A professional  “asbestos sampling” or known commonly as an asbestos test, describes a process of taking samples of building materials, testing them for asbestos and providing a report. This is acceptable to all New Zealand authorities, stating whether or not, asbestos actually exists in that material.

The eventual report to the building owner is an important document to preserve the inherent value of the property. The sampling almost always involves a laboratory test so that scientific evidence supports all comments in the report. A sampling might be undertaken on one wall, or it could involve several locations in one building, such as the roof tiles, exterior panels and interior linings. It could be a small exercise or an extensive one.

Generally it is more economic to get sampling completed throughout a building to an agreed schedule, rather than ask for ad hoc samplings (see below for advice on cost management). In most cases, the samples taken are not large - so that no further damage is caused to your property.

The sampling process usually leads on to the next stage, which is the completion of a building owner’s obligations under the new regulations; an “asbestos management plan.” This usually requires participation of the building owner who can advise how a time frame of remediation can be managed financially. This time frame can be balanced against the need for perpetual human safety.

What does it cost for an asbestos test?

At Chemcare we have found that most building owners agree with the need to make their buildings safe from asbestos risk. But they also need to know what the cost will be.

We understand that very few building owners can afford sudden and complete replacement of asbestos products if they exist. And very often, there is no need for such sudden and costly replacement.

So Chemcare’s  approach is as follows:

  1. We can give a non-binding range of cost estimates by telephone or email once we have some details of the structure. For example:

    • The property’s size (in total square metres).

    • The approximate year it was built.

    • Some obvious structural information such as type of roof, type of exterior cladding and interior linings

  2. If an owner wishes to discuss further, this can advance, upon invitation, to a contractual quote, which would be the foundation of our service.

  3. Sometimes we will not be able to give a quote to the final dollar because further knowledge can only be gained while our certified personnel are on site. But we will make the areas of uncertainty also clear before work begins. And the owner will have a say in how these are handled.

    What areas of a building can asbestos testing cover?

It is wisest to assume the full monty- a thorough inspection of the building. And this is likely to be (working from top to bottom):


  1. Roofing materials

  2. Downpipes and spouting

  3. Ceiling insulation materials

  4. Exterior cladding

  5. Interior ceiling and wall linings

  6. Wall insulation

  7. Floors and floor coverings

  8. Foundation and footings.

  9. Joinery (windows and doors)

  10. Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry

  11. Electrical and plumbing coverings

Some of theses listed can be easily eliminated because of materials which obviously do not contain asbestos.

In larger factories, warehouses, offices and public service buildings, the checklist is still a logical place to begin. But of course the scale is larger and additional materials my require assessment.

Read more → The areas of your home most likely to contain asbestos

Questions to ask before getting an asbestos test

Chemcare recommends building owners to answer for themselves, two questions before contacting an asbestos sampling and removal specialist.

1.   Was the property or structure built before the year 1990?

2.   If renovation is about to get under way, is the location of asbestos already known and recorded?

Read more → 7 questions to ask before getting an asbestos test or removal

If you have any questions, be sure to contact the friendly team at Chemcare.

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