How Much Does Asbestos Testing Cost in 2024?

Asbestos testing or asbestos survey typically costs an average of $495, with most homeowners paying between $235 and $785.

You might want to know how much asbestos testing costs after discovering how terrible it is for your health. Asbestos testing or asbestos survey typically costs an average of $495, with most homeowners paying between $235 and $785.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in thousands of building materials to insulate homes until the late 1970s. Over time, it was discovered that microscopic asbestos fibers could be inhaled and cause lung diseases. As a result, asbestos was banned, and homeowners nationwide started testing their homes for it and having it removed if necessary. 

In this article:

Average Asbestos Testing Costs in 2024

National Average Cost$495
Typical Price Range$235 – $785
Extreme Low-End Cost$100
Extreme High-End Cost$1,800

The costs for asbestos testing mainly depend on your home’s size, complexity, condition, and the type of test being performed. However, you can pay as little as $100 for a simple dust sample test in a single room or as much as $1,800 for air testing in a big home.

Usually, the lower the costs, the less precise and extensive the testing is.

Asbestos Testing Cost Estimator by Type of Inspection

There are two types of asbestos surveys: 

  • Asbestos Management Survey
  • Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Survey

Asbestos Management Survey

The goal of an Asbestos Management Survey is to identify probable locations for asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). It is usually a visual inspection to ensure people know the risks and where you should not perform any renovation work.

In the United States, the EPA requires all public and non-profit schools to have an asbestos inspection and an Asbestos Management Plan. However, domestic properties have no legal requirements to perform asbestos testing.

You can hire an asbestos professional to inspect your home for $200 to $800.

Refurbishment and Demolition Survey

The last thing you want to deal with during a renovation is asbestos, so it’s crucial to conduct an Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Survey before work begins. An asbestos professional will look for materials likely to contain asbestos and take samples from those. 

This kind of test helps protect workers from exposure while tearing down walls and floors. Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys cost between $900 and $1,200.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Other factors should be taken into account when estimating the costs for asbestos testing/survey in your home:

Type of Test

There are four main ways to test for the presence of asbestos fibers in your home: dust sample testing, physical sample testing, air testing, and water testing.

In all of these tests, the inspector takes a sample, which is then sent to a lab to be analyzed for the presence of asbestos particles. Each one of them has its costs:

Dust Sample Testing

So how do you know if your home contains asbestos? It’s not like little asbestos crystals are floating around your living room. Luckily for us, there’s a simple test that can help you figure out: dust sampling. 

Dust sample testing is literally what the name suggests: taking samples from the dust that settles in your home and sending it off to a lab for evaluation. This analysis can cost from $120 to $180.

Physical Sample Testing

Physical sample testing is the process of collecting samples of materials that are suspected of containing asbestos. Unlike dust samples, the professional usually has to scrape or cut off some of the suspected areas to take them to a lab for testing.

Physical sample testing should only be performed using protective gear, and it costs between $250 and $750, depending on the number of samples.

Air Testing

You might be surprised to learn that the air you’re breathing in your home may contain asbestos. If you’re worried that’s the case, you can hire an asbestos professional to come in and take samples from the air in your home using a special filter, which is then taken to a lab to be analyzed under a microscope. 

Air testing for asbestos is usually the most expensive option, costing from $245 to $845.

Water Testing

Sometimes, not even the water you drink is safe. If you live in an older home, you may be exposed to asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in your pipes. If that’s the case, consider having your water tested for asbestos. 

Water testing for asbestos costs between $100 and $300.

Property Size

As with any other service, the size of your property will affect the costs of asbestos testing. Just because there isn’t any asbestos in one room doesn’t mean another room won’t be filled with it. The professional will have to take multiple tests to cover every area.

The bigger the house, the more samples will be required; thus, the more it will cost you. On the other hand, a smaller property will require less testing and therefore cost less than a larger property.

You also have to take into consideration all the potential locations and materials where asbestos may be found, such as:

  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Roof coatings
  • Carpet underlays
  • Insulation below wood heaters
  • Wall sheeting

All these areas will add to the costs.

