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Can I hire friends and family to help remove asbestos?

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QuestionWe're planning a fairly major remodel and upgrade and will be removing the popcorn ceilings throughout the house. We've had the popcorn tested and it does contain asbestos so I am gearing up for the removal process. It's going to be a big project and I'd like some help. Can I hire friends and family to help remove asbestos?

AnswerIt really takes at least three individuals to manage a popcorn ceiling removal if asbestos is present: two to actually remove the popcorn ceiling and a third person to remain outside the work area to assist with tools and other supplies. This prevents the other two workers from removing and discarding their disposable clothing and putting on new each time they exit or enter the work area.

Homeowners cannot hire anyone to perform, or assist in, removal of a popcorn ceiling except for a state-certified asbestos contractor; however, they can perform the work themselves and receive assistance from live-in family members.

Having said that, however, I strongly recommend that you turn the popcorn removal over to the pros. Asbestos abatement has extremely stringent requirements and asbestos exposure is risky business. Even performing minor repairs yourself is not recommended since the improper handling of asbestos materials can create a hazard where none existed.

I encourage you to carefully read all the Q&As here, check out all the links to read what others have to offer—especially the information and regulations on the EPA website—and consult your local/regional/state air quality authorities about the applicable regulations before you begin the 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.

To get the whole picture, I recommend that you purchase my informative article, Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings, Purchase this article to learn about asbestos in popcorn ceiling and how to patch them!which describes how to determine if asbestos is present and the steps a professional takes to decide if removal is the correct course of action. These same steps apply to homeowners facing the same decisions.

Included are links to government and state agencies where you can get more information on the subject, 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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