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  1. #1
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    Post Popcorn ceilings

    Just wondering how many of you mention popcorn ceilings may contain asbestos. Here is what I typically put in reports.


    Some ceiling areas in this home have "popcorn" textured surfaces possibly installed prior to 1979. This material may contain asbestos. This is typically not a concern if the material is intact and in good condition, however the client should be aware of this and take necessary precautions if they have plans to remove it or disturb through remodeling.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    If its built before 1979, its got more asbestos than just on the ceiling more than likely. Personally, I don't get into all the areas it may be on my reports.

    Most of the popcorn ceilings I see are coated over with an enamel type paint. You can't hardly scape the stuff off if you want to.

    Below is an article I will pass out to a client if they should ask about the ceiling.

    Popcorn Ceiling Asbestos

    Popcorn ceilings were very popular from the late 50s to early 80s and almost always contained asbestos. Removing a popcorn ceiling built during these years should be done professionally since the risk of asbestos exposure is high.
    Popcorn / Acoustic Ceilings
    Popcorn ceilings (also known as acoustic ceilings) were extremely popular in most homes built from the late 1950s right through the early 80s. It is uncertain as to why popcorn ceilings got to be so popular, but some explanations are that - it was easy to apply, it was a good noise damping agent, it hid imperfections in the ceiling, and a host of other reasons.

    Popcorn ceilings had certain drawbacks such as difficulty in cleaning, but the biggest drawback today is the presence of asbestos in it. Almost all building material including cement, roofing, tiling, insulation, and paint from the 1930s right through the mid 80s contained asbestos in them.

    Planning to Remove Your Popcorn Ceiling
    If the popcorn ceiling in your home was painted before mid 1980s chances are very strong that it contains asbestos. If you are planning to get rid of this popcorn ceiling and give the ceiling in your home a fresh coat of paint, you must first know the risks involved in this.

    When the popcorn ceiling is scraped to remove the paint, the asbestos contained in the paint will separate easily and get airborne. Levels of asbestos fibers in the room will get concentrated, and you will be forced to breathe in these carcinogenic fibers.

    Even if you are subject to just a few days of inhaling these fibers in high concentration, they can get firmly lodged within your lungs and cause serious health problems later in life.

    Asbestos Inhalation Health Hazards
    The health effects caused due to asbestos inhalation will develop only 15 to 40 years after the first inhalation. Following are the most commonly known diseases caused by asbestos inhalation.

    -- Asbestosis
    -- Lung cancer
    -- Mesothelioma

    All these diseases are usually associated with asbestos inhalation over long periods of time. There have been instances when even short term asbestos exposure has caused one of these diseases.

    Asbestos exposure while scraping off a popcorn ceiling containing asbestos is very short term, but very concentrated at the same time. At all costs, you must avoid this.

    Getting Your Popcorn Ceiling Tested for Asbestos
    If you want to remove the popcorn ceiling in your home yourself, you must first get the samples tested from a certified 'asbestos testing agency'.

    To remove samples you should spray ample water on small patches of the popcorn ceiling in 3 to 4 different areas of the room / home. Using a blunt knife scrape out about 1 square inch of 'popcorn paint' from each area. Put these samples into individual sealable plastic bags.

    If the results for asbestos is negative, you can go ahead and remove the popcorn ceiling yourself without any worries.

    What if Your Popcorn Ceiling Contains Asbestos
    In case the results for asbestos in your popcorn ceiling is positive, you should take extreme care.

    The options available to you are to either get a fresh coat of paint over the existing asbestos paint without disturbing the previous paint, or getting rid of the asbestos containing popcorn ceiling and getting the ceiling repainted.

    The first option is very risky, and in most of the states in the US, it is illegal to repaint a popcorn ceiling containing asbestos because rolling or spraying of paint over the old asbestos containing paint could dislodge and release asbestos fibers into the air.

    The second option of getting rid of the asbestos containing popcorn ceiling and getting the ceiling repainted should not be done by you. The health risks involved in this are high. Even if you decide to get it done yourself you will have to take precautionary measures that will include using a respirator fitted with a HEPA filter, specified disposable clothing and glasses. You will then be required to dispose off all the asbestos containing debris in a suitable manner as specified by your county / state.

    It is advisable to let a professional agency remove the asbestos containing popcorn ceiling and repaint it. They are trained and will make sure that neither is the environment in / around your home contaminated with asbestos fibers after the job is over. Disposal of all asbestos containing waste matter too will be taken care of by them as per the existing rules and regulations.

