Do All Popcorn Ceilings have Asbestos

Do All Popcorn Ceilings have Asbestos? (Yes or No)

Do all popcorn ceilings have asbestos? No, not all popcorn ceilings have asbestos. Popcorn ceilings used in the 1950s to 1960s are likely to have asbestos while popcorn ceilings used in recent times will not have asbestos. It depends on how old your popcorn ceiling is.

Popcorn ceilings also called textured or acoustic ceilings are easily identified by their exceptional surface. It was a very well-known product in those days when asbestos was still in use. And as a result, many popcorn ceilings contain asbestos in them.

If you are worried about your popcorn ceiling and if asbestos is present in it, you can have samples of your asbestos tested by experts.

What are Popcorn Ceilings?

A popcorn ceiling is a ceiling with one of a variety of spray-on or paint-on treatments. These ceilings always have very bumpy surfaces. This is caused by minute particles of vermiculite or polystyrene that have a sound-deadening property on the ceilings.

Many parts of the world used this type of ceiling as the standard in many parts of homes. Its shiny, white appearance made it a widely sought-after material for use in homes.

Its capability to cover up imperfections and acoustical features added to the craving for popcorn ceilings in those years.

Popcorn ceilings are also known as “acoustic”, “stucco”, or “cottage cheese” ceilings. There was in high demand in the 1950s up until the 1980s.

Apart from the reasons listed above, popcorn ceilings also have the ability to absorb noise and resist flames. You can imagine how useful they were based on these features.

Of course, popcorn ceilings are no more in high demand among builders of houses, but houses constructed before 1980 still have these ceilings in them.

Do All Popcorn Ceilings Have Asbestos?

Nope, not all popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. If you use a popcorn ceiling that was made or installed pre-1980, there is a high chance of asbestos being present in it. You can have it tested professionally to confirm if asbestos is in it.

However, while testing for asbestos, home inspectors are not the best to call. Home inspectors do not check for asbestos. So find those that do it professionally and have them figure it out for you.

How Can You Tell if Popcorn Ceiling Has Asbestos?

To know that your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, you cannot tell by merely looking or observing the ceiling. However, if your popcorn ceiling was made pre-1980, there is a high probability that asbestos was used in its development.

As always, the recommended way to know if your popcorn ceiling has asbestos is by testing it professionally. Get a professional to take samples of your ceiling for testing and checks or you can take the samples of your popcorn ceiling yourself and send it to the lab for testing.

Be careful if you decided to extract the samples of your popcorn ceiling yourself though, you do not want to inhale dust that will affect you.

Make use of wet wipes to retrieve leftovers from the sample extraction. You can use newspapers to cover your floor if is carpeted so the dust doesn’t get to the carpet.

For accuracy, randomize the areas you collect the sampled from in your popcorn ceiling. Collect a minimum of four teaspoons from the ceiling for accuracy.

Make use of zip-lock bags to carry the samples and send them to the laboratory as soon as possible for testing. Ensure your hands are washed thoroughly after the whole process.

What to Do If You Find Asbestos in Your Popcorn Ceiling

If you have checked through professional testing and you find out that asbestos is present in your popcorn ceiling, you can carry out three things:

  • You can have it encapsulated
  • You can have it encased.
  • You can have it removed totally

This third process is however known as an abatement.

This encapsulation method is all about enclosing the popcorn ceiling that contains asbestos in order to prevent the dust from being formed.

There are some ways to go about this. The popcorn ceiling can be enclosed by new ceiling panels or a type of paint, vinyl paint can be used to spray the ceiling to act as a covering.

Please do not do it yourself at home unless you are trained for it. It is highly recommended that this encapsulation of asbestos be done by a professional in the field.

This is widely regarded as a safe way to deal with asbestos but it should be noted that if you need to redesign your house in any form and you need to do some work on the ceiling, you will need to address the asbestos again.

The recommended thing to do if you find asbestos in your popcorn ceiling is to remove it. This is an expansive and not-so-straightforward process though.

We do not advise you to remove asbestos yourself in your home. You could get exposed to it which will lead to damaging effects on your body. Call the professionals and let them handle it.

When Did they Stop Putting Asbestos In Popcorn Ceilings?

There is no universal answer to this. The answer to this depends on the country you live in. However, it has been reported in several journals that 1977 was the year putting of asbestos in popcorn ceilings was stopped.

Furthermore, manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers of asbestos-containing materials were allowed to keep selling their existing supplies until they finished so they do not run into a loss. And so, the use of asbestos was still in use in building projects until the late 1980s

Do You Have to Test for Asbestos when Removing the Popcorn Ceiling?

Asbestos can cause many health problems, therefore, if you are aware that your popcorn ceiling was made in the 1980s or before, you should test for asbestos before removing it. Asbestos is very dangerous, the dust formed from it is harmful to your health.

What Percent of Popcorn Ceilings have Asbestos?

Generally, 1% – 10% of popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, from wide research. Popcorn ceilings were widely used from the 1940s to the 1980s. The features of this material have been discussed already; they gave it more prominence in those days.

The use of asbestos was common in building materials, not excluding popcorn ceilings. It was resistant to fire, strong, and affordable.

How Much Does it Cost to have the Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Removed?

The cost of removal of asbestos popcorn ceilings depends on the size of the ceiling and the fees to dispose of them.

Once asbestos has been observed in your popcorn ceiling, it is imperative to have it removed as soon as possible.

Usually, it is advisable to get in touch with a professional asbestos removal company so they can do it with the proper safety guidelines.

The average cost is $1,123 to $2,872 , and an average of $1,994. The cost covers largely the materials needed to prevent further exposure to asbestos from the area. The size of your popcorn ceiling will play a big part in the final pricing.

Also, the manpower needed and machinery involved in the removal of the popcorn ceiling will be factored into the overall cost.

Final Thoughts

Asbestos popcorn ceilings were used in the previous century for building projects because they were cheap, fire-resistant, attractive, and noise-deadening. It was quite a discovery for homeowners.

Asbestos was discovered to be causing some serious health problems for people that come in contact with the dust formed from it. Diseases like lung cancer were not a rare experience for people who used asbestos in their popcorn ceilings. If you find out your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, you need to get it removed as soon as possible.