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Identify & Remove Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling



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What is Popcorn Ceiling?

A popcorn ceiling has a bumpy surface that is created by tiny particles that began gaining popularity in the 1950s. Their bumpy nature and white appearance allowed them to hide imperfections, improve acoustical characteristics, and be fire-resistant. The tiny particles that make the bumps are currently made out of vermiculite or polystyrene, but before asbestos products were found to be dangerous and eventually banned in 1978, white asbestos fibers were used to create the bumpy surface of popcorn ceilings. This caused popcorn ceilings to become less popular since the 1980s. Learn what asbestos popcorn ceiling looks like, how to test it, and how to remove it from your house.

The United States Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act (CAA) is a federal law that aims to protect public health from hazardous air pollutants. Asbestos was first identified as a hazardous air pollutant under this law and the EPA started governing the usage and disposal of asbestos. The clean air act started in 1973, but it wasn’t until 1978 that all spray-applied surface materials were banned (popcorn ceilings). However, popcorn ceilings were very popular, and in order to minimize economic hardships, the government allowed for existing inventory to be used. Therefore, some popcorn ceiling installations after 1978 may have contained asbestos. It is estimated that popcorn ceilings installed as late as the mid-1980s may contain asbestos.

Why is Asbestos Bad?

Asbestos is bad because it can be broken down into very small fibers that can stay airborne when disturbed. Therefore, they are often breathed in and can travel deep into a person’s lungs. Once they attach to lung tissue, they can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious diseases. These fibers are too small to see, feel, or taste, making them dangerous when disturbed and airborne. No amount of asbestos is considered safe, and any product containing greater than 1% of asbestos is considered “asbestos-containing.” If the asbestos is not disturbed, it is not causing immediate danger. However, you should remove asbestos popcorn ceilings if you know you have them to prevent any issues should they become disturbed.

What Does Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Look Like?

Since popcorn ceilings were so popular, once asbestos was banned, manufacturers tried to produce popcorn ceilings that looked identical to the asbestos-containing popcorn ceilings. In addition, asbestos fibers are virtually invisible. Therefore, it is impossible to determine if popcorn ceiling has asbestos or not simply by looking at it.

Likelihood of Asbestos in Popcorn Ceiling?

The likelihood of your popcorn ceiling containing asbestos is determined by the date the house, or ceiling was made. If the house was built between the 1930s to 1980s and has a popcorn ceiling, there is a high likelihood that your popcorn ceiling has asbestos.

How To Test Popcorn Ceiling For Asbestos?

A popcorn ceiling can be tested for asbestos. To do so, a small sample of the ceiling needs to be scraped into a plastic bag and sent to an EPA-accredited lab. While this can be done by anyone, it is strongly advised to have a professional asbestos remediation company perform this testing. Any disturbance of the asbestos will cause airborne particles, which are dangerous. Professional asbestos remediation companies can do this safely and correctly, ensuring you and your family stay safe. This test will determine if you have asbestos in your ceiling or not to help you decide if you need to remove the asbestos popcorn ceiling.

How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling With Asbestos?

To remove the popcorn ceiling with asbestos, you need to hire professional asbestos abatement professionals. When removing the dry popcorn ceiling, you will contaminate your home and expose your family to airborne asbestos fibers if it is not done properly. They ensure that personal protective equipment is used for their employees and that no airborne particles are left after the popcorn ceiling is removed.

How Much Does it Cost to Remove Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling?

To provide you with an accurate estimate of the cost of removing the asbestos popcorn ceiling, please contact us. We will first verify your popcorn ceiling has asbestos and then walk you through the next steps to have us safely remove the asbestos popcorn ceiling. Contact us today!

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M.A.A.C. is fully licensed with the MN Department of Health,
license AC 162 Asbestos Contractor License.

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