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What do I do with our asbestos test results?

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QuestionWe recently had our popcorn ceilings tested and we learned that they contain asbestos. What do I do with the results?

AnswerIf the laboratory results reveal less than 1 percent asbestos in the sample, you may want to repeat the tests or send another sample to a different laboratory for a separate analysis.

If the tests reveal the presence of asbestos, no matter how small the percentage, carefully consider your options.

The presence of asbestos in your popcorn ceilings doesn't mean it has to be removed. Intact and undisturbed, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) such as your popcorn ceiling don't pose a health risk. You can continue to live safely in your home provided you don't do anything to the ceilings. Asbestos only becomes a problem when the material containing asbestos is damaged, disturbed, or deteriorated and its fibers become airborne.

Asbestos removal is often not the best course of action to reduce exposure. You may want to consider less rigorous alternatives to removal; however, removal does offer some benefits.

Asbestos removal will allow you to creatively finish the ceiling without the worry of disturbing asbestos fibers, and any future work can then be done without worrying about asbestos. Additionally, proper removal of the asbestos ceiling will enhance the value of your home.

If you decide to encase or remove the asbestos, then you must carefully follow the correct and legally specified asbestos abatement procedures as you proceed with your project.

If you are considering a home improvement project and asbestos is a factor, e.g., removing a popcorn ceiling, 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 begin the project.

Asbestos abatement has stringent requirements. When you finish your research, you may decide to turn it over to the pros, something I heartily recommend.

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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