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Should we consider removing our popcorn ceiling?

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QuestionOur home was built in 1976 and has "popcorn" ceilings throughout. We'd like to update our home's interior by removing them. What should we consider as we plan our renovation project?

Answer"Popcorn ceiling" is what acoustical ceilings are commonly called due to their appearance. These ceilings were a fad and I personally believe they were popular with contractors because they helped to speed up the wallboard/taping process. Because popcorn ceilings can cover a multitude of sins, tapers didn't have to do a super job.

However, if you are considering removing your popcorn ceilings—STOP!

A lot of popcorn ceilings installed as late as 1986 contain asbestos, even though the application of sprayed-on asbestos-containing coatings was banned in 1978. It's entirely possible that your ceiling contains an asbestos level of 3 to 8 percent, and that's enough to raise big red flags.

Before you attempt to remove your popcorn ceiling, familiarize yourself with asbestos, the correct procedures or handling it, and how its improper handling can affect your health.

For your safety—and the safety of your family—it is important that you treat your popcorn ceiling as though it contains asbestos until analysis by an independent laboratory proves otherwise. Even taking a small sample for laboratory analysis requires protective measures. The results of the test will help you determine a proper course of action. Removal may not be your best solution.

I encourage you to read all the Q&As here carefully, check out all the links to read what others have to offer, and consult your local/regional/state air quality authorities about the applicable regulations before you start a popcorn removal project.

I've been in the construction field for over 25 years and wish I'd known then what I know now about asbestos. I would not have tackled a lot of projects because of the asbestos content of so many building products.

If you're addressing asbestos in your home, e.g., you want to remove your popcorn ceiling, I recommend that you purchase my informative 10-page article, Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings.Purchase this article to learn about asbestos in popcorn ceiling and how to patch them!

In addition to a thorough discussion of the potential asbestos risk presented by popcorn ceilings, the article includes information about asbestos abatement procedures as well as links to government and state agencies where you can get more information, locate state-certified professional asbestos contractors for removal, and find other documents that address removing the asbestos yourself.

As an added bonus, Patching a Popcorn Ceiling has been added to Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings to help those who need to make repairs to their ceilings. The process is about the same whether the ceiling contains asbestos or not; however, for your own peace of mind, you still need to determine if your ceiling contains asbestos, and the article describes procedures to follow to safely take a sample for testing.

Click to Purchase Don't forget—before starting this project get your informative 10-page PDF article titled Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings and Patching a Popcorn Ceiling. To order your downloadable .pdf printable copy, click here or click the purchase button to the left!

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Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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