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How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost? (Updated in 2024)

close up of asbestos

If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance that it contains asbestos, and you will need to remove and replace it if you intend to do any construction on your home or if it’s starting to fall apart. However, asbestos removal is not a DIY project. You will need to hire a professional to remove and discard asbestos from your house. If you want to set up a budget to take care of your home, keep reading as we closely examine how much asbestos removal costs this year to help you get a better handle on what to expect. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000.

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How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost?

The cost of removing asbestos from your home varies dramatically, but most people spend between $1,000 and $3,000, with the national average being around $2,000. The final cost of your asbestos removal will depend on several factors.

Size of the Home

Naturally, the more asbestos that you need to remove, the more it will cost. Asbestos in a tight area that’s difficult to reach might also increase the cost of the removal project.

Image Credit: Ernest_Roy, Pixabay

Setup

One of the biggest problems with asbestos is that it can get into the air that we breathe, so the removal setup can be a time-consuming process that can change depending on the construction of your home. A longer setup time will increase your final cost.


Labor

Labor is what the professionals charge to do the work, which can vary by company and skill level. More experienced asbestos removal specialists will likely cost more but can produce better results faster and with higher safety.


Materials and Equipment

The asbestos in your home is likely the primary source of insulation, helping to keep your heating costs down in winter and prevent freezing pipes and other problems. Many buildings also use asbestos in the walls to prevent the spread of fire. With the asbestos gone, you will need to replace the insulation with a new, safer material. You may also need to replace the walls with asbestos-free drywall and plastic, which can increase your overall costs significantly.

Asbestos, goggles, and mask
Image Credit: HikoPhotography, Shutterstock

Asbestos Disposal

You much consider the cost of safely and legally disposing of the asbestos. States and even local municipalities can have different rules regarding asbestos disposal, so you will need to check with the local authorities regarding your situation. Your contractor will know the local laws and add disposal to your overall cost.

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Asbestos Removal by Location

Pipes and Ducts

Pipes and ducts are common areas for asbestos in the home, as they’re great for preventing freezing. It can also help hot water travel throughout your home without losing temperature. This kind of asbestos usually looks like cardboard or wrapping around the pipe, and it will often cost between $2 and $5 per foot to remove after setup costs.


Attic

Many older homes use asbestos in attic insulation. A large attic where workers can move freely can help reduce costs, but you should expect to spend between $800 and $15,000 to remove it. You will also need to replace the insulation with something safe for an additional cost.

Radiant Barrier Asbestos Insulation Roof
Image Credit: attakorn sanguanwong, Shutterstock

Roof

Removing asbestos from the roof can be costly because it can be an unstable surface to work on, especially on a windy day, so you can expect to spend between $20 and $120 per square foot to eliminate the asbestos.


Walls and Drywall

Most homes built before 1986 have asbestos-contaminated walls that help prevent the spread of fire. Non-friable asbestos was used, which is still dangerous but more stable than what is often found in many other areas of the home. This makes walls good candidates for encapsulation, essentially sealing the asbestos behind a protective barrier.


Ceiling

Many popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. You might also know these as stipple ceilings or acoustic ceilings. Removing the ceiling will usually cost $3 to $7 per foot. It’s also a good candidate for encapsulation, which can help reduce the overall cost of your project.


Flooring

Many older vinyl floors can contain asbestos in the adhesive backing. Fortunately, the vinyl provides a strong barrier, and if it isn’t damaged, it’s a good candidate for encapsulation.

old asbestos tiles
Image Credit: wararara, Shutterstock

Soil

If your home is on a site where another structure used to be, the soil might contain asbestos. Asbestos can get into the ground when contractors demolish the building. You will need to have it tested for asbestos, and removal usually costs between $4 and $6 per square foot.


Insulation

Unfortunately, standard insulation is one of the most common and hazardous uses of asbestos in the home. It’s a soft material that fills your walls and attic, and removal will cost between $11 and $25 per square foot. You will also need to replace the insulation with a new safe brand.

Location Cost Additional Cost
Pipes and Ducts $2.50–$10 per square foot for setup $2–$5 per linear foot for removal
Attic and Roof $800–$1,500 $900–$1,900 for replacement insulation
Wall and Drywall $16,000–$20,000 $2–$6 per square foot for encapsulation
Ceiling and Floor $3–$7 per square foot $2–$6 per square foot for encapsulation
Tile $5–$15 per square foot $1,500–$4,500 for replacement tiles
Soil $4–$6 per square foot
Insulation $11–$25 per square foot

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Additional Costs to Anticipate

Building Type

Commercial and residential buildings have similar challenges concerning asbestos removal. The primary difference between the two is that commercial buildings are often much larger and contain more asbestos; therefore, the removal cost is often higher.

Ceiling Stud
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Encapsulation

If it’s too difficult or expensive to remove the asbestos, it might be possible to encapsulate it. Encapsulation is applying a thin layer of a special coating that binds the asbestos fibers together so they won’t become airborne. It can also minimize health risks while reducing costs. Though encapsulation is not a permanent solution, it can reduce your final bill by as much as 25% and help lower future costs.

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The Importance of Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is a toxic material that can cause several health problems if you breathe it in. It remains in the lungs for a long time and can lead to scarring and inflammation, making breathing harder.

Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning

Shortness of Breath

One of the first and most common symptoms of asbestos poisoning is shortness of breath. Asbestos is a sharp microscopic material that stays in the lungs, causing damage, and can lead to scarring. The damaged lungs will have a harder time getting the oxygen out of the air, which can make you feel like you have shortness of breath.


Extreme Fatigue

Since the person suffering from asbestos poisoning will have a hard time getting the oxygen that they require, they will often feel tired and lack the energy or motivation that they need to accomplish their daily tasks, causing them to spend a great deal of time sleeping.

sick man
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Wheezing

One common symptom of asbestos poisoning is frequent wheezing, which occurs because the damaged lungs are inflamed.


Persistent Dry Cough

A long-lasting cough is a common symptom of asbestos poisoning. However, it can take several years and even decades to manifest, as the scar tissue that causes it can take a while to develop.


Swollen Fingertips

Having swollen fingertips is a strange symptom in about 50% of asbestos poisoning victims. The tips will be wider and rounder than the rest of the finger, giving it a club-like appearance.

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When Should I Remove Asbestos?

We highly recommend removing any asbestos from your home as soon as possible to prevent its many health risks. The tiny asbestos particles can get into the air at any time, and it only takes a small amount to do a great deal of permanent damage. Take action immediately if you notice any cracking, splitting, or chipping.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Asbestos Removal?

Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance companies consider asbestos a pollutant and will not help you cover the cost of removing it.

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Conclusion

The average cost of asbestos removal will usually range between $1,000 and $3,000, with the average being around $2,000. The final price will depend on how much asbestos is in the home and its location. In some cases, you can save money with encapsulation. However, you will still have asbestos in your home that you may need to remove later.


Featured Image Credit: KPG-Payless, Shutterstock

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