Costs of Asbestos Removal And Is It Worth It?


Asbestos is a type of naturally occurring silicate mineral that is usually abundant in the Northern part of America. This material is known for its resistance to flame, corrosion, and durability. It is a component of construction materials for building walls, roofs, and flooring. Since it is present in the material as a fiber, it can pulverize into dust. Inhalation of the dust causes illness and even cancer to the person exposed to it.

During the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency classified it as a carcinogen because it causes mesothelioma, cancer to the lungs, and other illnesses. Most of the buildings built before this period still had asbestos material in it. Owners of these structures with asbestos can now opt to have it removed and replaced with a better alternative that is safe for people, especially those who have exposure to it.

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos has two major categories based on the appearance of its fibers. Fibers that are long, curly, and pliable are known as Serpentine fibers, and Chrysotile asbestos is the only type under this category. On the other hand, Amphibole fibers are short, stiff, straight, and needle-like. Minerals such as actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and tremolite fall under this category. Check for more details.

What Makes Asbestos Dangerous?

Some people say that asbestos is safe, but scientists and doctors disagree. Research results show that when any of its types disintegrate and the fibers enter the lungs through inhalation, it is dangerous to a person’s health. Asbestos fiber is not visible to the naked eye. It can enter the lungs and will not show symptoms of inhalation. The thin fibers go into the air when a material with asbestos gets damaged or unsafely removed. When asbestos levels in the ambient environment register as more than 0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter, it means that the air is contaminated.

How to Test Asbestos?

Asbestos is a component in cement products, coatings, composites, floor tiles, insulating boards, ceilings, beam-columns, and gutter systems. When planning for asbestos sampling, never break off a piece and have it tested. Instead, send a naturally broken part for testing so that you avoid contaminating the air further with even more particles. Here are ways in effectively testing for asbestos:

Visual Inspection

A professional asbestos consultant checks the area for possible residual debris or dust that the naked eyes can see. With this method, air testing is not needed. The inspector will see that the area is free from visible traces of the material with asbestos.

Air Testing

Once visual testing is complete, the asbestos consultant can do air sampling already. He collects air at about 10 liters per minute that is equal to 1000 liters of air sample for asbestos testing. A cartridge the instrument to give the level of asbestos present in the air. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Phase Contrast Microscopy is a popular clearance testing method. It involves counting the fibers trapped in the cartridge.
  2. Transmission electron microscopy is a well-known method in buildings where there is abatement. TEM is an aggressive method of sampling because the air is mixed inside a box with a fan.

Lab Analysis

This method involves collecting an air sample from an abatement then a lab technician analyzes it. If results show that air quality has zero concentration of asbestos, the testing center will send a certification that the place is ready for occupancy.

Always remember that only licensed asbestos analysts are allowed to perform these methods. If the case where the asbestos level is higher than the allowable value per cubic meter of air, the owner can call for asbestos removal to avoid the occurrence of health risks.

What are the Benefits of Asbestos Removal?

For buildings built a long time ago, the need to remove asbestos poses positive health outcomes. A professional asbestos remedy or solution is the only authorized person to handle the activity. This team can properly handle and dispose of the asbestos-containing material as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The benefits of having asbestos removed are as follows:

Reduces Cancer Risk

Getting ill is not only a threat to people whose occupation requires exposure to asbestos. Even people who stay in buildings with structures with asbestos are at risk. Materials deteriorate in time, and some of the fibers enter the lungs through normal breathing. Having an asbestos-free workplace can reduce the risk of having cancer.

Reduces Exposure During Natural Calamities

In the event of natural disasters, destruction, and damage to buildings or houses, results in the exposure to asbestos. Removing it will prevent exposure to the carcinogenic material.

Safe and Healthy Pet

Like human beings, pets can also inhale or ingest this material, making them sick. They are prone to many sicknesses similar to us humans, so removing it may be safer and healthier for everyone.

Better Alternative Materials

Removal of asbestos drives engineers and architects to plan out for safe yet durable materials for construction. They come up with sustainable and reliable materials for modern structures, thus, eliminating asbestos in the industry.

In general, removing asbestos is optimal for anyone’s health and promotes a green environment because the disposal of asbestos is controlled and monitored by health and safety government agencies.

How Much Will Asbestos Removal Cost?

The major contributing factor to the cost is the quantity of asbestos to be removed. Here are some guidelines for professionals to estimate how much it will cause:

1. Determine the Type of Asbestos

The very first step is to test the presence of asbestos. Professional asbestos technicians will come and survey to see what is the type of asbestos used in the structure. This stage usually costs £50 for a survey plus £250 for mobilization.

2. Asbestos Removal

Once the survey report is released, they will now execute the removal of the asbestos. Sometimes the team will recommend encapsulation of the asbestos to prevent dust and debris from falling. Encapsulation cost is around £8 or more per square meter. Removal of the asbestos costs around £50 or higher per square meter.

3. Re-installation of New Board

After the asbestos removal, the area is now ready for new board installation. Construction will cost around £400 or more, depending on the area size.

Overall, the average cost of removing asbestos is around £1000 for small areas up to £2500 for larger ones. Removing asbestos can be worth enough to protect anyone who stays in the building or home. A safe place can make anyone feel comfortable and healthy.