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Reviewing Home Test Kits for Asbestos

by Guest Post on May 23, 2010

If you have an older home, you might be at risk of asbestos exposure due to some of the building materials that were commonly used when building homes. Many homes and structures that were built in the 1970s and 1980s often had asbestos in many of the building materials used, including roofing materials, piping wraps, tiles, and insulation.

Asbestos was used to add strength to building materials, as well as to provide fire resistance and insulation. However, having these types of materials in your home can be a serious health risk, if not handled properly.

Home Testing versus Professional Testing

While some people feel that you should always have asbestos testing done by professionals, many test kits are now available that can help you do this important testing in your own home. Using these types of tests is less expensive than having the tests done professionally, and it's more convenient. Additionally, even if an asbestos test is negative, calling in the experts immediately could raise a red flag that could ultimately cause you a lot of added trouble and expense. As such, many people prefer to do a test themselves, and then contact the professionals if the tests come back positive for asbestos.

Choosing a Test Kit

Your typical home asbestos testing kit often contains gloves, protective coverings for the nose and mouth, sample bags to contain the suspect materials, and instructions explaining how to collect the samples. Once the samples are collected, you will be sending them into a lab per the instructions in the kit. Make sure to seal the sample securely in the sample bag, and label it clearly as the contents. If a test comes back positive, you should then immediately contact an expert, and never try to remove the asbestos from your home yourself.

When you choose a home testing kit for asbestos, you should research the various kits on the market carefully to determine if you are getting a good deal, as prices do vary on these kits. One of the things you need to check is whether the lab fees are going to be included in the price of the kit, and how many samples you can submit for testing. Most often, you will find that in addition to the cost of the home testing kit, you will also have to pay a $15 or $20 fee for the actual testing when you submit the samples.

Testing Without a Test Kit

You might also want to compare these prices to what labs will charge for samples that are collected and submitted without the purchase of a testing kit. You can find lists of labs online that do this sort of testing, and in fact, the U.S. government maintains a list of labs that are accredited to perform asbestos testing. However, many labs prefer not to deal with private individuals, so you might find that you need to pay as much as $20 to $40 for testing unless you find one that will give you the same price as industrial customers, which is usually in the $6 to $10 range.

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