Builders began using asbestos as a construction material back in the 1930s. It wasn’t until more than 50 years later that people began wondering if there were any health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Today we know just how dangerous it is. As such, some homeowners may find themselves in a position of having to hire someone to remove asbestos from their homes.
You will find a more detailed breakdown of asbestos removal costs later in this post. For now, though, expect a total cost of about £50 per square meter to cover everything. This includes appraisal, site survey, and labour. If it is safe to go with asbestos encapsulation instead, the average cost drops to about £8 per square meter.
An Explanation of Asbestos
Contrary to popular belief, asbestos is not a single material. Rather, it is a naturally occurring mineral substance that can be found all over the globe. There are three types of asbestos officially recognised by the government as having been used in construction projects. However, there are many more in reality. The US government recognises six distinct types in its buildings.
The three types recognised in the UK are:
- White Asbestos (chrysotile) – Asbestos materials of this type are grey or white in colour and were commonly used to build wall and roof insulation.
- Brown Asbestos (amosite) – Brown asbestos has traditionally been used as a thermal insulation product.
- Blue Asbestos (crocidolite) – This type of asbestos is rarely found in the UK. Where it is found, it has been deployed for high heat applications.
Asbestos was a popular construction material back in the day because it is resistant to fire, heat, electricity, and corrosion. Builders loved the fact that asbestos allowed them to both insulate buildings and reduce fire risks simultaneously.
They also discovered that mixing asbestos with other materials – like cement or plastic – created a composite that was much stronger than the substrate material. Asbestos fibres add strength by reinforcing the substrate.
Detailed Removal Costs
The total cost of asbestos removal involves several different things. A removal project begins with a basic material appraisal you can expect to pay about £50 for. Following the appraisal, you will need a full site survey to determine just how much asbestos exists and how much has to be removed. Survey prices start at about £200 and go up from there.
Appraisal and site survey are necessary first steps. They should not be skipped. Why? Because both are required to determine how serious a property’s asbestos problem is.
As previously mentioned, the average total cost of asbestos removal is about £50 per square meter. If you want to include re-boarding, you are looking at upwards of £400 per square meter. Having said that, let us talk specifics. Below is a list of costs based on different kinds of garage projects:
- Total garage removal – £2,500
- Garage roof removal (single) – £680
- Garage roof removal (double) – £1,000+
- Garage ceiling boards – £1,350
You may have asbestos products in your home that are not embedded in wall panels or roofing. For example, a water tank insulated with asbestos can be removed and disposed of for about £200. Smaller projects are less expensive because there is less labour and fewer containment issues involved.
How Much Is The Average Asbestos Removal Cost in UK?
It is very important that asbestos must be removed from your property. Most often, you will be charged with a fixed price, however, this will depend on several factors. For instance, the place where you live, the volume of asbestos that needs to be removed, the number of products that were used for the asbestos removal, and the range of difficulty in accessing the asbestos containing materials.
Be sure to always look for qualified professionals that are experts in asbestos removal. Before asbestos removal starts, you need to get quotes so you will know how much should you spend. In UK, the average cost of asbestos removal can range from £800 to approximately £3,000 for larger jobs.
Obviously, asbestos causes a great threat, however, removing them is not essentially the best thing to do. Keep in mind, that it only becomes dangerous once it’s airborne. If the asbestos is in good condition, then its best to leave them undisturbed. However, leaving them behind is not the best option if you are planning to do some renovation, remodeling, or extension to your home. You have to remove it.
Garage And Roof Asbestos Removal
Most of the house roofs and garage that are constructed between 1930 and 1990 included asbestos. Typically, they are found in the cement roof sheeting. If it is in good condition, then you won’t be having any problems. However, if it begins to break down then most likely its fibres will be released into the air. When this happens you need to destroy the garage to avoid health risks. However, it has to be done in accordance with the regulations. You must look for a professional asbestos removal company that can do the job effectively. The Control of Asbestos Regulations requires that you should only hire qualified professionals.
Why Asbestos Removal Cost so Much
Faced with removing asbestos from your garage roof and walls, you may think that a £2,500 bill is excessive. Perhaps it is. However, there are very good reasons asbestos removal costs so much. Remember that asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause serious illness if fibres are inhaled.
The primary concern in any removal project is containment. In other words, workers have to contain the material so that fibres are not allowed to escape into the air. Containment is a very labour-intensive process that requires a lot of time and care. Indeed, labour is the most expensive component of asbestos removal.
Cost factors may entice some homeowners to attempt asbestos removal on their own. This is always a very bad idea. Asbestos removal is one home project that is not DIY-friendly in any way. Moreover, doing it yourself is against the law. Asbestos removal must be carried out by a certified asbestos specialist with the proper skills, knowledge, and equipment.
The seriousness of asbestos removal has led some local councils in the UK to offer financial assistance. If you need asbestos removed and you cannot afford to pay for it yourself, contact your local council. They may offer assistance. Below are just a few examples:
- Bedford –Bedford Council offers reduced rates. For example, 16 sheets can be removed for just £300.
- Essex – Residence living in Essex can take advantage of free removal of up to 40 kg of asbestos cement.
- Richmond upon Thames – Richmond upon Thames Council also offers reduced rates services. Residents pay only £44 to remove up to 200 kg of asbestos.
- York –York Council offers reduced rates for removing asbestos roofing, gutters, pipes, and cement. Up to 200 kg can be removed at a cost of just £95.
Again, note the importance of a basic appraisal and full site survey. An examination of your property may reveal that the asbestos does not need to be removed. Encapsulation might be all that’s necessary. In cases where existing asbestos is undisturbed and is likely to remain so, you might be able to simply leave it alone.
If you are concerned about asbestos in your home, the first step is to contact a certified asbestos specialist and arrange to have the appraisal and site survey done. Only after both are conducted can you make informed decisions about what to do.
If removal is required, contact your local council to inquire about financial assistance. You might also be able to work out a financing package with the asbestos removal company if your bill looks like it’s going to be high. Whenever you do, don’t attempt asbestos removal on your own. Doing so is dangerous and illegal.