What Does It Cost For Asbestos Removal?
Asbestos removal is a huge stride in making a home safe and in protecting the home’s residents from asbestos exposure and potential health problems. While, DIY removal is a seemingly cheaper alternative to expert removal, it comes with greater long-term health and financial costs and must therefore be avoided. This article discusses the history of asbestos usage in Australia, the risks involved, various bans on asbestos, factors affecting the cost of expert removal, typical removal costs and the average costs of asbestos removal.
History of Asbestos Usage in Australia
Before 1987, Australia’s usage of asbestos was one of the highest globally. In fact, in the 60s and 70s, Asbestos was used in exterior and interior roofing and cladding materials, vinyl floor tiles, backings of vinyl floor tiles, wood heater insulation (including underneath hearths), roof capping, roof guttering, eaves linings, backings for bathroom wall tiles and in kitchen splash-backs. Asbestos was also used in some sealants, adhesives for construction, on the backs of electrical meter boards and on ironing board covers. Therefore, from Calgary to Adelaide, Perth to Melbourne, Sidney to Brisbane, every Australian city had almost every building pervaded with loads of asbestos.
Ban on Asbestos
Asbestos fibers are deadly when inhaled. Breathing in asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural cancer and malignant Mesothelioma. Sadly, it takes 20-40 years for the ravages of asbestos on the body to be manifested, resulting in several years of exposure to huge dosages of asbestos going unnoticed. In Australia, the health risks of asbestos were recognized as early as 1967, leading to the ban on usage of Crocidolite (blue) asbestos in 1967. And after many years of studying its effects and risks, the recycling, importation and usage of asbestos was officially banned in Australia in 2003. Nonetheless, Australia still experiences up to 650 asbestos-related deaths every year because of exposures in homes, during renovations and during DIY asbestos removal.
The Cost of Asbestos Removal
Consider the costs of removing asbestos as an investment in your families health. . If you choose DIY removal, you will save on the cost of removal but will cause immense risks to your health. Indeed, as soon as you drill, break, pry or unsettle the asbestos, it will produce microscopic fibers which you will inhale unknowingly, resulting in terrible digestive system, circulatory system and respiratory system disorders. Similarly, you may not have the requisite experience to conduct a meticulous internal removal, which may result in the contamination of many items (curtains, bedding, carpets, footwear and clothing) in your house. On the other hand, an asbestos removal expert will require a substantial pay to take on the responsibility and risk of removing the deadly substance.
The money you will pay for expert removal will depend on whether:
- The asbestos to be removed exists in solid sheets
- The asbestos to be removed is damaged or broken in some way
- The asbestos to be removed exists in a load-baring wall
- The asbestos to be removed is sealed with paint or is raw and untreated
- The asbestos to be removed is loose dust or exists as large chunks
- There are obstacles such as trees or steep roof slopes, or whether the asbestos is in a difficult-to-access location
- The quantity of asbestos material to be removed: The more square meters to be removed, the cheaper will be the price per square meter. It is cheaper to get a quote for all asbestos in your property than to get piecemeal quotes.
Typical Asbestos Removal Costs
Many asbestos removal companies in Australia usually have minimum removal rates ranging from $1,500-$3,000, regardless of how small the job is. And depending on the quantity of asbestos material to be removed and the circumstances under which the removal is to be undertaken, typical costs usually range from $25-$150 per square meter. For instance, an asbestos insulation pipe of 3 meters can be removed at $400-$600, while a complete removal (floors, attic, pipes, walls, ceilings and roof) of a building of 150 square meters will cost $20,000-$30,000.
To save on the cost of asbestos removal, it is usually important to hire independent inspectors to conduct basic examination of the asbestos material. The asbestos audit should cost $299-$800 depending on the size of the property. The cost includes laboratory services and an audit report that details the condition of the materials and the best removal technique that would minimize the risks of asbestos exposure during and after the removal. The re-inspection of the building after the removal will cost $200-$1000 depending on the size of the building, while any independent laboratory work will cost $25-$75.
Fencing Removal: If the asbestos material is completely buried and requires complete dig out, it costs $30-$75 per square meter to remove and dispose the material. The cost will vary depending on existence of vines, trees, concrete or other obstacles next to the fence. If the fence is not buried and digging is not required, it will cost $20-$50 to remove and dispose asbestos from the fence.
Removal of asbestos from roofing: It costs $20-$80 per square meter to remove and dispose asbestos from the roofing material. The cost will depend on the roof height and gradient. For instance, the steeper the roof gradient, the higher is the price; while the higher the roof, the higher is the price. The cost of removing asbestos from roofs of industrial buildings may be less than $15 per square meter, but removal experts usually prefer to discuss with the companies involved before giving their quotes.
Asbestos removal from sheds: it costs $60-$130 per square meter to remove and dispose asbestos from slabs. However, if the slab is overgrown with vines or is hard to access, the removal cost will be higher. Asbestos removal from concrete slabs costs $40 per square meter.
Asbestos removal from cladding: For external cladding, it costs $35-$70 per square meter to remove and dispose asbestos material. The more square meters removed, the cheaper will be the quoted price. For internal cladding, it costs $40-$90 per square meter to remove and dispose asbestos material.
Asbestos removal from eaves: Depending on the magnitude of the job, it will cost $35-$60 per lineal meter to remove and dispose asbestos from the eaves.
Asbestos removal from ceilings, flooring and pipes: It costs $40-$100 per square meter.
Getting Prices & Quotes
The above pricing should be used as a guide. To get an accurate price contact 3 reliable asbestos removal companies in your area to obtain a written quote.
Before 1987, there was intensive use of asbestos in the building industry because of its low cost. Therefore, virtually every home constructed before this year contains asbestos. If you own or live in such a home, you should arrange for a timely asbestos inspection and removal to prevent asbestos exposure and potential health problems. Equally, you should choose your asbestos removal expert prudently in order to get the best removal rates possible.