Asbestos Removal Costs

How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost?

Asbestos Removal Costs

In this article we will over the costs to remove asbestos. You’ll learn information about asbestos and common locations you’ll find it on your property.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of very durable, fine fibers. It is odorless, tasteless and resistant to heat, fire and chemicals. Thee attributes made it a very useful component in building materials before the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma was established.

Asbestos Usage in Australia

The first asbestosis case in Australia came from the Wittenoom mine in 1946, and the first death from related mesothelioma case in 1961. In the years following, more than 100 Wittenoom workers developed lung disease. Approximately 50% of homes built before 1954 contain asbestos. A home built or renovated before 1990 likely has asbestos in the materials. In the mid-80s, local Australian governments began to ban asbestos due to health concerns, but asbestos was not outright banned until 2003.

Australian Asbestos Ban

On December 31st, 2003, The Australian Government banned all Asbestos-containing products. The ban made asbestos illegal to sell, install, use or produce, and blocked all import and export of asbestos-containing products.

Asbestos Removal Costs

The average cost to remove asbestos is approximately $35 to $150 per square metre.

Because of the different forms of asbestos, the price can change drastically. Asbestos is only detectable through a lab inspection and audit report which typically costs between $100-$800, depending on the amount of samples. Once the removal is complete, air monitoring and a site clearance will cost an additional $400-$2000.

The actual removal procedure usually comes with a minimum price of around $1,500-$3,000, regardless of the size of the job, with the cost per meters squared added on.

Main factors for price variations include:

  • The quantity of asbestos?
  • Is the asbestos in sheets or dust?
  • What is the condition of the asbestos?
  • Can the asbestos be easily accessed?

Cost Breakdown

1. Roofing

The New South Wales Government does not legally require the removal of asbestos roofs. Because of the increased risks, asbestos roofs may make the property more expensive to insure and more difficult to sell. Roof asbestos is friable, but removal will require air quality monitoring. The cost for removal for a single story house is between $3,500-$5,500, not including air monitoring and replacement roofing. The higher the height and gradient of the roof, the steeper the price.

2. Fencing

Depending on the type of fencing, expect to pay between $25-$50 per sheet. Fencing embedded beneath concrete will incur additional charges. Obstacles such as trees or rocks along the fence line will drive up the price, as well as vines or plants overgrowing the fence.

3. Ceilings

Depending on the type of ceiling: cement sheet, insulating board, ceiling tiles or popcorn ceilings, the price will likely vary between $40-100 per square meter. Because of the danger of air pollution, you may want to consider paying for air monitoring.


For the eaves of a single story house, the entire perimeter should cost between $1,500-$2,500. One side of the house only will be cheaper, probably $700 or so. Houses with two or more stories will be more expensive, and will require a more thorough site inspection for an accurate estimate.

5. Internal and External Cladding

External cladding removal for a house will cost you between $4,000-$6,000. Different types of cladding cause the price variations, especially popcorn cladding, which is one of most difficult to remove. For smaller jobs, expect a cost of $15-$40 per square meter, depending on how many meters, and at least $350 for labor.

Removing internal cladding costs $1,000-$1,500 per room. Be sure that your removalist is knowledgeable about safety measures to take. Air monitoring after the procedure, if necessary, will add approximately $1,000 to the final price.

6. Sheds

Expect to pay around $80/m2 for a shed, with price decreases for more meters. The job will be cheaper if you want to keep the frame of your shed. Price will vary depending on how easily accessible the shed is, whether there is interior asbestos, or if the shed is overgrown. Removal of asbestos concrete slabs will be roughly $40 per slab.

7. Flooring

For vinyl flooring with an asbestos adhesive, expect a cost of about $100-$90 depending on the number of square meters. Without asbestos adhesive, the cost is much cheaper, closer to $20/m2. Be sure to have your tiles tested to know whether or not the adhesive has asbestos. The floor tiles are not friable, but the adhesive may be.

8. Soil

Although your new house may not have asbestos in the materials, there still may be asbestos in the soil. Different types of asbestos can be found in soil, which may or may not be friable. Costs can vary widely depending on the density of asbestos, the type of soil and whether or not the asbestos is friable, but expect around $187/tonne.

Getting Prices & Quotes

You can look around for online estimates, and many companies offer online quotes. Some companies will accept photos of the site, which would save you the price of a contractor visit. Because of the many differing factors from location to accessibility of the job site, a thorough inspection before any work can help prevent unforeseen costs.


Always verify the license of the contractor. Using unlicensed contractors is against the law. Although hiring a removalist may seem expensive, you cannot put a price on your health.