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Pricing has been updated as of January 2024
Asbestos is a category 1 carcinogen (that's bad) - It's a dangerous material and when its fibres are inhaled causes a multitude of health risks. It's because of these risks that asbestos removal is a costly process. It requires trained professionals, a selection of expensive protective equipment, costly insurance and in some cases an asbestos license before it can be touched. You can read more about the risks of asbestos on our "about asbestos" page
Does Asbestos Have To Be Removed?
Asbestos doesn't necessarily need to be removed, providing it is in good condition and isn't going to be disturbed (such as drilled, cut or bashed into). Asbestos is perfectly safe when its contained within a bonded product and remains undisturbed. It's when the product deteriorates or is disturbed that its hazardous fibres can be released into the air.
For example If you are planning some home renovations, which will going to require you to drill a hole into a ceiling which is made of asbestos insulation board. Then the only real option here is to have that asbestos removed first. Cutting a hole or drilling into this material will cause a catastrophic release of asbestos fibres into the air which will not only put the person doing the work at risk, but will also contaminate the surrounding area and materials. To put that into perspective 2 million asbestos fibres can fit on the head of a pin! When inhaled each one of these fibres risks getting lodged in the lining of your lungs and potentially causing a rare form of incurable cancer (mesothelioma). Yes, asbestos is serious stuff!
Whats Involved with an asbestos removal job?
The process of removing asbestos varies from project to project, each one may require a different removal method. It all comes down to managing the risk. According to the HSE, asbestos should be removed in a way which poses the least risk of fibre release and that comes down to a selection of variables:
- The type of asbestos being removed
- The condition of the asbestos
- The amount of asbestos
- The area and access restrictions imposed
The removal processes are complex, far too complex to be going through in this article. In simple terms the process of a higher risk asbestos removal project involves:
- First of all, sealing off the area where asbestos is being removed so as to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres whilst the work is being carried out.
- Once the area is sealed and air tight, the enclosure will be put under filtered negative pressure so that should there be a breech in the enclosure the risk of fibres entering the immediate surrounding area is reduced.
- The contractor will then want to ensure the least amount of asbestos fibres are released into the air during removal to protect the operatives - This involves having the operatives trained on removal techniques combined with saturating the product with water and potentially using dust suppression (e.g spraying water whilst removing to reduce dust).
- Removal work will now commence.
For a more detailed explanation of the asbestos removal process, we will soon be releasing a dedicated article and we'll place a link here.
Is asbestos removal expensive?
Yes, asbestos removal is expensive...and it should be! An enormous amount of planning goes into an asbestos removal job. When dealing with a material which claims the lives of over 5,000 trades people per year, cutting corners is not an option, the risk is simply too high.
There's good reason asbestos removal can be expensive and that comes down to regulations imposed on contractors by the Health & Safety Executive.
Licensed asbestos removal contractors have to pay yearly licensing fees which come with a rigorous systems and procedures audit, followed by unlimited unannounced site visits on any job they carry out. If the HSE turn up on a site and the company is non-compliant it could be the end of that business - and rightly so! The HSE are protecting the public and employees by ensuring strict health & safety is followed - Its in everyones interest!
Licensing and regulations aside, companies have to obtain expensive insurance, pay for all their employees training, health checks & face fits every year and provide daily equipment & clothing. Not to mention the vast amount of materials needed to carry out the work (think how many rolls of polythene and how much wood it will take to build an enclosure and completely seal the area - sides, flooring & ceiling). Guess what, when the jobs finished they also have to pay to have all the waste (including the now contaminated materials) disposed of by a specialist hazardous waste company.
As you can imagine, these costs combined makes what looks like a relatively small job, a pretty expensive one to complete.
How much does asbestos removal cost?
Now down to the good stuff! How much is it going to cost you? Well, as mentioned above each project is different and there is no "one size fits all" cost for asbestos removal.
In order to give our readers an idea of what to expect, we set out and contacted over 30 asbestos removal companies across the UK and collated all that data, broken down by project.
We've included the lowest price quoted vs the highest price quoted to give you a good idea of what price range to expect.
Prices do vary depending on your local area and the complexity of the job, so these are just ball park figures.
Top Tip: You may be eligible for tax relief on asbestos removal, so be sure to check if eligible
See below the different projects we had quoted.
Asbestos Garage Roof Removal Cost
We asked around 10 of the asbestos removal contractors to give us some quotes for an asbestos cement roof removal.
Asbestos garage roof removal work doesn't actually require an asbestos license so this opens up the amount of available contractors to choose from.
Its worth noting some licensed contractors where also asked to quote and so they are more likely to be more expensive which is understandable.
Single garage roof (20ft x 9ft)
|£550 + VAT
Double garage roof (6m x 5m)
|£850 + VAT
Full single asbestos garage removal (sides & roof) slab left in situ.
|£1,400 + VAT
Asbestos Artex Ceiling Removal Cost
15 contractors were asked to quote for the removal of some Artex / textured coatings. Again this is classed as non-licensed work - However, it would still require notification to the HSE - We decided to only ask asbestos contractors (licensed & non-licensed) for this project as I don't feel it can be carried out safely and compliant by a non-asbestos specialist.
|10m2 from concrete walls
|£1,000 + VAT
|20m2 from concrete walls
|£1,000 + VAT
|Removal of artex from walls and ceilings of medium sized room (4m x 4m)
|£2,350 + VAT
|Removal of lath & plaster ceiling 3m x 3m
|£1,000 + VAT
As you can see from the above both the 10m2 and 20m2 highest cost was the same - We noticed a lot of the contractors had a minimum charge for Artex work so the cost was the same regardless of the size difference.
Asbestos Floor Tile Removal Cost
Again 15 contractors where contacted to price up the floor tile removal. Given floor tiles are considered relatively low risk and non-licensed we where comfortable allowing non-asbestos companies quote for the works on the understanding that correct procedures will be followed and a waste consignment note handed to us after completion (to ensure it was being disposed of legally)
|2m x 2m bathroom flooring
|£350 + VAT
|5m x 5m floor in kitchen
|£375 + VAT
|Commercial warehouse flooring 20m x 15m
|£5,250 + VAT
How To Get An Asbestos Removal Cost?
There's a couple of ways to get some competitive asbestos removal prices and that's either by calling around your local area (I'd recommend getting 3 quotes).
Alternatively, if you complete our quote request form online we put the job out to tender and you will receive up to 5 free no obligation quotes from asbestos contractors in your area.
We do have a directory of vetted asbestos removal companies which you can browse and contact at your leisure.