Got Asbestos? Here's How Much It Costs to Remove It

by Team HomeServe
a gloved hand using tweezers to hold Chrysotile asbestos fiber close up.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made of fibers that are particularly resistant to heat, and it was once commonly used as a building material. If you have an older home, you may have asbestos lurking in your floors, walls or ceilings.

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Inhaling asbestos particles can substantially increase your risk of certain cancers, so it's best to hire an asbestos abatement company to assess the situation and remove the asbestos. Let's explore the cost of removing asbestos.

How Does Asbestos Abatement and Removal Work?

Asbestos abatement services include asbestos removal. The first step in the abatement process is to disable your HVAC system and install negative air pressure units to prevent asbestos particles from spreading.

Next, the contractors put on protective clothing and dampen the asbestos to make removing it easier. They chip away the asbestos using hand tools and then arrange disposal in specialized containers.

How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost Per Square Foot?

According to HomeGuide, asbestos removal usually costs between $20 and $65 (CAD 27 and CAD 87) per square foot. You'll usually pay toward the lower end for straightforward asbestos removal. However, costs per square foot could be higher for inaccessible spaces.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove an Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling?

Popcorn ceilings were popular in past decades because they were cheap and offered excellent fire-proofing and noise cancellation. However, many popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, so it's usually best to remove and replace them.

Generally, you should expect to pay between $1 and $2 (CAD 1.33 and CAD 2.67) per square foot to remove an asbestos popcorn ceiling. Most people spend between $1,000 and $2,300 (CAD 1,334 and CAD 3,067), not including the cost of refinishing the ceiling. However, you could pay as little as $300 (CAD 400) to remove a popcorn ceiling in a small room.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Asbestos Tiles?

Many mid-century homes have floor tiles containing asbestos. Manufacturers often added asbestos to vinyl, laminate and linoleum floor tiles to make them more durable and for insulation purposes. Having asbestos tiles professionally removed usually costs between $3.25 and $10 (CAD 4.33 and CAD 13) per square foot.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Other Types of Asbestos?

Because asbestos was considered such a durable building material in its time, many older homes can contain asbestos in multiple locations. Some sources of the mineral are harder to access and remove than others.

One of the most common is asbestos drywall, which costs between $7 and $9 (CAD 9.33 and CAD 12) per square foot to remove. Removing asbestos from external areas is often more expensive. Removing asbestos gutters, for example, costs $1,500 to $5,000 (CAD 2,000 to CAD 6,668) on average.

If you have asbestos insulation, expect to pay between $4 and $8 (CAD 5.33 and 10.67) per square foot to remove it. Removing asbestos from ductwork is a complicated process. It generally costs around $12 (CAD 16) per linear foot. However, tackling asbestos in the roof is the costliest project, setting most homeowners back $450 (CAD 600) per roofer's square (100 square feet) to remove asbestos shingles or $20 to $75 (CAD 27 to CAD  100) per square foot for other types of asbestos roofing.

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What Factors Impact How Much It Costs to Remove Asbestos?

Various factors can affect how much it costs to remove asbestos; the most significant is location. Other factors to consider when estimating your project costs include:

Type of Asbestos

Some types of asbestos are more harmful and difficult to remove than others. Generally, the more common the asbestos type, the cheaper it is to remove. Chrysotile asbestos is one of the most common and is relatively affordable to tackle. Meanwhile, more unusual or harmful types, such as Zonolite and Amosite, cost more than average.

Whether you have friable or non-friable asbestos can also affect removal and abatement fees. Friable asbestos has a minimum asbestos content of 1% and is generally easier to chip away than non-friable asbestos. However, its crumbly nature makes it more dangerous to remove because it tends to release airborne particles, making it more costly to deal with.


You'll usually need to pay for asbestos testing before booking abatement or removal. According to HomeGuide, this costs between $200 and $400 (CAD 267 and CAD 533), and the overall cost depends on the scale of the issue.

Most homeowners also hire an asbestos abatement company to conduct a secondary inspection following removal to ensure no asbestos is left. HomeGuide says you should expect to pay between $250 and $1,000 (CAD 333 and CAD 1,334) for the inspection, and an extra $400 to $1,200 (CAD 533 to CAD 1,600) for air testing.


Asbestos abatement and removal often cause significant damage, so don't forget to factor in the costs of repairs. How much you need to spend depends on the type and location of the damage. For example, replacing drywall and redecorating could cost between $1.50 and $3.50 (CAD 2 and CAD 4.67) per square foot.


Your contractor must dispose of asbestos at a dumpsite permitted to accept hazardous waste. According to Bob Vila, a hazardous material disposal permit costs between $50 and $100 (CAD 67 and CAD 133), according to Bob Vila. Then, you’ll pay between $15 and $25 (CAD 20 and CAD 33) per cubic yard of debris.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.