Popcorn ceilings are not only an eyesore they are potentially hazardous to your health. These types of ceilings also referred to as cottage cheese ceiling or stucco ceilings, were typically installed from 1950’s – 1980’s. They were popular because builders could use it to hide imperfection in the ceilings with a minimal of cost. The Clean Air Act of 1978 banned these types of ceiling because of the asbestos found.
Do all popcorn ceilings have asbestos? They only way to know if you have asbestos in your ceiling is to test it. You can purchase a testing kit and submit the samples to a testing lab, or you can hire a certified professional skilled at handling asbestos.
Care is needed when handling the material. It needs to be sprayed with water and gently scrape in 2-3 areas to get a small sample, and seal it in a zip lock bag. Keeping in mind these tiny fibers will become airborne and can be inhaled.
If you ceiling is in good shape you won’t need to worry about health causing fibers floating around your home. If your ceiling has been painted, there is a good chance that the asbestos has been sealed in. On the other hand if you notice some damage to the area, it is worth getting checked out. Either by doing it yourself, or hiring a professional to have it tested.
If you decide to remove the asbestos popcorn ceiling by yourself be prepared for a physically demanding job which could be potentially dangerous. You will need a respirator, protective clothing which can be disposed of, and eye protection. Once you have it all removed, it needs to be sealed and taken to a waste disposal site. Working on ceiling is a tough job, as you are working over your head. Care needs to be taken around wiring and electrical outlets, when using water to wet the area. Overall it is just a nasty job to undertake.
This is the type of job best left to professionals. Since it is not only physically demanding, but also a health hazard, it may not be the type of DIY job for the typical homeowner.
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