If you live in a home or apartment built in the 1960s or 70s, chances are that you could have a popcorn ceiling over your head. During this era, builders discovered that they could lower overall construction costs by spraying on ceilings, resulting in the unattractive, bumpy texture affectionately referred to as “popcorn.” If modernizing your home is on your list of things to do, be sure that you find out beforehand whether your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, as many do. This can be done fairly easily by removing a piece of the “popcorn” and sending it to a laboratory for testing. Check your phone book for listings of asbestos testing and consulting.
Undisturbed, an asbestos-containing ceiling is not dangerous. Health risks result when asbestos dust is inhaled. For this reason, your best bet may be to leave the popcorn ceiling alone. If you decide to remove the texture, a professional asbestos abatement contractor should be hired to do any sanding and scraping work if asbestos is involved. Removal of popcorn ceiling textures that contain the carcinogen will have to be done in a manner that involves sequestering the dust from other areas of the home, and detailed clean-up.
Even if no asbestos is present, you will definitely want to follow proper procedures for removal of the texture, including wearing a face mask and draping areas to minimize dust.
For more tips and a step-by-step “how to,” watch the following video: Removal of Popcorn Ceilings