    Getting a professional agency to remove your asbestos containing popcorn ceiling will be a very expensive affair, but considering the health risks involved in doing it yourself, it is surely worth it.

    By Kevin Mathias
    Published: 5/12/2007

    rick

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 02-04-2009 at 11:17 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    In the state of Texas the Texas Department of Health has determined there is not enough friable asbestos in a single family residence to even be concerned. This would include all of the structures that were built with the hard tile like siding used in the 50's. One could raze the entire structure without any type of asbestos protection or removal procedures and carry them straight to the landfill with no reperocussions.

    Just my thoughts...so why call it out (in Texas) if the amount is not even considered to be hazardous according to the state health department?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Just wondering how many of you mention popcorn ceilings may contain asbestos. Here is what I typically put in reports.


    Some ceiling areas in this home have "popcorn" textured surfaces possibly installed prior to 1979. This material may contain asbestos. This is typically not a concern if the material is intact and in good condition, however the client should be aware of this and take necessary precautions if they have plans to remove it or disturb through remodeling.
    Our state home inspection license law helps us out by this little phrase that is required to be on our agreements and in our reports"

    Under Tennessee State Law the following items are not part of this inspection and must be listed in this state required agreement: Lead-based paint; Radon; Asbestos; Cockroaches; Rodents; Pesticides; Treated lumber; Fungus; Mercury; Carbon monoxide or other environmental hazards. Wood destroying insects or organisms are not inspected for or part of this report. Subterranean systems or system components (operational or non-operational including Sewage disposal; Water supply or Fuel storage or delivery are not part of this inspection or report.

    It helps when the law dictates that it is not part of the inspection!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Under Tennessee State Law the following items are not part of this inspection and must be listed in this state required agreement: Lead-based paint; Radon; Asbestos; Cockroaches; Rodents; Pesticides; Treated lumber; Fungus; Mercury; Carbon monoxide or other environmental hazards. Wood destroying insects or organisms are not inspected for or part of this report. Subterranean systems or system components (operational or non-operational including Sewage disposal; Water supply or Fuel storage or delivery are not part of this inspection or report.

    It helps when the law dictates that it is not part of the inspection!
    However ... if you do any of those items, there is no going back to the defense that it is not required for the other items.

    Most SoP state that certain things 'are not included' (helping you out for not *being required* to inspect them), then tips the scale back toward the client by adding that the inspector 'shall not be prohibited from' inspecting more than is required by the SoP.

    Which means that if you do radon, for example, you cannot now use that paragraph as 'the reason' you did not do asbestos. However, to get out of that, you simply use another reason: the additional services provided, if requested, are: blah, blah, blah, and the following additional services ARE NOT AVAILABLE: (list everything not listed in blah, blah, blah).

    All you have to do is switch 'the reason' you did not do them around from that 'not required' to spelling out what is 'not available'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Just wondering how many of you mention popcorn ceilings may contain asbestos. Here is what I typically put in reports. Some ceiling areas in this home have "popcorn" textured surfaces possibly installed prior to 1979. This material may contain asbestos. This is typically not a concern if the material is intact and in good condition, however the client should be aware of this and take necessary precautions if they have plans to remove it or disturb through remodeling.
    Trent,

    I mention the possibility of asbestos and note that identification can only be done in a lab. I would not say "not a concern".

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    It is impossible to name every single health and safety hazard. All materials have some form of health or possible safety hazard to it. It is spelled out quite clearly that we will name some health/safety hazards but impossible to name them all in the scope of a home inspection. I spell out the health and safety concerns that we are required to no matter what system it may be. Sometimes it is very wise to follow only the SOP in particular cases.

    In short. I do not call out popcorn ceilings at all. The only comment I make about popcorn ceilings is the same that most of my clients state as well about popcorn ceilings.

    I don't like them either.

    Almost every client says this to me and say they are going to have it removed and put a lite texture in its place.

    I tell them it is wise to have a professional remove the popcorn.

    Getting to deep can only do one thing.

