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  1. #1
    Don Jackson's Avatar
    Don Jackson Guest

    Default Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    I have a client that has a home built in 1976 that has popcorn textured ceilings. I told him there is a concern for asbestos and that it should be tested. There are several stains on the ceiling (1st and 2nd floor) due to plumbing and roofing issues. There are several areas that the popcorn ceiling is compromised by peeling away and just falling to the floor (image).

    I usually provide the client a direction (with no obligation) to persue a remedy, however, I'm not sure who to contact for testing and, if positive for asbestos, to remove the popcorn ceiling properly. I have googled and yellow paged. No luck. One person I called (building and restoration), said he never heard of popcorn ceilings containing asbestos...he's been doing his job for 30 years. I told him that it is a good possibility that popcorn ceilings applied up to 1980 contain asbestos. He said "this is the first I've heard of it".

    Anyway, is there a proper (local) affiliation in each area that handles this type of testing/remedy?

    Don

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    They will need to be licensed for asbestos testing/sampling and if it comes back "hot" then the same goes for the abatement contractor.

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

  3. #3
    Don Jackson's Avatar
    Don Jackson Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    [They will need to be licensed for asbestos testing/sampling and if it comes back "hot" then the same goes for the abatement contractor.]

    Understood, however, I am uncertain who "they" are. Who is a proper governing body/business for this area?


  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    No testing needed. The likelihood of having some asbestos in it is great. As far as peeling of it sounds like the home a a ventilation issue.

    Who to recommend. ell, a contractor to remove it. It has obviously see its life. The amount of asbestos in the product unless scraped off and crumbled is negligible. The removers will treat it like any other drywall or drywall finish. The will lay plastic out throughout the home, scape it off, wrap up the plastic and throw it away and then vacuum up.

    An asbestos company will charge them a fortune. Read up on it on the INTERNET and you will see most states deem it not to be any significant threat.

    That is like hiring a mold remediation company that will remove a little mold for thousands when a contractor will come in, tear it out treat any area with a bleach product and put everything back together again hopefully keeping the moisture out that caused the mold.


  5. #5
    Harry McClard's Avatar
    Harry McClard Guest

    Smile Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    Wouldn't worry about "The Feds" busting you but state or local authority might get into the act. Try something like: Chapter 62-257, Florida Administrative Code
    That's the first link for FL link for asbestos stuff. You can Google a bunch more links. They could scrape some off into a baggie and sent it to a testing lab, but that's expensive. Asbestos content is probably, if there, low and probability of problems are likely minimal (being a general contractor for a long time, I'd have to take a sample and work accordingly). BUT, you never know; that's why they invented those asbestos laws I guess. As an inspector, I guess all you can do is report on what you see and the client has to work accordingly. Gosh, I think that might be what an inspector does?


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    No problem here in Texas. As in any state any connector would come in and scape it off and throw it away. I can guarantee you the amount of remodel jobs in Florida each year there is more than likely a small pence of jobs where the samples are sent out. I lived in Florida for over 14 years and never saw it questioned by any other remodel contractor. They ripped the drywall off and threw it in the dumpster.

    Personally the whole popcorn thing has gotten way out of hand. If you think about it how many brand new items have questionable health concerns. You just cannot possibly name all the *possible* health and safety concerns in all homes.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    In our South Florida house when I move some walls around, after I patched the ceiling where the walls were, I just hired a drywall contractor to scrape the rest of the old popcorn off, scrape it mostly smooth, then re-popcorn the entire ceiling (so there would not be any patches showing). Did that to about half the house, and, as Ted said, it is done every day, all day long, all over Florida (and other states).

    Some people have it scraped off and then have knock-down applied.

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

  8. #8
    Darin Redding's Avatar
    Darin Redding Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    We'll we all do things differently in California (surprise?). There is a good chance the acoustic material contains asbestos. Only a licensed abatement contractor can remove it. Easy enough to test it however. I have a local lab in San Diego that tests samples for me for $12.00 each. You simply scrape a small amount into a zip-loc, put the relevant details on the sample and the lab has an answer for you the same day in most cases. Check your area for asbestos testing labs.

    Is the whole popcorn thing out of hand? Probably. But dems be the rules.

    Cheers,

    Darin


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    Looks like California is the same as other states when referencing asbestos in residential.

    Asbestos Regulation

    Rule 902 and Residential Structures
    Most renovation or demolition projects of residential structures are exempt from Rule 902. Generally, if the structure has four or fewer units, the renovation or demolition is not subject to Rule 902. However, if your renovation or demolition is a result of a commercial, public works, or eminent domain project, these exemptions will not apply and you will be subject to applicable administrative and work practice requirements of Rule 902. If your project is the renovation or demolition of 5 or more residential units, Rule 902 also applies.
    If you are unsure if Rule 902 applies to the renovation or demolition of a residential structure, you should contact an asbestos consultant or call the AQMD.
    Be aware that other agencies, such as Cal OSHA, have additional regulations that apply to asbestos removal in residential structures. If you have questions regarding which regulations apply to your project, the AQMD advises you to contact Cal OSHA or an asbestos consultant.


