When you think of home renovation projects, you probably don’t think of a popcorn ceiling. Unless, of course, you live in an old house that likely has a lot of renovations left to do. As it turns out, many people have these ceilings in their homes. They’re also pretty common in hotels and other buildings with an older design. Even if you don’t see one in your home now or can’t recall ever seeing one there before, this article will help you determine if your home has a popcorn ceiling that needs to be removed and replaced with something more modern and up-to-date. So What is a Popcorn Ceiling? A popcorn ceiling is more than just another name for a textured ceiling; it gets its name from the appearance of popcorn kernels when they are viewed from below while they are being installed. If your home has a popcorn ceiling that doesn’t also have some type of insulation directly beneath it then it almost certainly contains asbestos.
How To Tell If Popcorn Ceiling Has Asbestos?
Look for discoloration
One of the first signs that a popcorn ceiling has been compromised is discoloration underneath the surface. If the glue holding the ceiling in place becomes brittle, it can cause the whole ceiling to become brittle, discoloration, and chipping away. If you notice a change in the ceiling’s color, it could mean that the coating has begun to come off, potentially releasing toxic asbestos fibers into the air.
Check for deterioration
Another tell-tale sign of crumbling or decaying popcorn ceiling is crumbling or peeling. If you notice sections of the ceiling have already started to peel, it may be a sign that the chemicals in the plaster are breaking down. If the ceiling has begun to crumble, it could mean that the asbestos coating has started to break down, exposing occupants to toxic asbestos fibers. Once airborne, these fibers pose serious health risks, including an increased risk of lung cancer.
Identify the presence of asbestos in your home
If you’ve determined that your ceiling has become compromised, you’ll want to identify whether it contains asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in home construction and renovation projects throughout the 20th century. This naturally occurring mineral was used in everything from insulation to floor tiles to joint compounds. Unfortunately, the mineral has also been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Since popcorn ceilings are usually made with a mixture of asbestos and glue, the asbestos fibers can become airborne when the glue breaks down.
Confirm there is no asbestos in the ceiling you want to remove
If your ceiling has been confirmed to contain asbestos, you’ll want to make absolutely sure that you don’t disturb it further during renovations. If you start demolition work and break down the popcorn ceiling, you could potentially release asbestos fibers into the air, putting you and your loved ones at risk. If your home was built before the 1980s, there’s a good chance that both the ceiling and the insulation below it contain asbestos. To be safe, you’ll want to hire a professional to remove the ceiling and insulation.
Check for other sources of airborne asbestos in your home
However, if you’ve confirmed that your ceiling contains asbestos, chances are good that there are other sources of asbestos in your home, as well. To determine whether there are other sources of asbestos in your home, you’ll want to perform a full asbestos inspection. The asbestos inspection involves taking air samples in different rooms and areas of your home to determine whether or not you have a problem. If you find elevated levels of asbestos in your home, you’ll want to hire a professional to remove the asbestos before it can pose a health risk to you and your family.
Have a professional inspected and certified test result before renovation begins
If your home does contain asbestos, you’ll want to make absolutely sure that you hire a qualified asbestos removal contractor to remove the asbestos safely. Unfortunately, not all asbestos removal companies are created equally, and not all of them are qualified to work with asbestos. Make sure that you hire a company that is fully certified and trained to work with asbestos removal. Before they begin work, you’ll want to ensure that they’re following the proper protocol when it comes to dealing with asbestos. You can verify the contractor’s certification and licensing information through the EPA’s Licenses and Inspections (L&I) online database.
After removing the popcorn ceiling, have a professional inspect again
Popcorn ceilings are usually removed by applying a chemical compound to the surface of the ceiling that breaks down the glue holding the ceiling in place. Before applying the compound, it’s important to determine whether there are any asbestos fibers on the surface of the ceiling. Once the compound has been applied, the ceiling can be scraped or sanded away with little to no risk of asbestos exposure. However, if asbestos fibers are present on the surface of the ceiling, chemical exposure could occur. Before applying the compound and commencing with the demolition, you’ll want to have a professional inspector come out and check for asbestos. After the ceiling has been removed and the area has been cleaned, you’ll want to have another inspection to determine whether asbestos fibers have been removed.
Why Is A Popcorn Ceiling Dangerous?
- When the ceiling is being installed, it can be installed in a way that traps moisture and allows moisture to move up into the popcorn ceiling.
- The glue used to hold the popcorn ceiling together can contain asbestos, which means that when it comes time to remove the ceiling, asbestos fibers could become airborne and pose a health risk.
- When you install popcorn ceilings, you’re leaving behind a lot of dust and debris on your ceilings which can cause allergies and other health problems for your family.
- The insulation underneath your popcorn ceilings may not be as strong as it should be if there is not proper ventilation underneath the ceilings. This means that when moisture moves up into your ceilings from below, it will condensate onto the insulation which could lead to mold growth or leaks in your home if water gets in through these areas.
- If asbestos is present in your home, it could become airborne during demolition and pose a health risk to you and your family if you are exposed to it directly or indirectly during demolition work or if household items are contaminated by asbestos fibers after they are removed from the home (such as rugs or clothing).
- When popcorn ceilings are removed they leave behind tons of dust and debris which can cause allergy problems for some people who live in homes with these types of ceilings installed over them (especially people who have asthma).
- If you have popcorn ceilings in your home, they will look very run down and dirty, which isn’t a good look for your home.
- If you live in a home with popcorn ceilings and want to remove them, you can’t just go up to the ceiling and start tearing it down. You’ll need to call a professional who has the equipment and know-how to remove popcorn ceilings safely and quickly so that your home will not be damaged in any way during the process of removing these ceilings from your home.
If your home has an older design, there’s a good chance that it has a popcorn ceiling. If the ceiling doesn’t contain asbestos, you can leave it in place and just paint over it. If it does have asbestos in it, you’ll need to take special precautions when working with it to ensure that you don’t breathe the dangerous fibers.
Q. What is a Popcorn Ceiling?
A popcorn ceiling is an old-style ceiling design that is made up of small, decorative air-filled bubbles. The bubbles can be made of plastic, paper, or insulation foam. The name “popcorn” comes from the fact that the foam bubbles are round and “pop” when they are punctured by nails or screws. The name “ceiling” comes from the fact that these ceilings are often used over ceilings in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Q. What does the popcorn ceiling contain?
Popcorn ceilings contain a material called polystyrene (PS), which is a type of plastic. The PS is often used as insulation in older homes, especially in attics and crawlspaces. It can also be found in some ceiling tiles. The dust from the demolition of these ceilings can contain asbestos fibers.