    Get you even deeper>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>until you cannot get out of the hole you just dug.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    There may not be much friable asbestos in the homes in Texas but when someone who does not know what they are doing disturbes it, it can become very friable.
    One of the worst places asbestos can become friable is when someone scrapes up a sheet linoleum floor.
    As far as the disposal, All land fills are regulated by the Federal EPA, not the state.
    You can not just throw any amount of asbestos in the trash.
    It must be properly bagged or wrapped and labeled for transportation and disposal before it leaves the work area.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon McCarty View Post
    As far as the disposal, All land fills are regulated by the Federal EPA, not the state.
    You can not just throw any amount of asbestos in the trash.
    It must be properly bagged or wrapped and labeled for transportation and disposal before it leaves the work area.
    Not true when it comes to single family structures. Straight from the EPA/State web site. The bold is theirs.

    Asbestos Program: Publications and Helpful Information

    Asbestos Homeowner's Guide

    The Asbestos Program of the Texas Department of State Health Service (DSHS), regulates the removal of asbestos from public buildings within the state. The two main sets of rules and regulations enforced by DSHS are the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules (TAHPR) and the Federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). TAHPR applies to all buildings that are subject to public occupancy, or to which the general public has access, and to all persons disturbing, removing, encapsulating, or enclosing asbestos within public buildings for any purpose, including repair, renovation, dismantling, demolition, installations, or maintenance operations, or any other activity that may involve the disturbance or removal of asbestos-containing building material (ACBM) whether intentional or unintentional. NESHAP applies to the abatement of any friable ACBM or to the demolition of a facility. Private residences and apartment buildings with no more than four dwelling units are excluded from coverage by both rules. (Click here for more information: Exclusions)


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Folks. Lets get real with the popcorn. I owned a drywall business. Both commercial and residential along with building and inspecting for decades. Put a schtinking mask on, scape the crap off, bag it up and throw it away. Some of the old plaster has a serious amount of asbestos along with early drywall.

    Some people die of cancer from just being around someone that has dust on their clothes. The one with it on his closed was ridiculously exposed and may not get sick.

    There are health risks in homes. A lot of health risks. I guess there should be a massive world wide lawsuit to have all old drywall, plaster products and popcorn removed and refine ished in all homes. Shall we get into the rest of the products in your home that have possible serious risks to your health. Believe me.

    Unless it jumps up and bites someone most folks would not want to know about most products in their homes.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    An owner of a four familly dwelling or less can remove the AB theirself.
    But not recomended unless they know what they are doing.
    Trying to remove it without knowing what you are doing can cause more harm than good.
    An owner of a 4 familly dwelling or less can NOT just throw the AB out the window to the landfill. When AB is transported now you have the DOT on you.
    All the fibers we breath now probably won't kill us before we die normally.
    But a young child will carry the fibers in there body for a lot longer than you and I.
    Just scrapping it off the ceiling and going on leaves a highly contaminated WHOLE house for the occupants and thier children.
    The asbestos may not be RACM when you are just looking at it, but when you disturb it by removing now its Regulated Asbestos Containing Material, unless its less than 1%. If it is less than 1% you can then throw it out the window. But what happens when you get a big pile of 1%? )


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Didn't you read the law? Four family or less is exempt. Period. No regulations to follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon McCarty View Post
    But what happens when you get a big pile of 1%? )

    It's still 1%!


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Asbestos Containing Material that is more than 1% by volume coming from anywhere, 4-2-1 familly dwelling it does not matter, Cannot be just thrown out like trash or hauled on the road or thrown in a non approved landfill, No matter where it comes from.
    1 million dollars worth of insurance coverage is required to haul asbestos that is properly wrapped and labeled.
    Yea Wayne, I know the rules. Do you need to see EPA certificates?
    The owner can legally remove their asbestos however he wants in Four family or less dwelling that he owns.
    BUT when he takes that asbestos out on the public road it better be insured, warning labeled, generator labeled with the owners name, wrapped.....


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon McCarty View Post
    If it is less than 1% you can then throw it out the window. But what happens when you get a big pile of 1%? )

    Damon,

    I think you are missing the simple math here.

    You have 10 pounds of material of which 1% is asbestos (0.1 pound of asbestos).

    You make a bigger pile of the same material, say 100 times bigger, or 1,000 pounds of it, you now have 100 times 0.1 pounds of asbestos or 10 pounds of asbestos.

