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Why Asbestos is Still a Deadly Danger in Australia

It’s been illegal for more than a decade, but asbestos is still everywhere, embedded in our offices, homes, schools, and shops. It’s now killing more people in the UK and Australia than anywhere else in the world.

Until 2003, when it was prohibited in Australia, asbestos was widely used in building materials due to its excellent mechanical and physical properties. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that separates into strong, fine, flexible fibres that demonstrate strong resistance to heat. They do not have any detectable odor or taste and the exact molecular chain formula varies from one mining location to another.

Since Australians are lucky enough to have large deposits of minerals, Asbestos happen to be among those large mineral deposits.  Its discovery leads to a boom in cheap construction products using this hazardous material. It was reported that Australia was one the highest users of asbestos-containing material (ACM) in the world until the mid- 1980s.  Even until now, one third of all houses in Australia still contain this deadly substance.

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Where was ACM used?

Due to its availability and affordability, it was extensively used in basically everything. ACM is used in some electrical appliances such as heaters, hairdryers and some vacuum cleaners. In the automotive industry, it is used in making of parts such as brake linings and clutch pads. It also makes plastics, some protective gears such as some overalls and gloves.

In home construction, it was mainly used in the making of roof tiles, ceiling tiles, floor panels, water tanks, carpet underlays, gutters, fences, prefabricated walls, cement sheeting, and drainage pipes. If your house was built before the 1980, it will be highly likely to contain fibrous materials.

Both friable and non-friable fibres pose a significant health risk to human if the contaminated materials are not properly removed. – Asbestos safety and eradication agency

Numerous studies implied that prolonged exposure to fibres could lead to lung cancer.   This is why it is important to seek help and advice from a professional asbestos removal contractor to eliminate fibrous materials from your property.

Basics of Asbestos Removal, Testing and Management in Australia

Removing ACM in Australia is a two-step process. First, you will usually need to start with an inspection. An initial inspection will help you to recognize and identify the suspected material correctly and safely.

The second step is to have it competently removed. In doing this, you should take note of the following:

  • For Australian residents, notify Safe Work or the local council in your area
  • Make sure that only well-trained, certified, and licensed contractors and assessors are involved in both asbestos removal and testing process.
  • Suspected materials should be tested by one testing company and removed by another company. This is to avoid conflict of interest.
  • It is also advisable to temporarily move your entire household while the work is taking place.

Average asbestos removal and testing cost in Australia

By now, most people are well aware of the health hazards of fibrous materials. Moreover, the presence of ACM in a property may have impact on property values and this is one of the major reasons why property owners need to inspect and test for its presence.

The cost for asbestos removal and testing will vary based on the scope of the specific project and the size of the building. To help you calculate the total cost of your project, here are some standard cost estimates on asbestos removal and testing in Australia that we obtained from external sources.

Cost of asbestos testing

It is difficult to simply look at a material and tell if ACM is present, thus you need a professional to do a through sampling and testing. A standard sampling in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide will range from $150 to $500 per sample. Additionally, a post-removal inspection, such as air monitoring, will cost from $600 to $1000. Thus, the total cost of inspecting a home for ACM will usually run between $750 and $1500.

These costs will also depend on the city and the state in which the home is located.

Once the presence of ACM is confirmed, it is important to do a full inspection at your premises. You will need to pay between $500 and $900 for a full inspection of the entire site. You also have to keep in mind that all the inspectors should be fully licensed and trained and willing to provide credentials.

This is important for various reasons, but mostly where safety and resale of a property are concerned.

Asbestos removal cost estimation

Once the inspection is done, then the removal project can begin. The rate may vary depends on the extent of the work to be completed. Many certified contractors usually have minimum rates ranging from $1,500-$3,000.

Cost estimation to remove ACMs in Australia

In Australia, the average asbestos removal cost in 2016 is approximately $35/m2. Asbestos removal cost in NSW reflects the nationwide average, which is around $35/m2. Residents of Victoria and Queensland have no reason to delay ACM extraction job since they enjoy the lowest average rate at about 25/m2  (Vic)– 30/m(Qld).  Hiring a removalist expert in Western Australia will cost you around $48,5/m2.

