View Full Version : Popcorn ceiling finish - Asbestos

Ken Amelin
03-18-2008, 07:25 AM
I see this finish in tons of houses built in the 70's.
We know that there is a potential for asbestos (uses as the popcorn) and we should alert the potential buyers, but I don't want to be like "chicken little" and tell them that the sky is falling.

The EPA also plays it down and says do nothing but paint over it to encapsulate.

What verbage and advice do you folks use so that the information is more informative than death defying?

Many thanks

Brandon Chew
03-18-2008, 08:52 AM
I basically say:

Be aware it could contain asbestos.
Explain that the hazard with asbestos is when it is friable and airborne.
Paint over it and don't disturb it (contain the hazard).
If they are planning to remodel and disturb it, they should have it tested for asbestos, and if confirmed, have it removed by a qualified asbestos abatement firm (this may cost big $$$).
Refer client to EPA and my state health dept asbestos websites for more info.

Jerry Peck
03-18-2008, 01:10 PM
Two acronyms to remember:

ACM - Asbestos Containing Material

PACM - Presumed Asbestos Containing Material / Potential Asbestos Containing Material / Possible Asbestos Containing Material

Jon Randolph
03-18-2008, 05:04 PM
I would report it as having a potential to contain asbestos, depending on when it was installed. If installed in the 70's it is highly likely but remember that it is still being installed today.

Have them try to find out when it was installed and if concerned have it tested. But as others have said it is not an issue unless friable.

Scott Gilligan
03-18-2008, 05:05 PM
Pre-1982 houses with textured ceilings may potentially contain some asbestos; asbestos is hazardous if loose and can be inhaled. Such ceilings should be kept well sealed. Identification of asbestos requires laboratory analysis that is outside the scope of a home inspection.

Todd Mare
03-28-2011, 06:19 AM
Our company basically tells the client the historical data collected of the material and that due to the vintage of the residence, there is a high probability.

Scott Patterson
03-28-2011, 07:48 AM
Our company basically tells the client the historical data collected of the material and that due to the vintage of the residence, there is a high probability.

What the heck does that mean?

John Kogel
03-28-2011, 02:20 PM
What the heck does that mean?I think it means further evolution may be required. :D

I have a printout I include in the report, materials which possibly contain asbestos. Then I say not too much about the ceiling unless there a visible problem, like flakes falling off or big cracks.

Ted Menelly
03-28-2011, 03:47 PM
Texas finds that the percent is a small percent that it posses no substantial risk unless they go to scraping it down and even then the risk is slight.

No I do not inform clients that there is a danger just like the danger of possible lead, possible radon, possible mold, possible threat to life's safety if they use frayed extension cords, possible and probable life's risk if holding the ends of a bare cord and then stand in water and have someone plug the other end in ... etc.

We cannot possible explain all the real risks to the home buyers. Popcorn is about as zero risk as one can get unless they scrape it down with no mask on. Now, if they did that it would probably be more hazardous sucking in all the old dust and debris than sucking in the slight amount of possible asbestos containing popcorn.

H.G. Watson, Sr.
03-28-2011, 05:53 PM
The act of painting it, can cause friability. Bits saturated and/or knocked off, such as when using an oft recommended method, roller with large nap, brush - cutting in edges, or too heavy a spray, large drips collect, later break off. Dirty or glazed, adhesion issues, large portions later delaminate break off taking substrate with it. Washing, degreasing, deglazing, and "liquid sand" or similar etching/bonding type applications not sucessful options.Lead paint/dust also a possiblity.Testing, and if Lead containing and/or ACM, safe remediation.

Chuck Melocco
04-04-2011, 06:26 AM
I inform client that that thee is a potential for asbestos and prior to cutting, scraping, sanding or removing, they should have it tested and to follow EPA guide lines is asbestos content is confirmed