Ease of Access

The cost of asbestos testing is affected by the ease of access to the materials and areas that need testing. The more difficult it is to get to these areas, the more the asbestos testing will cost. 

For example, if your roof is accessible and you have an attic, the cost will be lower than if you have to take apart your walls and ceiling to get to it. The easier it is for inspectors to do their jobs, the lower the costs.

Additional Testing 

If your lab tests come back positive, you might need additional testing. For example, suppose the professional finds asbestos in more than one area of your home. In that case, they might recommend further testing, such as water, air, and other inspections.

If there’s no asbestos present in your home, you won’t need to pay for extra tests. However, if there is, you’ll need to hire someone to remove the asbestos. In addition, it is recommended to conduct a follow-up inspection after the asbestos removal, which will also add to the costs.

Related Services 

After you have tested your home for asbestos, you might want to consider these related services:

Asbestos Removal

After you’ve confirmed the presence of asbestos in your home, you can either leave it alone or remove it. However, suppose you’re going to do some remodeling or home improvement. In that case, you have no option but to hire an accredited asbestos abatement contractor. 

This is not a task you can DIY. Instead, a professional will have been trained to safely remove the material from your property and dispose of it. The cost for asbestos removal typically ranges from $1,165 to $2,950, with a national average price of $2,050.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is a detailed report on the condition of your home. This is done by a certified inspector, who will look at every part of your home, from the roof to the foundation. The average cost for a home inspection is $350, with most homeowners paying between $270 and $450

If your home inspector is also a certified asbestos inspector, you can ask them to bundle their services and add asbestos testing for a smaller fee of about $330.

Roof Inspection

Even the strongest roofs can get damaged. So, if you want to avoid letting a little precipitation turn into a money pit, you should hire a pro to inspect your roof once a year. 

Roof inspections cost between $120 and $320, with most homeowners paying an average of $215.

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

If you’re on a budget, you can buy a DIY asbestos testing kit for an average of $30. With the kit, you’ll be responsible for collecting samples of the materials and mailing them off to an asbestos lab for analysis. The kit will include instructions on how to collect samples, along with gloves, plastic bags, and a mask. 

However, these kits are less accurate than getting a professional to inspect your home. Taking samples is more challenging than it looks to the untrained eye. In addition, you could risk exposing yourself to asbestos fibers, as the masks in these kits don’t offer the best protection.

For these reasons, the EPA strongly recommends you hire a professional to test your home for asbestos instead of testing it yourself.

Cost of Asbestos Testing by Location

The costs of hiring a professional to test your home for asbestos might vary depending on your location. For example, you’ll generally pay more for asbestos testing in an urban area than in a rural area. The exception is if you’re in a rural area with no asbestos pros. In that case, there could be further costs associated with travel time for the pro to get to your location.

FAQ

Is asbestos OK if you leave it alone?

Asbestos is usually safe if you leave it alone. The main problem occurs when the materials are damaged or disturbed because they crumble and flake, releasing microscopic particles that can be inhaled. 

Will a mask protect you from asbestos?

The answer is no. Asbestos particles are so microscopic that you need respirators equipped with HEPA-filtered cartridges or ratings N-100, P-100, or R-100 to protect yourself from them. 

What happens if you breathe in asbestos once?

In general, diseases such as mesothelioma and lung fibrosis will not develop after a one-time exposure. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos once and never again, it is unlikely you will get sick. Asbestos exposure typically causes symptoms after years of inhaling the fibers.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to asbestos, there’s always a high risk of exposure to such a potent toxin. Luckily, you can get your home tested for $235 to $785, which is a well-paid price considering all the negative consequences you could avoid. So, with that in mind, contact a local asbestos inspector today to keep you and your family out of harm’s way.

Main Photo by: Kuebi Armin Kübelbeck / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis is a writer, psychologist, and plant enthusiast. She is currently doing a PhD in Social Psychology; and can't help but play with every dog she sees walking down the street.