Along with bathroom carpeting and sunken living rooms, popcorn ceilings are another retro home trend that’s fallen out of fashion. Even though they lost their popularity in the 1980s, you can still find them in many homes today.
If you’re tired of those bumpy cottage cheese ceilings, you might want to scrape them off yourself.
But, popcorn ceiling removal is more complicated than you might think. Here’s what you need to know about popcorn ceiling removal before you start.
If you plan to go the DIY route, know that it’s extremely messy. Make sure to wear a respiratory mask and cover everything in the room with a drop cloth. Scraping the ceiling will release a fine white powder that you’ll have to clean up when you’re done.
Some DIY guides recommend spraying the ceiling with water to capture some of that dust, but it can make removal messier.
If you’re not up for the hassle of removal, you can cover your popcorn ceiling instead of removing it. You can try the skim coat drywall method where you cover the texture with drywall joint compound and a squeegee.
You can also cover it with ship lap or wood planks, pressed tin, or drywall. This will add to the room’s design without the mess.
If your home predates the 1980s, your ceiling might contain asbestos, a heat-resistant natural fiber that can cause cancer. Before you start a DIY removal, you need to get your ceiling tested first.
If it tests positive, you’ll have to hire an asbestos abatement contractor who can safely remove it for you.
Popcorn ceilings also go by the name “acoustic” or “stipple” ceiling. Either way, these are ceilings made with various paint-on or spray-on treatments. The term “popcorn” came from the fact that they had bumps all over them, making them look like cottage cheese.
Textured ceilings like these were very common back in the mid-1940s up to at least 1980. They became popular because their “bumpiness” made it easy to hide surface flaws. They were also affordable and easy to apply.
The Clean Air Act of 1970 was the first attempt by the United States to regulate asbestos. Under this law, asbestos became classified as a hazardous air pollutant.
However, the law was only successful in banning some types of asbestos-containing products. Some of these products include spray-applied asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). The list includes the treatments used in creating popcorn ceilings.
Note as well that the law’s application on textured ceilings only took effect in 1977. This means that there were still ACMs already manufactured before the Act. That’s why researchers say popcorn ceilings with asbestos can be in homes built up to 1980
A 2018 housing report revealed that half of US homes had been around before 1980. It also showed that the construction of 38% of owner-occupied homes (in 2016) dates back to 1970 or earlier.
With that said, the first thing to do if you have popcorn ceilings is to date your home’s construction. If it has been around on or before 1980, its textured ceilings may have asbestos in them
Long-term asbestos exposure is hazardous and life-threatening. It can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. In addition, the CDC says that lung problems caused by this mineral can also lead to heart problems.
All that should be enough reason to make you concerned about your textured ceilings.
However, there are several other reasons that you want to remove popcorn ceilings. Let’s take a look at some of them.
The bumps and lumps in popcorn ceilings trap more dust and debris than smooth surfaces. Now, keep in mind that no matter how much you clean your home, outdoor air can still affect indoor air quality. For starters, two-thirds of indoor dust actually consists of outdoor dust.
A lot of those airborne pollutants can then collect in your textured ceilings. As if that’s not enough, the rough surface of such ceilings makes them a pain to clean. All these can then result in your indoor air quality suffering.
As such, it’s best to consider hiring professionals to remove your popcorn ceilings. This way, you can replace your dirt-catching ceilings with cleaner, smoother surfaces. Most importantly, this can help you get rid of the materials in your home that may have asbestos.
With the dangers that asbestos brings, most homebuyers don’t like textured ceilings. Even if they do purchase such properties, they still end up removing the ceilings.
So, if you plan to sell your home, you should consider getting rid of its popcorn ceilings first. You’ll still be able to sell your home even with textured ceilings, but you can expect buyers to negotiate. They’re sure to ask you to lower your selling price if they see that your home has popcorn ceilings.
There you have it, the guide that answers your question, is there asbestos in popcorn ceilings? Now that you know, you should decide on a plan that safely deals with your textured ceilings. Start by getting them tested for asbestos so that you can decide if you want to get rid of them completely.
In any case, JCN Painting & Drywall LLC can help you deal with your popcorn ceilings. Our team of painting and drywall experts can remove or cover them for you. Give us a call now, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out the best way to address your textured ceiling woes.
Transform the style of your home and keep it cleaner. But, it’s a messy task that’s often better left to the pros.
If you’re looking for popcorn ceiling removal, drywall installation, or drywall repair, we can help.
At J C N Painting & Drywall, we provide a range of painting and drywall services to the Reno area.
Contact us today to get an estimate or learn more about our services