If you live in an older home, you might worry about the presence of asbestos in the building materials, especially if someone you know has dealt with asbestos and the health complications it causes. If you're concerned about having asbestos, or if you want to do some remodeling and plan to tear out walls, flooring, or the ceiling, then you should have residential asbestos testing done. Here are things to know.
Types Of Asbestos Testing
You can have building materials, dust, and air samples tested for asbestos. Since this requires handling of materials that could contain asbestos, it's safer to let an asbestos testing company collect the samples. If part of the flooring, siding, or insulation is cut out, the process could release asbestos fibers in the air, so it's necessary to take safety precautions during the collection process.
Taking solid samples is a good choice since that identifies the source of the asbestos as opposed to dust samples where asbestos could come from anywhere. Plus, a dust sample could require more dust than you can collect, and processing these samples is more expensive.
Air samples can sometimes be done in combination with testing for other indoor pollutants for close to the same cost. You may want to ask your testing company about the price difference between a simple asbestos air test and an air test that checks for asbestos and overall indoor air quality.
Price Of Asbestos Testing
Residential asbestos testing and commercial testing follow the same procedures and pricing. The cost is affected by the size of the building and the number and type of samples obtained. Labs set their fees for running the tests and these costs are usually wrapped up with the cost of obtaining the samples, but you'll want to verify that with the testing company you choose.
Results Could Take Several Days
An experienced asbestos professional can guess at the materials in your home that contain asbestos, but the only way to know for certain is to wait on the test results. After the samples are taken, they are delivered to the testing lab where the materials are analyzed for the presence of asbestos. Once that work is done, a report is sent to your home so you can learn the results. This could take days to a few weeks, so if you're planning to do some remodeling, factor the time delay into your plans.
Once you have the test results back, you can either breathe a sigh of relief if no asbestos is found, or you'll have to decide what to do about the problem. This might entail changing your remodeling plans so you can leave the asbestos undisturbed or you might decide to have it removed to put your mind at rest.