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    You mean that all those sappy flip that house shows in California where people buy these stupid little 1100 sf homes for 350,000 remodel for 100,000 and sell them for 600,000 are all performing illegal (I guess that is a sick bird) work right on national television when they are scraping down the popcorn or just tearing down the drywall and throwing it in dumpsters?

    Out of all the work I have done in so many states and all the telly shows I have seen in every state in the US where everyone is scraping popcorn or just throwing drywall with popcorn into the dumpster I have never had a problem with any Muni inspector or permit for the job and obviously all those hundreds of shows across the country have never had a problem either.

    I would say, yes, the popcorn thing is over blown beyond belief.

    I guess everyone just needs to stop breathing because the crap in the everyday outside air in any major metro area is worse than scraping a little popcorn of once in your life time. Those that do it for a living, no matter what they are doing with serious dust related jobs are wearing masks. If they are not they are idiots and are just weeding out the bad breading stock in America.

    Lets face it. By the time the job is done and everything dusted down, cleaned up washed away that leaves the everyday indoor bad air to contend with. Those new cabinets, carpet, furniture you just put in your home are slowly killing you and are off gassing for years.


  11. #11
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
    Mike Truss Guy Guest

    Lightbulb Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    I do some work with restoration/renovation contractors. I find that most of the same people who deal with mold issues also handle asbestos removal as well. I'd look in the yellow pages under "restoration", "demolition", or "renovation".

    Also allot of places with the popcorn ceilings just have it professionally sealed rather than removed completely. Like someone else said there's probably not much risk from it, but you really need to have a professional that does this type of work do it. Of course cosmetically it's ugly and removing it updates the look. It's just that they'll need to seal it all up with plastic and send in men in hazmat suits and respirators for a few days or so. It's a real inconvenience.


  12. #12
    Leigh Goodman's Avatar
    Leigh Goodman Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    I believe that it is better to encapsulate asbestos if possible rather than disturb and disperse it. How about a new layer of plaster board over the existing ceiling. Maybe even roll on an elastomeric type coating to further trap the suspected asbestos before adding p.b. Even with lath strips you will only lose 1-1/4 " of height and it is sure to cost less than calling in the asbestos team and it eliminates your biggest exposure threat which is the sanding and the dust that will hang around the house for years.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Goodman View Post
    I believe that it is better to encapsulate asbestos if possible rather than disturb and disperse it. How about a new layer of plaster board over the existing ceiling. Maybe even roll on an elastomeric type coating to further trap the suspected asbestos before adding p.b. Even with lath strips you will only lose 1-1/4 " of height and it is sure to cost less than calling in the asbestos team and it eliminates your biggest exposure threat which is the sanding and the dust that will hang around the house for years.
    Dust that will hang around the house for years???????????????

    I guess all that dust from when they applied it is still hanging around and killing everyone , huh.


  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    I've been working around the popcorn crap for a long time and it hasn't affected anything that I know of!!! My pet rat eats it like it IS popcorn!!




  15. #15
    Leigh Goodman's Avatar
    Leigh Goodman Guest

    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    I never said it would kill anybody. I did not even say it would be unhealthy. I do not believe the dust will kill anybody. Not even a person who sands it without a respirator. If I thought that I would never advise anything but a State certified abatement contractor.
    This dust is so fine that it would probably pass through a sieve that will hold water. It will get into cracks of baseboards, door casings and the hvac ducts. You may never see it but whoever does the dusting for the next couple of months will.
    I base my statement that sanding is the "biggest exposure threat" on all my years of sanding drywall without even a mask. Who could have more exposure than that? (BTW I do believe it was unhealthy for me to do this.)
    The dust is a nuisance that can be eliminated as a bonus of not sanding.( It may also be unhealthy for some but I don't know that)
    I mention the residual dust because I recently read an article on indoor air quality in new homes that said construction dust shakes out for years.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Popcorn Ceilings - who to recommend

    Well... whatever local regulations, when there is asbestos, or mold, or anything similar, your clients should also be considering what kind of demonstration might be requested by the next buyers that the problem has been properly remediated.

    Around here if you wish to be able to provide that with a reasonable degree of certainty the technique would be to have a licensed industrial hygienist specify the protocol for remediation, supervise the process, and then provide verification that it has successful (the two function should not be provided by the same vendor).

    Ideally the IH will be someone with extensive experience in litigation of such issues and who thus understands the business and legal as well as the technical and scientific issues.

    Unfortunately the cost of this part of the process is not radically different for a few square feet or a few hundred square feet of material - in both cases the HI's end of the work is going to be identical in nature and very similar in scope.

    There are various ways that you can "cut corners" on such a project, but at the end of the day if your client wants a high level of probability that a future buyer will accept that the problem was truly solved, they pretty much have to go through the entire process.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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