of an asbestos problem whether it is in your garage, piping, roof, or boiler. The prices can be costly depending on various factors, including how you choose to remove. Read on to find out your options and the recommended ways of removing asbestos.
Want to skip to the prices? Below we have made a calculator, put the number of rooms that you KNOW have asbestos in and it will give you a rough price. If you want to learn more, please read on.
Asbestos Removal Calculator
Different Types of Asbestos
The kind of asbestos in your home will affect how much it will cost to get it removed. Understanding what you are working with will allow you to make the best decision on how to handle the problem. The following are the significant types of asbestos used in construction.
This is also known as white asbestos and is the most common in UK buildings. It has a white to almost grey colour, and it was widely used since it is durable and flexible, so it was used in a lot of garages as well as boilers.
These are known as brown asbestos, and they are almost as common as the white ones in the UK. It is mainly used for insulation purposes so it can be found on roofs, boilers, walls, and piping. It may also have been used to fill in cavities so if your home has a lot of them it would be an excellent place to start.
It is also known as blue asbestos and wasn’t commonly used in the UK. However, you can still find some of it although it wasn’t typically used in constructing homes. Blue asbestos was used for thermal insulation, so it is mostly found in factories and plants.
Dangers of Asbestos in Your Home
When the asbestos in your home starts to deteriorate, then it can pose a considerable risk to anyone who inhales the fibres. According to scientists, there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, and even the tiniest particles would have damaging effects. Some of the risks of asbestos include:
This is a type of cancer that forms in the thin layers of the chest, lungs, and abdomen. It may affect some parts of the heart, but this is in rare cases. The main or almost only cause of mesothelioma is inhaling the asbestos fibres, which is why this illness is common with people that have constant contact with the substance. It is the most common type of disease that you will get when you are exposed to asbestos which is why it is essential to be careful when dealing with any that may be in your home.
You may also get lung cancer when exposed to asbestos, and it is the number one cause of deaths related to inhaling asbestos. Mine, textile and milling factory workers are the most affected, but there is a smaller growing number of people who inhaled the asbestos while at home. Some of the common signs of lung cancer are coughing, difficulty breathing and anaemia. If you have lived in a house with asbestos, and you start experiencing these symptoms, it is best to visit the doctor for a diagnosis.
Unfortunately getting cancer from asbestos exposure is not the worst-case scenario in comparison to asbestosis. This is a chronic disease that affects your respiratory system and has symptoms similar to those of lung cancer. However, one sign that usually directly points to the illness is a dry sound coming from the lungs when you inhale. There is no certified treatment for the asbestosis, which is why it almost always ends in fatalities.
How Do You Know If Your Home Needs Asbestos Removal?
If you live in an old house constructed before the ban in 1999, then there is a high likelihood that asbestos was used in building it. The best thing to do is to have your home inspected if you are moving in so you can take the required measures before you move in. There are three main ways you can use to know whether your home has asbestos. These are:
- This is a basic option when you are on a budget, but you would like to get a rough idea of whether you should get a full inspection. It will not provide much information and will cost about £50 or slightly more.
- Testing kits. If you suspect that a specific area in your home may have asbestos, you can order a testing kit for about £30. These kits come with protective items such as gloves and a mask, so you don’t expose yourself to the mineral. You take a sample from the place you suspect and send it to the lab that sent the kit. The results are usually ready in about 24 hours so you can take the necessary steps if found to be positive.
- Extensive survey. This is the most recommended method of finding out if your home has asbestos since it is conclusive. A certified inspector will check every area in your home for traces of your home, takes samples, and gets you a report. It is the best method to use when the first two tests came out positive or if you would instead save time for quick action. A professional will charge you £250 or more depending on the size of the house.
How Much Should You Budget For Removing Asbestos?
Once you are sure that you have some of this mineral in your home, the real task begins, which is the removal. However, you should remember that getting rid of it isn’t always required if the asbestos hasn’t degraded or isn’t damaged. This is why you should get the full survey since it will not only tell you where the asbestos is but tell you the state, so you know what to do.
After getting the results of the inspection, there are two responses you can have when your home tests positive for asbestos as follows.
If the asbestos in your home has not been compromised and are in good condition, then removal is not required unless you choose to for safety purposes. In your survey, you will get details of the state of the asbestos, and if they are still stable, then encapsulation may be a good route for you.
This method works by covering the areas with asbestos with a protective lining to prevent it from declining and releasing its harmful fibres. Encapsulation involves using a sealant to create a layer that covers the asbestos such that even after it deteriorates, you won’t be affected by it.
Some homeowners would choose to do this alone which is not encouraged since you may put yourself and the rest of your family in harm’s way. Never use paint as a sealant since it will peel with time, and through that, it may make the asbestos come apart faster.
For the best solution, get an experienced contractor to do it for you so it can be done safely and you can be sure that you won’t have to worry about the asbestos again. It is also not too expensive, even when you have a large house since it costs only £8 per square meter.
