DIY Versus Professional Inspection Costs
Educating yourself on asbestos goes along way towards maximising your safety. Apart from the work and equipment involved, you’ll also want to get a sense of the current market prices. Here’s a detailed look at asbestos testing costs.
Why is testing for asbestos important?
Enclosed asbestos is not dangerous. However if particles becomes airborne, there is a risk of exposure. This can happen during renovation or remodeling projects. Asbestos fibers can cause several diseases of latency when inhaled or ingested. Asbestos-related health issues effect people every year.
When disturbed, asbestos usually forms a dust of extremely fine fibers, approximately 50-200 times thinner than a strand of human hair. Once released into the air, these microscopic fibers can remain airborne for extended periods. You cannot, however, identify asbestos from a visual inspection since the fibers are almost always invisible to the naked eye.
Asbestos causes life-threatening diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, gastrointestinal cancer, and pleural plaques. Even though asbestos-related diseases are often a result of extensive exposure, research associates brief exposure with some cases of mesothelioma. Regrettably, researchers have not yet established the reason for this anomaly. As such, keeping exposure to a minimum is of uttermost importance.
Asbestos Testing Options
While there are several asbestos testing options, some of them are not worth considering. Researching the items needed to perform an asbestos test and buying them piece by piece from your local store is one such option. Compared to every other choice, this alternative presents a significantly higher health risk.
Though worth mentioning, the second alternative is not popular, not even in the construction industry. Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire developed a sensor capable of detecting the presence of asbestos in real-time. The magnetic nature of asbestos is the key to this device, which works in three stages. However, not many homeowners will find the $800 price tag affordable. Additionally, the sensors do not give conclusive results.
Below we look at the two most common testing techniques.
Do-it-yourself testing kits
Although they may vary to a degree, home kits often include instructions, disposable gloves, coveralls, a sample bag, waste bags, a single use face mask, plastic sheeting, and a detailed order form.
- Asbestos sampling kits are relatively inexpensive. However, some have additional fees for laboratory testing. For those that include lab fees, you will have to buy a separate kit for every sample you want analyzed.
- Asbestos testing kits are readily available, which makes a whole lot of difference if you live in an area where accredited professionals are difficult to find.
- Taking samplea without following safety precautions is unsafe.
- You will have to ensure the laboratory you choose carries the endorsed, a guarantee that the lab uses approved techniques.
- Testing kits presume you have some knowledge of safety procedures.
- Processing usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete and report.
Professional asbestos testing
Trained and certified professionals have the expertise and knowledge required to handle asbestos-containing materials without causing any health hazard.
- Only accredited professionals know how to guard against exposure and other associated risks.
- A professional will have a better idea about where to look for asbestos.
- Compared to home kits, professional testing services usually have a quicker turnaround on lab results.
- To maximize safety, EPA-certified contractors always follow protocol when testing for asbestos.
- Experts will provide conclusive results.
- Hiring a professional inspector might be a little bit more expensive than using a do-it-yourself testing kit.
The cost of a DIY asbestos testing kit
Whether you live in Australia, USA, or the UK, you can buy a home or DIY asbestos testing kit for $4.89 – $109. While it’s needless to add that price does not mean quality, the price of a DIY product will depend on various factors. Type of asbestos sample, the number of samples, turnaround time, and whether the kit includes mailing and lab fees are some of the factors that can affect costs. There’s also a significant price range between accredited testing laboratories.
Many labs offer mail-away testing, which allows you to mail a small sample of the suspected material for analysis. For a solid material, the cost of testing for asbestos is about $25 – $110 per sample for standard turnaround times and $80 – $220 for an express turnaround time. Because it requires an electron microscope, asbestos dust sampling costs three times as high as traditional asbestos testing.
In the UK, testing kits that include lab costs are available for as little as £25.00 plus £6.50 per sample tested. Apart from promising to send your sample to UKAS-accredited lab for testing, the vendor promises you will receive a final report via email less than a day after the lab receives your sample.
Asbestos Inspection Costs
Same as most services, the cost of asbestos inspections can vary widely. There are different types of asbestos inspections available, each of which features a different level of survey. The size of your property and depth of the survey are some of the factors that can affect pricing. A standard on-site sampling, also known as an asbestos management survey, is the most basic type of report. Below is a range of what to expect when you engage the services of a professional.
- Australia: Asbestos inspections will cost about $300 – $800.
- USA: A standard on-site sampling will range from $250 – $750.
- United Kingdom: Asbestos surveys will cost between £170 – £350.
Hardware stores sell cheap DIY testing kits. However, you’ll learn this is the up-front cost once you look into such kits. You’ll still have to pay lab and mailing costs.
Most DIY kits do not test for asbestos. Instead, they include the items needed to take a sample, and an asbestos testing certificate.
Since no guarantee or turnaround time is provided, you might not get your results back. Although reading customer reviews before you make your decision might be helpful, you are better off hiring a certified professional.
Since a professional asbestos inspection offers a more detailed assessment and accurate results, it is undoubtedly your best option. If you have any quiestions regarding asbestos testing costs please contact us.