Builders in the past had absolute faith in popcorn ceilings and they remained all the rage even a half century ago, all across America. The decision to install popcorn ceilings taken many years ago is now impacting homeowners who still have to live with that type of ceiling but very much concerned about its asbestos content that poses serious health hazards. The main attraction of popcorn ceilings was affordability and good looks that made it a staple choice for the majority of homeowners who could install beautiful ceilings comparable with expensive hand-troweled plaster ceilings at a fraction of the cost.
Although named popcorn ceilings, it had a closer resemblance to cottage cheese and could hide the imperfections of the ceiling besides providing noise dampening effects that created noise-free interiors and possessed fire-resisting properties. However, the once-ubiquitous ceilings that had become an integral part of American culture no more hold its appeal today because the design tends to make room styles look extremely outdated. Added to it is a problem of asbestos presence in the ceilings that compel homeowners to look toward Philadelphia Popcorn Ceiling Solution.
The threat of asbestos
Before embarking on a project for replacing the popcorn ceiling, you must first ascertain if it contains asbestos and the risks that can arise from it due to wrong by handling. In 1978, the American government declared asbestos a banned substance due to its health hazards, but its use continued due to the existing inventories that lasted for a few more years. Some manufacturers kept selling popcorn ceilings that contained asbestos while some others switched over to paper fiber from that year only. This continued till the mid-80s, and these ceilings, when disturbed, releases microscopic fibers of asbestos that can cause lung diseases, including lung cancer, if inhaled.
To know if your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, you can test it by carefully collecting a scraped sample in a plastic bag and test it in a laboratory accredited by EPA. Although homeowners might be able to remove popcorn ceilings, engaging a professional company to do the job would ensure its safe removal. For the removal of asbestos in a safe manner, contact your local waste authority.
In this article, we will discuss the ways of coping with the asbestos threat in popcorn ceilings.
A popcorn ceiling is not dangerous if it is not disturbed or damaged. If you want to upgrade the looks of the ceiling by giving it a fresh coat of paint if it does not show any signs of sagging, shedding or flaking. By using a brush with a super-soft bristle attached to a pole, you can gently clean all dust and then apply a stain-blocking primer to the ceiling to prevent bleeding of watermarks and stains. After drying, use a paint sprayer or a thick nap roller to apply paint by ensuring that it adequately covers every nook and crannies.
Patch it up
Unsightly stains or cracks in the popcorn ceiling create an ugly sight, and you can patch it up, but it can be difficult to match it with the existing texture and color. Getting a spray-on aerosol can of ceiling patch products to spray it on the affected area or applying the containerized pre-mixed product with a brush can cover up the damage. However, you must not use a thinned drywall compound used for texturing new ceilings today for the patchwork because it contains water that can make the ceiling come off.
Cover it up
To avoid the hassles of removing the popcorn ceiling, you can keep it under wraps in as-is condition and cover it up by installing drywall panels, rigid foam ceiling tiles or even wood planking just under it. You can install decorative foam ceiling panels with adhesive, but to install wood and drywall, you must fix it to the ceiling joists with screws or nails. You may consider installing a drop ceiling if the ceiling height is more than 8 feet. You must first install a metal grid a few inches below the existing ceiling that holds the ceiling panels.
Removing popcorn ceiling
Although it is not difficult to remove the unpainted popcorn ceiling, the process is time taking and messy. You must spray water on the ceiling first to saturate the ceiling texture to soften it and facilitate its release. Next, you can scrap it with a taping trowel or large putty knife. You may face problems in wetting painted ceilings because water will not penetrate the surface, and you need to apply a stripping product. Stripping solutions specifically meant for removing painted popcorn ceiling should be available at the local home store. The solutions usually come in gel form and suitable for applying by brush or roller. After allowing sufficient time for the solution to soften the texture and paint, you scrape away both with a wide trowel.
The task is fraught with the dangers of asbestos exposure as well as it is dirty and nasty. Using suitable safety gear for full-body protection is a must when doing the job. Besides wearing a face mask and safety goggles, use hand gloves, and cover your entire body with some clothing that you can dispose of after completing the work. Constant wetting of the texture prevents asbestos fibers from floating around and minimizes the chances of its entering human bodies.
Have a new ceiling
Are you ready to cope with the hassles of popcorn ceiling removal? Then you can either install a new asbestos-free popcorn ceiling that is now available or a stretch ceiling that is fast gaining popularity to give the room a complete makeover. Today’s popcorn ceiling material is not only asbestos-free but also easy to apply with a hopper gun that you can either buy or rent from lumberyards.
Installing a stretch ceiling made from some synthetic fabric gives you the opportunity of creating a new home style with 3D visual effects and recessed lighting looking down from the ceiling. You can install the stretch ceiling about 2 inches beneath the existing popcorn ceiling and avoid the hassles of ceiling removal.
The fabric ceilings add high fashion to the home interior that looks unique and gorgeous.