    *You STILL have a pile which is 1% asbestos.*

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon McCarty View Post
    Asbestos Containing Material that is more than 1% by volume coming from anywhere, 4-2-1 family dwelling it does not matter, Cannot be just thrown out like trash or hauled on the road or thrown in a non approved landfill, No matter where it comes from.
    1 million dollars worth of insurance coverage is required to haul asbestos that is properly wrapped and labeled.
    Yea Wayne, I know the rules. Do you need to see EPA certificates?
    The owner can legally remove their asbestos however he wants in Four family or less dwelling that he owns.
    BUT when he takes that asbestos out on the public road it better be insured, warning labeled, generator labeled with the owners name, wrapped.....
    Damon

    I do respect where you are coming from but seriously. The first construction site I was ever on I was less than ten helping out. 45 years later I have known so many folks in construction/demolition work I could not even begin to want to know how many I have known.

    I have never in 45 years ever heard of any construction site where the drywall was being removed that anyone ever took the time to scape popcorn off the drywall and bag it separately or for the matter bag the drywall it was on. I seriously doubt that even before I die (could be tomorrow) that I will ever see that happen.

    That is so far over the top it boarders ridiculous.

    I do respect where you are coming from. This is certainly not a dig at you.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    My big pile of 1% was intended to be just a joke. ie the smiley.
    I have seen people get soo carried away about these fibers they want to know if a HEPA filter catches 99.9% of particulates 0.3 microns and bigger. What does the .1% add up to after a person breaths thru the filter after 20 years of working in asbestos removal.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    You talking Certificate or Certifications? Quite a bit of difference...Yep...went to a two hour class and got me a certificate confirming I went to a class. I probably have enough certificates to......never mind I won't even go there, but no, I don't care to see whatever you have, certificate, certifications or whatever, but it seems you are missing the point all together.

    If the EPA rules state that a single family house is exempt from the regulations then you don't have to do jack-crap with whatever minimal asbestos may be in the debris.

    When razing a single family structure or even scraping off the pop corn ceiling you don't have to do jack-crap with it but throw it away.

    If you can show me in the law where it is required to test anything for asbestos and require the asbestos (if any) to be contained and disposed of per EPA guidelines that govern the removal and disposal of asbestos in anything up to a four family residence, then I will apologize to you for being bull headed and eat the biggest crow there is in the world.

    You cannot do it. Plain and simple...the EPA don't care about the removal of any asbestos material in any structure less than a four family residence. The amount, if any, is so minuscule, it's not a danger.

    Think about it. Why would they exempt these structures if they are a problem?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    It appears to me that the problem is you have only a two hour awareness course.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    hey guys
    just lost two members of my golf course to MESOTHELIOMA. one played golf two weeks ago and died a week later. yes they both worked in construction their whole lives in Canada.and in the asbestos business, so it does kill.
    i will write up the possibilty of asbestos in a home and it's safety hazard as per given web sites, and recommend having suspect material tested at a local lab if it looks desturbed or if renovation is on the buyers mind just as fast as i will write up a missing railing on a deck. asbestos is not banned to this day, but neither is smoking a cigeratte, but they both cause cancer and are killers.
    i think we need to point nit out and aware our clients to the health hazard and direct them to web sites and let them make the decision.

    when i see asbestos in crawl spaces and basements or attics --i put on a mask real fast---i love sex and want to be able to do it well into my seventies.. be careful out there

    charlie


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Hate to hear that, Charlie.
    Please be aware everyone that just a paper mask can do more harm than good.
    A paper mask lets the real fine particulates in that do not make you cough.
    Wearing nothing at all you breath in the larger particulates that make you cough that helps bring out all particulates.
    This is true for even just mowing your yard wearing a paper mask breathing in the dust.
    In a crawlspace with AB be sure and wear a real half face respirator with the approved HEPA filters.
    Every time I see someone wearing a paper mask I want to run up and tell them the mask is doing them more harm than good.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    damon

    i wear a half respirator hepa filter -always
    charlie


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Hate to hear about the loss of your friends Charlie.

    Obviously I cannot guarantee you but I bet it was not from popcorn ceilings.

    I am embarrased to say that when ever I did my own break jobs years ago I never wore a mask and no matter how careful I was I am sure the air around me was saturated with particles. If they were in the military or ship building or many other forms of work over the years as well as removal of asbestos or just doing break jobs on a car is the likely culpret.

    As far as Meso there are countless areas where they may have come in contact with asbestos. The minute amount in most homes unless the grovelled in more than likely had nothing to do with it.

    Sorry to here of your friends.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Popcorn ceilings

    Sorry, Schneiter Hudson, what was the question?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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