The cost of asbestos removal in Australia will vary depending on the complexity and size of the project. The nationwide average for asbestos removal in Australia can between $50/m2 to $150/m2 depending on myriad of factors.
The most common dynamics that influence the cost of asbestos removal in Australia include the size, location, structural necessity, and state of the asbestos materials being removed. Asbestos removal is a dangerous and highly specialised job. If you suspect that you have asbestos on your property, it is important to use professional asbestos removal services.
So, before we delve into the price of asbestos removal in Australia. Let’s start with some basics.
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibres that were widely used in the Australian (and international) construction industry in the second half of the 20th century. Preferred for its durability, low-cost and heat resistant properties, asbestos was the material of choice for the construction industry in Australia between 1940 and 1990. In fact, the use of asbestos in Australia was so widespread that, in some instances, the material can be found in almost every room in the house. Experts estimate that around 50% of homes that were built or renovated in Australia between 1940 and 1990 contain asbestos materials.
Can’t I just remove asbestos myself?
Perhaps the most common question associated with asbestos removal costs is; “Wouldn’t it be easier to just remove it myself?”. For some, DIY asbestos removal may seem like a cost-effective way to cut down on the cost of renovations. Improperly handling or removing asbestos from your property can lead to monumental health and financial implications when done incorrectly. As a known carcinogenic that can cause asbestosis and lung cancer from a single exposure, asbestos removal is one area that you don’t want to cut corners on when you’re renovating around the home. In every case, hiring a professional asbestos removal company is the safest and most effective way to remove asbestos from your commercial, industrial or residential property.
So, the big question. How much does asbestos removal cost?
It is not possible to give a precise cost for an asbestos removed from your property without a proper inspection. In general, however, the cost of asbestos removal Australia can range from $30 to $150 per square meter. As you might expect, there are a number of important factors such as your location, the size of the project, and the condition of the asbestos that will significantly impact the overall cost of removing asbestos from your property. Furthermore, there are six different kinds of asbestos. A lab test is required in order to confirm the type of asbestos. Once testing has been completed, the type of asbestos found will impact the total cost of the job.
The following asbestos removal cost guide is for indicative purposes only. No two properties are the same, the only way to get an accurate price for asbestos removal is to have your property inspected by a professional.
An Example of Asbestos Removal Australia Cost Breakdown:
- $50-$150 per square meter
- $100-$1,000 to remove asbestos flooring for a room (will vary largely on the size of the room)
- $1,500+ for the removal of eaves
- $1,000-$3,500 to remove internal cladding from a room (depends on size, location)
- $150-$200 per tonne of asbestos contaminated soil
- $2500+ for the removal of external cladding
* Please note that the cost of asbestos removal will depend on a number of key factors that can only be determined by an asbestos inspection. The above asbestos removal price guide is to be used for estimation purposes only. The only way to get an accurate quote is to contact a licensed asbestos removal professional.
Factors that Will Influence the Cost of Asbestos Removal in Australia
There are a whole host of factors that will impact the cost of asbestos removal in Australia. From the size to the location and the specific type of asbestos being used, it is almost impossible to provide an accurate asbestos removal price without first inspecting the property. Here are some of the tangibles that will affect the cost of removing asbestos from your property:
- The condition of the asbestos
- The type of asbestos (friable, non-friable)
- Location of the asbestos on the property
- Structural necessity of the asbestos products
- The total weight of asbestos being removal
- The location of your property relative to the disposal points
Be wary of asbestos contractors who are willing to provide an exact cost for your project without inspecting your property ahead of time. Any experienced asbestos professional will quote your asbestos removal price based on the above factors. By getting an accurate quote ahead of time, you are ensuring that there are no unexpected surprises when it comes time to pay the bill. Don’t be afraid to ask for an itemised quote that specifies how much you are paying for inspection, removal and disposal of asbestos.
Does my Property Contain Asbestos?