The highest average rate to perform asbestos removal job is in South Australia, which is at approximately $75/m2.

asbestos remova cost Australia

Fence

There are many factors that influence the price of asbestos fence removal, especially things like trees and vines growing near the fence. Moreover, to properly remove a contaminated fence, often the entire sheet needs to be removed and replaced. It means that the removalist needs to perform a complete dig out to replace the old fence. This may also increase the price for an asbestos fence removal project.

Here is the price guide to eliminate fibrous fence in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

AREA PERTH MELBOURNE SYDNEY BRISBANE
Minimum fee $400-$600 $250-$400 $300-$450 $250-$400
10 meter $900-$1600 $700-$1200 $850-$1350 $850-$1300
50 meter $2500-$3500 $1900-$2500 $2000-$3000 $1750-$2750
100 meter $4000-$8000 $3000-$5000 $3500-$4000 $3000-$4000

Roof

In several cities, the total cost of asbestos roof removal in a single story and average-sized house roof may range between $4,000-6,000. The fee will be higher if you want to have your old roof replaced with a new material, such as fiberglass or colorbond material.

In the table below, you can find the average cost to extract fibrous roof in Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

AREA PERTH MELBOURNE BRISBANE
Minimum fee $400-$600 $350-$500 $350-$500
Small jobs (0-50 m2) $80-$110 per m2 $70-$100 per m2 $80-$100 per m2
Medium jobs (50-100 m2) $60-$100 per m2 $50-$80 per m2 $50 – 90 per m2
Large jobs (more than 100 m2) $45-$80 per m2 $35-$50 per m2 $35 – $55 per m2

External cladding

There are various types of external cladding and some types of external cladding are harder to be removed than others. A complete external cladding extraction for a three-bedroom house should cost between $4,000 and $6,000. Most contractors will require a site inspection, for a job of this size, to give you an accurate quote. In a case where your house is covered by popcorn cladding, expect to pay at least $6,000 for a complete extraction.

The table below summarizes the average cost to extract external cladding in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

AREA PERTH MELBOURNE SYDNEY BRISBANE
Small jobs (0-50 m2) $80-$110 per m2 $70-$100 per m2 $50-60 per m2 $60-$100 per m2
Medium jobs (50-100 m2) $60-90 per m2 $50-$70 per m2 $45-$65 per m2 $55-$65 per m2
Large jobs (more than 100 m2) $60-$80 per m2 $50-$70 per m2 $50-$65 per m2 $52,5-$65 per m2

Internal cladding

Internal cladding removal is considered as one of the most dangerous ACM elimination process that a removalist can perform. If a removalist follows an incorrect procedure, other areas within your property can be contaminated with fibres. Thus, it is important to choose a qualified and competent contractor for internal cladding removal process.

The price to extract internal cladding may vary across different cities in Australia. In Perth, a contractor might charge you with a minimum fee of $500 for the removal of internal cladding. A contractor will usually charge around $70-$100 per square meter when you need to subtract 0-20 meter of materials.

When you need to subtract more than 100 meters of material, it will usually cost around $65-$100 per square meter.

A project to extract internal cladding in Sydney will cost around $1,000-1,500 per room. While in Brisbane, internal cladding removal for a small room will be around $2,250 and $3,000 for a large room. A removal for a large room in Melbourne will cost around $50-70 per square meter.

Eaves

A contractor in Perth may charge you with a minimum fee of $350-$500 to remove contaminated eaves from your house. Approximately, the rate to subtract 0-10 lineal meters of eaves in Perth is around $50-$80 per meter. A larger job to remove more than 50 lineal meters of eaves will be around $55-90 per meter.

If you intend to remove one side of the house in Sydney, expect to pay around $700 or more. A removal project for an average size, single story, three-bedroom house should cost between $1,500 until $2,500.

