How Much Does Asbestos Testing Cost?

Typical Range:

$229 - $794

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,227 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated June 6, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The national average cost of asbestos testing is around $486, or a range of $229 and $794. However, asbestos testing can cost as little as $90 for smaller homes or as much as $2,000 for larger homes with lots of asbestos.

Contractors used this naturally occurring silicate in the early- to mid-20th century because it was durable and insulated homes well. However, asbestos crumbles and flakes as it ages or gets damaged, releasing harmful and dangerous carcinogenic fibers into the air. It's important to hire a professional to test for its presence to see if your home needs asbestos removal or abatement.

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National Average $486
Typical Range $229 - $794
Low End - High End $100 - $1,992

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,227 HomeAdvisor members.

Asbestos testing and removal costs average $500, ranging $90 to $2,000

Asbestos Testing Cost Factors 

Property Size 

Size is among the most important factors affecting asbestos testing costs. In general, the larger the building, the higher the cost. This is thanks to the number of samples required to ensure an asbestos-free home. 

Property Location 

Asbestos often hides in old siding, drywall (both ceilings and walls), floors, attics, roofing materials, pipes, or HVAC duct connectors. It was also commonly used in vinyl tiles and caulk. Smaller confirmations are more affordable, but this will depend heavily on your location—both of the asbestos infestation and where you live. Asbestos testing can cost more in densely populated areas than in rural areas.  

Property Condition 

A property in poor condition may make it harder for a professional to locate potential hazards, increasing costs. The longer it takes to access areas of concern, the more you will pay to get a comprehensive test 

Additional Testing Costs 

You might need additional testing, depending on what the professional finds. For instance, if you're inspecting your pipes, you'll need water testing. Depending on the project's complexity, you might also need subfloor or insulation inspections, which come with additional costs. 

Asbestos Inspection Cost 

The cost of an asbestos inspection is between $200 and $800 for both residential and commercial properties. This test confirms the presence of the material to justify professional removal. The price includes: 

  • Visually inspecting for common risk factors.

  • Gathering samples from places like the walls, roof, and insulation.

  • Testing the samples in a lab.

  • Delivering reports on the findings.

During a Home Inspection

If you hire a pro separate from your home inspector, asbestos assessments during a home inspection range from $200 to $800. However, if you hire an asbestos-certified home inspector, they might attach a smaller fee to the average cost of a home inspection, which is around $330

Asbestos Refurbishment or Demolition Surveys

The cost of an asbestos refurbishment or demolition survey for a standard single-family home is around $1,200. Commercial buildings usually cost around $2,000, while large industrial buildings can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Only a licensed inspector can conduct a pre-demolition survey.

Asbestos refurbishment and demolition surveys involve inspecting all areas hidden within a building that might contain asbestos, including textured coatings, cement sheets, flue and soil pipes, and insulation. Sometimes, specialists like electricians, structural engineers, or licensed contractors assist. This inspection must happen before a property is fully or partially demolished to make sure that when the building collapses, it won't release dangerous fibers into the air.

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Cost of Asbestos Air Quality Testing 

Testing the air is an additional cost to inspecting the building's materials. Testing the air for asbestos can range from $287 to $585 depending on the building's size, but the average cost is around $436. These costs are the same as typical costs of indoor air quality tests, which sometimes include asbestos in the list of sought contaminants.

Asbestos Testing Lab Prices

Asbestos inspection costs usually include the price of an asbestos lab test and an asbestos report. During an inspection, your pro will gather samples and sends them to the lab. For example, they might take a few scrapings from your textured ceiling to see if you need popcorn ceiling removal.

After the lab test, you'll receive a report that confirms or denies the presence of hazardous fibers. You should provide this data to an abatement pro to indicate where to find the fibers in your home.

Type 2 Asbestos Surveys 

Overall, identifying surveys by "type" is a thing of the past. Instead of Type 1 and Type 2 asbestos surveys, pros now refer to asbestos surveys as "asbestos management surveys." A fancy word for inspection, these surveys cost between $200 and $800.

  • Type 1 (basic inspection): Professionals would observe the property and mark the materials most likely to contain asbestos. This test did not collect samples, making them insufficient to measure risks.

  • Type 2: Professionals sampled all materials at risk for asbestos, but these tests didn't always comply with regulations.

Though people are aware of its dangers, asbestos is not fully banned in the United States. However, OSHA and the EPA do regulate the use of the material through the Toxic Substances Control Act, Clean Air Act, and Consumer Product Safety Act, which limit asbestos use in construction. 

Lawmakers placed an international ban in 1979 stating that all materials must contain less than 1% of asbestos fibers. However, builders were still using pre-ban materials in the United States throughout the 1980s. Therefore, homes built before 1989 have a higher chance of carrying asbestos. 

New homes can also contain the material. In 2022, the Biden Administration proposed a plan to ban one form of asbestos in the U.S., but it has not yet passed.

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FAQs

What does asbestos look like?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate that looks like long, thin, or curled crystals. Most cannot spot it with the naked eye. If your home was built before 1989, you should get an inspection to rule out its presence.

Are there free or cheap asbestos sample testing services available?

Though there aren't generally free testing services available, you can find testing kits online for as little as $30 per unit. Depending on the type of kit you buy, they can include:

  • Lab fees

  • Return shipping

  • Consultation

  • Sampling media

  • Results

However, the results aren’t as accurate or detailed compared to professional testing. Plus, you risk breathing in the fibers when taking a sample or exposing your home to particles. We recommend hiring a professional to test for asbestos.

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

Receiving asbestos test results takes one to seven days, but different labs offer different turnaround times. Some consider a rush job any time within a week, while others complete expedited orders within 24 hours. Non-rush jobs can take as long as two weeks.

Is asbestos testing and removal covered by home insurance?

Home insurance doesn't often cover asbestos testing and removal. Many policies have a clause called a "pollution exclusion," which means they do not cover indoor pollutants like asbestos. However, your insurance company might cover asbestos removal if it is released to due things beyond your control, like due to storm damage.

If a DIY project or accident in your home releases harmful fibers, you must pay for the test and removal.

Can I legally inspect and remove asbestos myself?

Yes, you can legally inspect and remove asbestos in your house as long as it's a single-family home and not a multi-family unit. However, the EPA strongly recommends hiring an asbestos inspector since testing can be dangerous.

Pros have all the right tools and safety equipment. They also know how to collect samples and safely dispose of materials properly. You risk breathing in the fibers by taking samples yourself.

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