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How Much Asbestos Testing / Asbestos Inspection Costs

Prior to having any asbestos removal performed - it is important to have an inspection and testing to assess any contamination in the home's structure.

It is recommended that the inspection and testing measures be done by a seperate party other than the one performing the asbestos removal. Note that asbestos cannot be identified by a visual examination. As such, the area(s) must be tested by sensitive procedures designed for its detection. Though asbestos may be present in anything from insulation, to flooring tiles, to ceiling material.

Since many older structures still contain asbestos, it is wise to have testing performed prior to buying such a structure. Or, before performing work that may disrupt and contaminate the structure. Noting that much of the usage of asbestos in building materials was formally banned in 1989 by the EPA for specific materials.

Do It Yourself Testing - off-the-shelf DIY Test Kits are available to the homeowner, for as low as $7, which are sold in connection with lab fees for analysis that add roughly $40 (for solids) to this amount with dust analysis possibly more. This kind of method might test down to 1% content by weight, for example. But in view of the health of any persons in the area, and, due to the overall nature and integrity of the sampling and testing processes - this is best left to professional hazardous/environmental contractors who are accredited for asbestos testing by the EPA.

Some independent analytical labs do accept bulk samples (itemized by source/location - ie. floor tile, ceiling tile) while charging approximately $30 for the first sample and $20 per each sample thereafter under the scenario where the submitter receives analyzed results by email, fax or other methods. Popular asbestors services include the TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope - such as for dust), the PLM (Polarized Light Microscopy) and PCM (Phase Contrast Micoscopy - for air). Services promoted by the independents can also include the maintaining of their report findings and sample archives over certain durations of time.

There is a full range of possible sampling techniques done on premises. Some mainly target for asbestos either in the air, or in building materials. Collection of samples by trained and licensed personal may include specialized techniques like carpet sonication, micro vacuuming and wiping for dust and there are others. The DIY kit route may simply instruct the tester to gather samples (from detached pieces or drawn layers of dust) that are then sent off to a lab in sealed bags (while all precautions should be taken, including wearing an approved breathing apparatus).
The asbestos inspection should also be done following the removal effort is thought to be complete, as well. Doing so, to help verify an effective remediation.

The cost for asbestos testing, depending on certain variables (home size/composition of building products, etc), can go anywhere from $350 to $600 for a single "before" inspection - with starting low average prices near $450 - on up to $1,200 at the upper end of the pricing scale, for both before and after tests (less any continued monitoring such as for air) and this considered aside from any removal costs. Estimates will vary substantially on a percentage basis from one environmental contractor to the next.

It is important that any asbestos containing materials not be agitated. As releasing fibers into the breathable air spaces can be hazardous and poses clear health risks. Testing by professional licensed personnel is recommended for reasons of safety and results optimization.

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