To collect and test asbestos samples on your own legally, you must first own the property and live in a single-family home. Bodily protection and properly sealing the area that may contain asbestos are required to prevent possible spread. Collecting and testing asbestos samples without professional help is not recommended, as home kits are not guaranteed to deliver conclusive results. If you do not fulfill the requirements, the property owner can do so on your behalf.
First, wear disposable gloves, eye protection and a face mask to lessen the risk of physically contacting the asbestos fibers. Turning off the home's heating-and-cooling system is also necessary. Ensure that the suspected area is sealed off from others in the home, and do not allow anyone to assist you or stay in the vicinity. Lay disposable plastic sheeting around the flooring where asbestos may be exposed. Next, use a spray bottle containing water to moisten the area directly surrounding the possible asbestos source. This better prevents loose, dry particles from becoming airborne. After collecting the samples, place them into a clear, secure plastic container and label it. Use duct tape to patch the hole, and wash your hands. Finally, send the samples to a specially qualified laboratory even if visual clues seemingly confirm the presence of asbestos.
How many samples to collect depends on how large the home is. Buildings that are less than 1,000 square feet typically require three samples, while those between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet need five. Any larger dwelling requires seven samples.