When is Asbestos Testing Required?

when is asbestos testing required

If you’re planning any sort of commercial demolition or renovation project within the state of Wisconsin, state law requires you to follow four steps to protect the public from asbestos exposure: inspection, notification, removal, and disposal. Permit exemption review and compliance inspection fees range from $135 to $1,350 and are calculated mainly depending on the size of the project.

Asbestos Inspection

The owner or operator must use a licensed inspector to thoroughly inspect the affected area or part of the area where demolition/renovation will occur, to check for the presence of asbestos.


Any demolition project that contains any material that contains asbestos, regardless of how small the amount, is subject to state regulations outlined in Chapter NR 447, Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Under the state regulations, you must:

Provide written notice of intent to demolish or renovate, either through the U.S. Postal Service, a commercial delivery service or by hand. The notice must be delivered at least 10 working days before any removal work begins, and at least 10 working days before the end of the calendar year preceding the year for which notice is being given. It should be given as early as possible, but no later than the following day if the operation is an emergency demolition.

The notice must include the following information:

Whether the notice is an original or a revised notification
The name, address, and phone number for the owner and the removal contractor owner
Whether it’s demolition or renovation
Description of the facility or the affected part of the facility, including the square footage, number of floors, age, and present use
Procedures and analytical methods to detect asbestos.

For Demolitions:

The facility must be subject to federal asbestos NESHAP regulations, as well.

Examples of these facilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Multi-family units with four or fewer dwellings created as part of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation road project
  • Bridges
  • Tunnels
  • Churches
  • Indoor Malls
  • Amusement Parks
  • Parking Garages

A single, isolated residential structure with four or fewer dwellings is exempt unless the project involves more than one single structure, or where the structure is part of a larger planned demolition project.

For Renovations:

You must need to remove at least:

  • 260 linear feet of pipe insulation;
  • 160 square feet, or 5,580 square feet of total area, of asphalt roofing removed with a roofing saw; or
  • 35 cubic feet off of facility components (you should only use this measurement if you are unable to determine how much asbestos is on a component, such as the floor, ceiling, or pipes.)

Asbestos Removal

Contractors are required to wet the asbestos-containing material to prevent visible emissions of fibers. Simply not seeing fibers is not enough to determine the material is wet enough. If wetting the material would substantially damage equipment, this is not required, so long as the owner can provide a sufficient explanation. In situations where wetting is not possible, an exhaust/ventilation and collection system will be required to collect the particulate, and should not show any visible emissions. Written approval from the state must be obtained before the contractor begins the project.

All asbestos-containing material must remain wet enough while it is collected, contained, and treated for disposal and transported. It must be stored in air-tight containers to prevent leakage. Any materials too large to fit in a container without breaking it down further can be wrapped in an air-tight wrap.

Asbestos Disposal

As soon as possible after collection, the material should be taken to a state-approved waste disposal site. Any materials that contain at least 1% asbestos, regardless of size or original source are subject to this requirement.

Disposal within the city of Milwaukee, depending on the amount, may also require a city permit.

Failure to comply with these regulations represents a public health hazard and places the owner at risk for citations. Citations can range from $500 to $5,000 per violation. Repeat offenses within five years are grounds for double penalties.

If you have any questions or you’d like to avoid the asbestos hassle altogether, contact Wing Three asbestos removal services. We handle any size residential or commercial asbestos removal job.