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Popcorn Ceilings and Asbestos Content

© 2008 by Kelly Smith all rights reserved

Do your house have those tired old popcorn ceilings? They used to be very popular because they were easy to install and they saved residential building contractors buckets of money. But during the past few years, they've really fallen out of style. Here's a comprehensive article on how to remove popcorn ceilings.

Beware of Asbestos Content

Unfortunately, many home builders relied on adding asbestos content to their popcorn texture mix. They didn't realize the dangers of mesothelioma and other fiber-related health risks. The asbestos seemed like a no-brainer since the fiber content helped the mix hold together and it increased the fireproofing aspect of the home.

Accordingly, there is one thing that you must do before you attempt to remove any of your popcorn ceilings: have it analyzed for asbestos. There are plenty of labs that can do this for a very small fee.

Asbestos Abatement - Can You do It?

In a word; NO. You'll have to get a professional asbestos abatement contractor to do it if the test is positive. At first glance it might seem not so big a deal; don a respirator, get some bags and scrape away.

Actually, there are a couple of reasons that you shouldn't mess with it.

  • The powers-that-be make the rules very hard to play by - special suits, double bagging, etc.
  • Whoever performs the abatement is permanently responsible for it. That means, like, forever! If someone happens to get into the bags and gets sick, they're coming after you, like fleas on an old hound dog. Have you seen the size of some of those legal settlements? Whew!

Finishing the Drywall Ceiling

Once the old texture is gone, you'll need to bring the ceiling up to standards. Most likely you'll have some drywall taping and floating to do. Remember that you'll be applying the sheetrock compound above your head; keep your mouth closed!

Next, apply a new texture. Get as creative as you want. Finally, slap on a paint job and you're good to go!

Did you find this article helpful? Find more content and DIY information at ICFUMH Interior Project Articles.

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© 2007-2008 Kelly Smith All rights reserved.