While in Melbourne, a small job to remove up to 10 meters of eaves will cost around $55-$90 per meter. The cost to subtract more than 30 meters of eaves will be around $50-80 per square meter.

The cost to remove eaves in Brisbane is slightly higher compared to the cost in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. To perform a removal in a small single story house in Brisbane, you can expect to pay around $2,500-$3500.

A contractor may charge you more if the eaves are located on the second level. As an example, to remove eaves in a large double story house in Brisbane, expect to pay around $4000-$6000.

Vinyl flooring

In Sydney, expect to pay a minimum fee of $500 to extract fibrous vinyl flooring from your property. The average cost to remove 0-20 meters of vinyl flooring in Sydney is around $100-$150. When you intend to remove a large amount of vinyl flooring, for example more than 80 meters, the average cost will be around $50-$100 per square meter.

While in Brisbane, the average price to remove 30 square meters is $3,000. Expect to pay at least $8,500 to remove 100 square meters of vinyl flooring in Brisbane.

Post-removal inspection

Following the completion of the project, the removalist can return to conduct a post-removal inspection to ensure the completion of the removal work. An additional post-removal inspection such as air monitoring can add up an additional fee of $1000-$2000.

Asbestos Watch – Prompt and reliable services for asbestos removal and testing in Australia

No part of asbestos removal and testing should be undertaken by anyone except licensed contractors. It is important to hire a competent contractor so that any traces of fibrous materials are removed in accordance with the strict Australian law and regulations.

Asbestos Watch can connect you with A-class licensed contractors that offer a wide range of services throughout Australia. We are home to professional contractors who are knowledgeable, exceptionally skilled and highly experienced. Whether you need ACM-related services in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or Adelaide, our endorsed contractors are ready to help!

We put your health and safety as our highest priority: this why we only connect you to professional and competent contractors who get the job done efficiently and safely. Our approved members strive to deliver high-quality services to overcome problems related to ACM in residential, commercial, and government settings.

We aim to bring you the most pleasant experience in finding the right contractor. Hiring a contractor through us will be fast and easy!

Extensive services provided by our A-class licensed contractors

Our approved members aim to deliver high-quality services at competitive prices. They have the right certification, training and capabilities to manage even the most complex or challenging projects. Our endorsed contractors have met the expectations of clients in the past by delivering the desired results for them.

They offer a broad range of services that are tailored to meet your needs. Services offered by our approved members are as follows:

  • Asbestos removal – a comprehensive service to eliminate fibrous materials from your property. Starting from a pre-inspection, transportation, and disposal of toxic waste in a legal waste facility
  • Asbestos testing – A thorough checking, sampling and testing via an accredited laboratory
  • Asbestos roof removal – Performing a complete roof removal or removing certain supporting structures of your damaged roof
  • Asbestos management plan – Creating an efficient, effective, and practical asbestos management plan or control plan at your premises. When required, they can also provide awareness training for the people residing in your building.
  • Air monitoring – Complete air monitoring, such background and personal air monitoring, upon your request
  • Consultant – Consultancy services for all needs, including performing an independent assessment and a survey
  • Soil remediation – Pre-inspection and a full removal of contaminated soil at your premises
  • Demolition – Creating a demolition plan and performing a safe demolition in accordance with applicable guideline
  • Emergency repair – Emergency services upon a natural disaster, such as storm or bushfire, or an incident

Be smart, be safe! Contact one or more contractors through Asbestos Watch today for your peace of mind.

Why choose our endorsed members?

Trusted A-class licensed contractors who will get job done right.

REAL RESULT

We only endorse reliable and competent asbestos contractors who are fully A-class licensed. You can get high-quality services from our trusted contractors in many places around Australia.

PEACE OF MIND

Our endorsed contractors have countless years of experience in asbestos removal industry. With expert hands, rest assured they will deliver the     desired results for you. 

REAL REVIEWS

We check all reviews and comments for their                 authenticity. You can trust they are credible; all contractors are reviewed and rated by people like you. 

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