By now, you’re probably wondering; “How will I know whether I need asbestos removal from my property?”. It’s almost impossible to definitively know whether your property contains asbestos without a proper inspection. As we mentioned before, asbestos materials were widely used in the Australian construction industry in the second half of the 20th century, between 1940 and 1990.
Due to its favourable fire, heat, and chemical resistant properties, asbestos was one of the most popular building materials in the Australian construction industry during this time. Above all, asbestos was significantly cheaper than similar building materials and was deemed to be an effective and relatively safe way to reduce the total cost of construction.
It wasn’t until the early 1960s — by which point asbestos had been widely used in the Australian construction industry for almost two decades — that the first asbestos related death was known. Over the next four decades, construction companies would persist with asbestos use despite the fact that it was a known carcinogenic. On the 31st of December 2003, the Australian government outlawed the sale and use of Asbestos in Australia. By this point, the asbestos use was so widespread that it affected almost 30% of residential properties across the country.
Places where you may find asbestos on your property:
- Fire proofing material
- Carpet Underlay
- Soundproofing material
- Textured paint
- Wall sheeting
- Insulation material
- Internal and external sheeting
- Corrugated sheeting
The sad reality is; if your property was built in Australia between 1940 and 1990, there is a high chance that it contains asbestos materials in some form. According to the most recently available data, roughly 50% of all homes that built in Australia prior to 1954 will contain asbestos materials. Therefore, if your property was renovated or constructed prior to 1990, it is worthwhile having your property inspected for asbestos before any new construction work is carried out.
Calculating the Asbestos Removal Cost in Australia
Professional asbestos removal is the only way to ensure you are completely safe when removing asbestos materials from your home. By law, Australian residents living in NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria are not allowed to remove more than 10 square meters of non-friable asbestos materials from their property. In addition, property owners in these states are not allowed to remove ANY friable asbestos materials. For residents of the Australian Capital Territory, it is illegal to remove asbestos materials in any capacity. Fines for the incorrect removal or disposal of asbestos exceed $7,500 and can even result in imprisonment.
Asbestos that has been cracked, drilled, broken or altered from a non-friable state, will produce micro fibres that, when airborne, can cause serious health risks to those inhabiting the property. Don’t risk it, have the job done by an asbestos professional.
Questions to Ask Before Having Asbestos Removed
Asbestos removal and disposal is dangerous work. As a result, there are a number of important questions that you should be asking your asbestos removal specialist before they commence work on your property. Irrespective of whether it is an industrial, residential or commercial asbestos removal project, the questions that you should be asking remains consistent.
- Has the Asbestos been tested?
- Do they hold a licence in Australia for Asbestos Removal?
- Do they have health and liability insurance for the project?
- Where will the asbestos be disposed?
- Do they have experience with similar projects?
- How much will the asbestos removal cost?
- Will there be an exclusion zone after the removal is complete?
Asbestos removal professionals in Australia must hold valid licence from their relevant state bodies. Hiring an unlicensed asbestos removal contractor is against the law. Property owners are responsible for doing their due diligence and may also be liable for damages in they hire an unlicensed professional.
Before commencing work with an Australian asbestos removal company for your project, it is important to find out as much information as possible. Don’t forget, disposing of more than 10 square meters of non-friable asbestos and ANY friable asbestos in Australia is illegal.
Once removed from your property, asbestos must be correctly sealed, transported and disposed of in accordance with state regulations. The asbestos removal company that you work with is responsible for disposing of the asbestos materials at a state allocated disposal point. The cost of this disposal will be factored into the total cost of your asbestos removal project.
What You Need to Remember
Asbestos is a highly dangerous carcinogenic that, when incorrectly handled, can lead to serious respiratory diseases including asbestosis and lung cancer. Removing asbestos from your property is not like having your house painted – the margin for error is much greater.
The incorrect handling and disposal or asbestos materials could result in harmful fibres being released into the air and inhaled by the occupants of your property. While it is always possible to find companies, who are willing to offer the cheapest service, asbestos removal is one area of construction that you do not want to cut corners. Play it safe, work with an experienced Australian Asbestos Removal Company who can safely complete your job.