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Old 12-23-2015, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default Popcorn ceiling Asbestos test/ painting

Sorry if this is the wrong section but I didn't know what other section would be appropriate.

Checked out this job today (it's a rental) and it has these ugly old popcorn ceilings. The living room (pics below) is starting to crack and come down.

The owner just had a guy there prior to my arrival to check it out and work on a bid for removing the ceiling in the living room. The rest of the house, less one bedroom, has the sam ceilings.

Having arrived after the other guy left, I didn't get a chance to speak with him. The owner relayed to me what he had said which was that he was unsure whether it had Asbestos and that the rest of the ceilings should not be painted because it would make removal of them (in the future, should the owners choose) more costly.

My partner and I were thinking of possibly removing the living room ceiling ourselves, should the ceiling not contain Asbestos. Is there a way to test a piece without having to send it to a lab?

If the ceilings do contain Asbestos then we'd led a specialist come and do the removal of the material in the living room.

Regarding the rest of the ceilings - is what the guys BS or not? - Does painting the popcorn ceilings (I'd using a sprayer) make it more difficult/costly to remove in the future?


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Old 12-23-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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As far as I know you have to take it to a lab. I've never seen a home testing kit. However I just had a test done for $35 at a local lab so no big deal
Yes it is harder to remove them if they are painted. The paint keeps the water from penetrating as well. I've heard flat paint isn't as bad for stripping later, but paints with a sheen are much harder.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:13 PM   #3
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If it does contain asbestos, another option is to put up new sheetrock right over the existing popcorn thereby encapsulating it. Our sheetrock guy does this fairly often and it beats having to have it removed by a firm specializing in removal.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon T View Post
As far as I know you have to take it to a lab. I've never seen a home testing kit. However I just had a test done for $35 at a local lab so no big deal
Yes it is harder to remove them if they are painted. The paint keeps the water from penetrating as well. I've heard flat paint isn't as bad for stripping later, but paints with a sheen are much harder.
Yeah, we'd be using flat, if we painted it.


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If it does contain asbestos, another option is to put up new sheetrock right over the existing popcorn thereby encapsulating it. Our sheetrock guy does this fairly often and it beats having to have it removed by a firm specializing in removal.
The ceilings are curved. The dining room has those wood beams/trim that has 6 square sections of ceiling, so sheetrocking it would mess with the look of the trim.

I guess it will have to be tested. Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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How old is the house? Is the material blown onto a sheetrock ceiling? (It looks that way from the pics). Around here, asbestos content in a residential structure is very unusual, with the exception of exterior asbestos siding.

Get it tested and carry on from there.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:11 PM   #6
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What's the age of the house? From what I can see in the pics it looks like asbestos. Popcorn with asbestos usually likes a little more stringyer (I made that word up) it's hard to describe but I can normally tell the difference by looking at it.

I've removed a ridiculous amount of popcorn ceilings that have been painted over with flat paint before. Not a problem at all. Now if you go and paint them semi whoever removes it in the future will be cursing you out.

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Old 12-23-2015, 07:51 PM   #7
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I'm not sure of the house's age but I'd guess 60s at the latest. Prop 40s or 50s.

I'm gonna guess its not sheetrock. Walls have a texture to them like lath and plaster - im not sure if if ia L&P though. The owner's father sprayed the ceilings to cover cracks, instead of patch them.

Here is another picture
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:04 PM   #8
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A house that old, it's certainly possible.

Bottom line is get it tested. Ceiling material like that typically had a low asbestos content (4-5%).
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedoola View Post
The ceilings are curved. The dining room has those wood beams/trim that has 6 square sections of ceiling, so sheetrocking it would mess with the look of the trim.

I guess it will have to be tested. Thanks.
I can't picture what you are describing, but I'll mention flat gypsum wallboard panels can be installed curved and arched and sculpted any which way, even before any mudding is done. And then there are all the coved crown and endless rounded details that are common plaster finishes.

But maybe none of that applies to your specific situation.

Last edited by I paint paint; 12-23-2015 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:28 AM   #10
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I think he's referring to coffered ceiling. If that's the case, fit drywall in the squares and trim it out with cove or crown...as long as the wood isn't popcorn'd.

Arches can be tricky. They do make flexible board but it's not as widely available. Wetting the board is another trick, but can compromise the board and take a while for MC to drop. 1/4" board is very flexible, but I'm not sure about its suitability for a ceiling install. IRC code has language on drywall requirements. I believe 1/2 or 5/8" is all that's mentioned, but I would have to verify.

There is no DIY test kit, must be done in a lab
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:44 PM   #11
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What about doubling up on 1/4'' board?

We had it tested: Came back negative. We're going to remove popcorn the ceiling.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:11 PM   #12
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In order to save from starting a new thread here it goes... 1000sq ft popcorn ceiling the customer wants removed. We painted six years ago when she "quit " smoking. All ceilings and walls were coverstained and painted with 400 flat. Is it possible to get the ceilings wet enough to scrape or will the oil primer stop the water from softening the popcorn. Any advice or past experience would help.


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Old 10-03-2016, 09:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr.sr. painting View Post
In order to save from starting a new thread here it goes... 1000sq ft popcorn ceiling the customer wants removed. We painted six years ago when she "quit " smoking. All ceilings and walls were coverstained and painted with 400 flat. Is it possible to get the ceilings wet enough to scrape or will the oil primer stop the water from softening the popcorn. Any advice or past experience would help.


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Sounds like you sealed it pretty good.
Get a big sanding head, some tuff gritty paper and sand away. Then skim it.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:54 AM   #14
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I've scraped a few popcorn ceilings over the years. FWIW, here's a few things I've learned:
-I'll usually run hot water through my airless to spray the ceiling, (much faster than a pump-up sprayer).
-Previously rolled ceilings are much tougher to strip than previously sprayed)
-Previously painted ceilings that were rolled with oil are the toughest to remove, but I'll always start at the path of least resistance by trying to dry-scrape, then wet scrape, but if water can't penetrate the existing coating, I'll then try to score the ceilings before spraying water, and if that doesn't work well, I'll try to back roll the water to aid in absorption...and if all else fails, sanding it off as a last resort, (vacuum attached sander is highly recommended).
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:55 AM   #15
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http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/i...opcornoff.html

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Old 10-05-2016, 10:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
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A house that old, it's certainly possible.

Bottom line is get it tested. Ceiling material like that typically had a low asbestos content (4-5%).
Interesting. Around here if you're above 0.5%, addressing any substance is very highly regulated and removal is really expensive.
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