If this option is available to you, then you should consider taking it for the following reasons:
- It is fast. Encapsulation can be done in just under a day as long as you have had a site survey and the experts know exactly what is expected. It is also more comfortable, so you don’t need to leave your home, unlike if you were having them removed.
- It is affordable. Compared to removing the asbestos, encapsulation is so much cheaper, so it is a viable option when you are on a budget. The most you can expect to pay for it is about £15 per square meter, which is not much compared to the benefits that you enjoy.
- It is safe. The removal of asbestos sends so much of it in the air so it can’t be done with your family at home. However, encapsulation insists on working hard to ensure that the asbestos isn’t damaged in any way.
- It lasts. While removal is permanent and you will only need to do it once, encapsulation is also a durable solution. The treatment can last up to 20 years or more as long as you have it done by professionals. After that duration, you can still have them removed safely.
Asbestos Removal Costs
If the asbestos in your home is damaged, then the best option is to have it removed. Do not attempt the removal yourself no matter how many protective items of clothing you have since if anything goes wrong and you are exposed, it can lead to severe problems. You will also risk harming your family and anyone who frequents the house if you don’t get all of it out.
IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK, get a professional in!
Asbestos removal costs depend on a lot of things, but the least you should expect to part with is £50 per meter square. Depending on how large your house is, the project should take about 3-5 days to complete. This means that you should expect to pat about £250 to £300 per day for removal all-around your home. The following table provides the starting prices of removal according to the area of the house.
|Part of the House||Price|
|Roof and sides||£700|
|Garage and sides||£1,700|
|Garage ceiling boards||£1,000|
The great thing about removing asbestos is that you will never have to worry about it again. Your home will be safe for everyone in it, including your pets and you won’t have to keep checking to see if the condition is still the same as you would have to if you chose encapsulation.
Regardless of the method, you choose to handle asbestos in your home or business premise. The critical thing to note is that you should always get experts to do it since they understand how to remove it and leave your home free of the substance. Unless you are licensed to remove asbestos, you will risk too much by making it your DIY project.
Usually, the process will lead to damages in your boards and roof, which is perhaps the most significant disadvantage of removing asbestos. You will have to incur an extra cost for re-boarding and sometimes re-roofing and decorating your home. Re-boarding will cost you upwards of £350 depending on how extensive the damage was.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Removing Asbestos?
To have a better idea of what you should expect to pay for complete removal by experts, you need to consider the following:
Type of Asbestos
Where the asbestos is located will significantly influence what you will pay in the end. Some of the most difficult hence expensive kind to remove is pipe lagging. The worst part about pipe lagging is that it can be all over your home, and removing them always creates such as mess; hence, it is hazardous. If piping is where your asbestos problem is then you will pay thousands if it is extensive.
Another expensive type to remove is damaged insulation boards since they also create a lot of mess and dust during removal. Generally, expect to pay more if the discharge will be messy since that also makes it dangerous.
Size of the House
It is going to cost more to inspect and remove asbestos from a large home since it is likely that you will have different types of asbestos. A large house also means that it will take longer, and depending on the agreement you have with the contractor, this may mean more bills for you. If you have a large house, get a full quote of the whole project as opposed to agreeing on a daily amount as many people do. This will allow you to spend less and get the work done.
Structure of the Home
A home that has only one floor is cheaper than a house with several levels, high ceiling, and roof. The harder it is for the contractors to reach the asbestos the more it will cost you. If your home has a lot of obstacles or rubbish in your attic and basement that will take time to go through then you will also have to factor that in the final cost.
For homes where encapsulation is an option, expect to pay less for the removal since this means that the asbestos is intact and can be removed easily. However, if the substance has degraded extensively such that the loose fibres are more, then you will pay more. This is mostly because damaged asbestos is what makes it dangerous so they will likely spread and that will take time to clear up.
Type of Ceiling
If your ceiling is made from cement, popcorn, tiled or it is insulated it will cost you more than the person with a wooden or fibre ceiling. Any extra effort that the contractors have to put into the roof to reach the asbestos will mean higher bills for you.
While you may have to part with a large sum of money to have your home completely asbestos-free, it is a worthy investment in protecting your family. Do not ever attempt to do the work yourself since you may save some money on labour but end up suffering and even dying due to exposure. Ensure that the contractor that you choose has any of the following licenses:
- HSE License.
- Hazardous Waste Carrier License.
- BOHS P402 License.
The removers will also need to test some samples and for the correct information, which is also for your safety, ensure that they send the samples to a UKAS accredited laboratory. These are the only laboratories with the capacity to give correct and reliable results. Take your time when looking for both a remover and inspector for your home. A rushed job is hardly ever right, and in this case, you will be putting the lives of your family at risk. Finally, remember to compare the quotes you get since even certified removers don’t have a single expected quote range.