Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that has been used in a variety of construction materials for its fire-resistant and insulating properties. However, exposure to asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. As a result, many countries have banned the use of asbestos in new construction projects.
In the UK, asbestos removal is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Asbestos removal workers must be trained and certified by the HSE in order to safely remove asbestos-containing materials from homes and businesses. The process of asbestos removal can be complex and dangerous, so it is important to choose a qualified and experienced contractor.
If you suspect that there may be asbestos in your home or business, contact a licensed asbestos removal contractor to have the material tested and removed if necessary
You may have found asbestos in your home after moving into a new home or completing a DIY project. Our guide discusses asbestos, its dangers, and how much professional asbestos removal costs.
What is asbestos?
Known for its resistance to heat, electricity, and corrosion, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. During the pre-2000 era, asbestos became an extremely popular insulation material in residential homes and garages due to its strength and flexibility.
We now know that asbestos poses serious health risks, despite its many advantages. The UK officially recognised the dangers of asbestos in 1999 and banned its use.
What are the asbestos removal cost?
Asbestos removal surveys cost between £200 and £1,000. An asbestos inspection should always be conducted by a qualified surveyor. During this process, they will identify the type of asbestos in your home, as well as any associated risks.
There are several factors that determine the cost of asbestos removal, including the amount of asbestos to be removed, the type of asbestos, its current condition, and its location. Depending on your local council, you may be able to get reduced asbestos removal rates.
The average price of asbestos removal is roughly £150 per m2. Alternatively, to encapsulate asbestos is about £25 per m2.
Asbestos removal cost calculator
Contacting a local asbestos removal expert and arranging a survey is the best way to estimate the cost of asbestos removal. Because asbestos is hazardous, it requires professional attention and is certainly not something you should attempt on your own.
In addition to identifying the type of asbestos, local experts should be able to provide advice on how to remove it, as well as the cost.
Asbestos removal hourly rates
The cost of asbestos removal is typically quoted per job or per square metre rather than hourly. Asbestos removal costs vary depending on the type of asbestos and how it needs to be removed. The average price per square metre is £150.
Types of asbestos
Homes in the UK may contain one of three types of asbestos:
Over 90% of all asbestos used in commercial building materials in the UK came from this type of asbestos. Cement and roofing materials were particularly prone to it.
There are coarse, strong fibres in Amosite, commonly referred to as brown asbestos. It was voluntarily banned from the UK in 1980 because it was deemed to be one of the more dangerous types of asbestos.
Crocidolite (or ‘blue asbestos’) is much rarer in the UK than other types of asbestos. It is one of the most dangerous types of asbestos because its short, spikey fibres easily puncture the lung lining.
Where do you find asbestos?
Several buildings that were built before 1999 contain asbestos, which was a common construction material. The list includes offices, schools, factories, hospitals, and many residential homes. A variety of different products were made from asbestos due to its strength and versatility, including:
- Insulation (boards, cavity walls, attics)
- Walls (cement)
- Gutters and pipes
Artex asbestos removal cost
For an average 20m2 artex ceiling containing asbestos, the removal will cost £3,000 and will take several days to complete.
Average artex asbestos removal cost (20m2): £3,000
Homeowners commonly find asbestos in garage roofs, which can be expensive to remove. Prices can range from £800 to over £2,000.
Average asbestos garage roof removal cost: £1,650
Asbestos garage roof removal cost
Asbestos can be found on garage roofing and can be expensive to remove. Prices can range from £800 to over £2,000.
Average asbestos garage roof removal cost: £1,650
Risks of asbestos
In good condition, asbestos does not pose any immediate health risks. Breakdown or disturbance of asbestos releases asbestos dust into the air, which can be inhaled. Asbestos exposure is associated with the following three health conditions:
Scarring of lung tissue occurs as a result of this chronic respiratory disease. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, breathing pain, and, in severe cases, death.
There are many deaths associated with asbestos exposure due to lung cancer, as asbestos is known to be a carcinogen. There is a similar type of lung cancer caused by smoking.
Often occurring in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, and abdomen, this cancer is rare and aggressive. Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure and, by the time it’s diagnosed, it’s almost always fatal. Around 5,000 deaths in the UK are attributed to asbestos fibre exposure each year, which is untreatable. The reason it’s so important to handle it safely is because of this.
The cost of asbestos removal is more than offset by the benefits of removing health risks.
Can I remove asbestos myself?
To put it simply, no. You should never attempt to remove broken or disturbed asbestos yourself due to its hazardous nature. When airborne, asbestos fibres cannot be seen or smelled, making it known as the silent killer. Asbestos should only be removed by certified and experienced professionals.
Asbestos should only be removed by tradespeople who hold a BOHS P402 Standard certificate, who are licensed by the HSE, and who have a Hazardous Waste Carriers Licence.
For accurate prices and advice, consult your local asbestos removal experts.
Asbestos removal vs encapsulation
It is crucial to have a qualified surveyor assess the situation before deciding how to deal with asbestos. Then they will be able to advise you on what to do.
Asbestos survey cost: £200-£1,000
Asbestos encapsulation cost If asbestos is in good condition and there is no danger of it being damaged or disturbed, encapsulating it fully is more cost-effective.
Often, asbestos removal is a lengthy, complicated process that can be costly. The safest and cheapest way to handle asbestos might be to encapsulate it in a seamless, protective coating.
Average asbestos encapsulation cost: £25 per m²
In addition to being cheaper, asbestos encapsulation also offers the following benefits:
Asbestos is hazardous, expensive, and subject to strict controls and must be disposed of properly.
As a result, you and your family will experience much less disruption.
Domestic asbestos removal cost
You can feel at ease knowing that asbestos has been completely removed from your home, even if it is more expensive and complex to do so. As a result, your home will also be worth more. If your home contains asbestos (even if it has been professionally encapsulated), you may have difficulty selling it.
Average domestic asbestos removal cost: £100-£200 per m²
Asbestos soil pipe removal cost
An asbestos soil pipe, for example, can be removed without a license. There will usually be fewer fibres released as a result. To be safe, we’d still recommend getting a professional on board to ensure you meet strict health and safety requirements (such as following HSE’s comprehensive guidance).
You will need to budget for the following if you decide to remove an asbestos soil pipe yourself or hire an unlicensed professional:
- Asbestos survey: You could pay £200 for a basic survey, or £1,000 for a full one.
- Asbestos removal: Although asbestos removal companies are available, local authorities usually offer cheaper collection services.
- PPE: Make sure to purchase disposable coveralls, FFP3 masks, eyewear, boots, and powder-free gloves.
- Materials: Be sure to purchase asbestos waste bags, tapes, polythene, and absorbent rags.
Unless you have significant prior experience, we strongly advise against doing the work yourself. You don’t need a license to remove asbestos cement products, but you do need to understand the safety protocols and procedures.
In order to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them, a professional will have the necessary experience and knowledge.
Useful asbestos removal checklist
- The removal of asbestos should always be done by a professional, never by yourself.
- You should contact a qualified surveyor as soon as possible if you suspect your home may contain asbestos.
- Check with your local council to see if they offer reduced asbestos removal rates.
- For asbestos removal, hire a certified and experienced professional (ask for proof of BOHS P402 Standard, HSE License, and Hazardous Waste Carriers Licence).
- Be sure to shop around for fair and competitive quotes before hiring a tradesperson.
Read more: Asbestos removal funding
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