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Choosing an Asbestos Test Kit – What You Need to Look For


The word asbestos has the power to strike fear into homeowners. And it with good reason.

Asbestos causes chronic lung disease, which is called asbestosis.

Not only that, but it causes mesothelioma and a range of cancers.

Even though you used to be required to hire a company to test and check your home for asbestos, you can now do this at home.

Asbestos testing kits are available to the public.

They aren’t entirely DIY, but you do need to manage some of the processes.

An asbestos testing kit is often a cheaper route for testing for asbestos, and you can get the results quickly.

Testing kits are a great way to start the process.

Where The Asbestos Might Be

There are several places that asbestos may be within your home.

It isn’t as cut and dry as being in the walls, though.

As well as that, it is easy to mistake other materials like blown-in cellulose for asbestos.

But perhaps you have a gorgeous shingle on the exterior of your home, and asbestos couldn’t be there… right? Well, actually, it might be a type of asbestos cement shingle.

However, if you see a gray-brown or silver-gold color material that looks like loose insulation, there is a high chance that it will be an asbestos-based material.

Here are a few more places to be vigilant about:

  • Vinyl tiles
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Wallboard
  • Pipe cement
  • Mastic
  • Some exterior cement

How To Choose an Asbestos Testing Kit

Homeowners often choose not to test for asbestos because of the potential costs.

While many options can cost a considerable amount, an asbestos testing kit is usually a better value – by far.

Asbestos testing kits usually have a two-step process.

  1. After purchasing your asbestos testing kit, you will obtain the suspected asbestos from the areas in your home.
  2. You will then mail the bagged up material to the laboratory.
  3. The results will be mailed to you.

You will need to check the fee structure too.

Some asbestos kits have a single fee that covers the whole process, and other times there will be a small fee for the kit and then a slightly larger fee for the lab results.

Not all asbestos testing kits will include a return mailer, make sure you take this into consideration when choosing an asbestos kit.


You will need to collect the friable, solid, or dust samples of the material in order to send them to be tested.

You should wear disposable safety glasses, boot covers, gloves, and coveralls.

You’ll also need a respirator equipped with a HEPA filter – a good asbestos kit will have a range of these within the kit.

Friable (crumbly) materials and solids are easier to sample when it comes to asbestos testing kits; you’ll need to cut a small sample and place it into the bag that is provided, seal it and then mail it.

When it comes to dust samples. You’ll likely need to gather at least a teaspoon of the settled dust.

Dust sampling can be slightly more expensive because of the lab process.

When choosing an asbestos kit, consider which materials you need to test, and your personal safety.

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