What is the cost of asbestos removal?
The cost of asbestos removal depends on a number of factors which we will explore in this article. You will learn prices for the removal from roofs, fencing, walls and cladding.
Asbestos is a natural mineral which is made up of six mineral fibres. They belong to two groups; Serpentine Group that comprises of only white asbestos (chrysotile). The Amphibole Group comprises of brown or grey asbestos (amosite), anthophyllite, tremolite, actinolite and crocidolite (blue asbestos).
The mineral had many desirable properties including high tensile strength, flexibility and insulation from heat and electrcity. It is this versatility that made asbestos attractive to many industries and about 3000 applications globally relied on it. However scientific studies showed that exposure can cause dangerous and serious illnesses.
Australia was the highest asbestos user per capita worldwide until mid-1980s. About one third of all Australia’s homes were built using asbestos, which has resulted in a deadly legacy, necessitating its removal.
Before 1987 asbestos was widely used in Australia for roof capping, wood heater insulation, exterior and interior cladding. It was also used for roofing materials, wood heater insulations, roof guttering, vinyl floor tiles and their backings etc.
Today, the use of asbestos is banned in Australia. It is important to do asbestos testing if you live in an older house and planning to renovate or build on an existing structure. You should not attempt to remove asbestos on your own even though it will drive the costs down.
It poses a heavy health risk on your part and it is illegal. Ensure you hire a professional to help remove asbestos from your property. Never risk to health and safety of yourself or your family.
Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos can pose serious health risks if it becomes airborne. It is through inhalation that asbestos mainly enters the body. When the asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, malignant Mesothelioma and pleural cancer.
However, it takes about 20-40 years before the effects to manifest themselves on the human body. This means that people can be exposed to for a long time without noticing it. The risk of getting all these diseases increases with the amount of fibers inhaled. Smokers in particular are at a high chance of developing lung cancer if they are exposed to asbestos fibers.
Why Remove Asbestos?
Ever since the dangers associated with asbestos products were discovered, all building products that contain asbestos fibers were phased out. In Australia, the use of all types of asbestos was banned completely from 31st December, 2003.
However, homes constructed before 1987 have a high likelihood of containing large amounts of asbestos in their roofing or exterior and interior cladding. Although asbestos do not pose any health risks when untouched, it poses a risk especially when doing renovations. Children are also susceptible to disease if they are exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are categorized into two: friable and non-friable. Non-friable asbestos refer to the type that is mixed with cement or other materials. It is the type that is commonly found in the built environment.
Friable asbestos is more likely to become airborne. Both types of asbestos pose a health risk to workers and others if the materials are not removed carefully or well maintained. In a built environment, latent health risks are usually posed by instances such as:
- Presence of high asbestos levels
- Presence of spoilt ACMs
- Removal and/or demolition of ACMs
- ACMs weathering
- Maintenance/building work that involve ACMs
Factors that Determine Costs
Asbestos removal costs should be treated as an investment to your family’s health. Opting for DIY removal is unwise and illegal as the WHC Regulations recommend that only a qualified professional ought to carry out asbestos removal.
Drilling, prying or breaking into your home will unsettle the asbestos and cause the inhalation of microscopic fibers unknowingly resulting in terrible circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems disorders.
It is important to ensure that all asbestos removal costs are factored into your budget. Professional asbestos removal contractors have the requisite skills, knowledge and right equipment to remove asbestos safely, without leaving any fibers behind.
Asbestos Removal Costs usually depend on a number of factors listed below:
- Whether the asbestos is in solid sheeting or loose particles.
- Whether the asbestos is broken or damaged in any way
- Whether the asbestos is raw, untreated or sealed using paint
- Whether the asbestos is easily accessible. Hard to access areas can increase time on site.
- The quantity to be removed.
Average costs for asbestos removal ranges from $1,500 to $3,000. Most companies usually charge on a per square meter basis as opposed to the hour. The rates charged vary as they depend on the quantity to be removed and the circumstances under which the job will be undertaken.
Typical costs mostly range from $45 – $150 for every square meter. You should be prepared to pay about $100 per square meter which includes disposal. In some cases it is a Government requirement to have a hygienist perform air monitoring during the removal process. Air monitoring usually costs between $500 to $1,000 but will often be included in the quoted price.
Sample Cost Breakdowns
Asbestos Roof Removal:
Typical costs for removing roof is $55-$75m2. This price includes asbestos removal and disposal. Factors that will vary the cost include the roof height and pitch (angle). Stepper roofs are generally harder to work with and may incur extra charges. As a general rule the larger the roof the smaller the cost. You should expect to pay a minimum of $500.
Asbestos Fence Removal:
The cost of removing a fence depends on how far the material is buried. This job requires a complete dig out. Costs range of $35-$65 m2 for removal and disposal. Prices can also be charged per sheet of fencing, depending on the style of fence. This can be rpcied from $20-$30 per sheet.
Asbestos Cladding Removal – Internal and External
Internal cladding –For a typical 3 bedroom home the cost would be around $3000 to $6000 the the entire house. This price includes air monitoring. External cladding is priced betwen $45and $75m2.
Asbestos Shed Removal:
To remove asbestos sheds the price is generally $45 to $125 m2. This includes removing concrete slabs. If the area is hard to access then expect the cost to be slightly higher.
- Small shed (4×3): $1300
- Medium Shed (5×3): $1500
- Large Shed (6×3): $1750
- Extra Large Shed (8 x): $1900
The cost of removing asbestos from a wall starts at $1,000.
Prices for asbestos removal from eaves starts at around $1500 for a standard 3 bedroom home. If you have a smaller section that requires removal then the price could be as little as $500. Eaves located on two story properties attract a higher rate.
Asbestos removal ensures that homes remain safe and the occupants remain free from the dangerous exposure. When removing asbestos you would always use a qualified and licensed contractor. We hope this helps you determine the approximate costs for removing asbestos. Always ask for a quote from at least 3 contractors before making your decision.