Asbestos is a hazardous material that can be deadly if it is breathed in over long periods of time. While most asbestos is not harmful as long as the fibers do not rip or the material that contains it does not tear and fibers are not released into the air, it is still good to know if asbestos exists in your home or office. You can visually test for asbestos sometimes, but it’s important that you know exactly what you’re looking for. Many other building materials also look like asbestos, so you don’t want to get the two confused. Perhaps the best and most accurate method of asbestos testing involves using a kit which can usually be purchased from a home improvement store, or online. The kits usually cost around $20-$50 and are the most accurate way to be sure you have asbestos. A professional company who performs asbestos testing may charge anywhere from $200-$500, so it’s much more cost effective to try and do it yourself with a purchased kit first.
Asbestos testing kits require you to get a small sample of an area of materials that you feel may contain asbestos. This material is then mailed off to a lab where they have special asbestos testing equipment. The lab then tests for the presence of asbestos, as well as the level of severity. Once they are complete, the results are either mailed or emailed back to you so you can then take the next step. If you are not satisfied with the results or would like a second opinion, there are professionals who come to you and test the air and other bulk materials. This is especially recommended for larger buildings. If your home was built before 1978, it is definitely recommended that you test for asbestos, no matter which method you choose.