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Thread: popcorn ceiling

  1. #1
    Hollie Hartinger's Avatar
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    Default popcorn ceiling

    I am in the process of buying a condo that was built in 1978, I had an expensive home inspector give me a very precise home inspection although he did not mention one word about the popcorn ceiling. He said something to the effect of after 1978 they weren't allowed to put asbestos in ceilings and moved on, I did further research and found it was put into ceilings until the 1990s so I asked if I could have the ceiling tested for asbestos and the home owners initially said no. We are suppose to close the deal in three days and I get the lab results back today. My Realtor said even if it has an asbestos ceiling I should buy it. I am a first time home buyer and in my mid 20s, they are telling me asbestos is not a big deal if it isn't tampered with and I myself am not that scared of it BUT as far as reselling the house goes who is going to want to buy a house with an asbestos ceiling? Can I please get some feedback. Thank you.

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  2. #2
    Lee Taylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    There is a possibility of ACM's (Asbestos Containing Materials). 1978 is the year that ACM's were regulated. You can get more information on Asbestos at US Environmental Protection Agency website. With the language you stated that is in the report, you should be able to ask for an extension to the closing date. I would have this checked by a licensed professional in your state. ACM's could exist in the insulation. Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    There is a possibility of ACM's (Asbestos Containing Materials). 1978 is the year that ACM's were regulated. You can get more information on Asbestos at US Environmental Protection Agency website. With the language you stated that is in the report, you should be able to ask for an extension to the closing date. I would have this checked by a licensed professional in your state. ACM's could exist in the insulation. Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    There are literally millions of condo units and other homes that have popcorn ceilings or plaster which may contain asbestos. The hospital room you were born in probably had asbestos in it. As long as the fibers are bound up in the plaster and covered with multiple coats of paint, there is no danger to anyone's health. Only the dust can be harmful, and then only from prolonged exposure to the dust could your lungs be noticeably affected.

    The only time there is a concern is when people decide to take on major renovations. If that is the case, a remediation company comes in, seals off the room, removes the plaster, and then you carry on.
    If in the future, homes with asbestos become hard to sell, big IF, have the popcorn removed then.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Hollie Hartinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    It seems to me like people are ALREADY deathly afraid of it no matter what kind of justification inspectors give them. No one would want to buy it if I have to include ASBESTOS CEILING in the listing. The test results came back positive for all three samples, I guess either we can work out a deal with the seller to have it removed or I find another house.


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Asbestos is only a problem when it is airborne. Stuck to the ceiling covered in paint it is not airborne.

    When you scrape it off the ceiling, it becomes airborne and becomes a health issue. Do a few basic google searches on asbestos and find out the truth of the matter instead of playing chicken little and screaming the world is coming to an end.

    Millions of homes have asbestos popcorn ceilings. No problem unless it is peeling or you are scraping it. If you are going to lay awake every night you live in the house, have it removed or buy a different house.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    i always advice my clients in my report to test for radon and if there is popcorn texture prior to even 1980 have it tested for asbestos like material--lab test is a $18 test-be safe out there

    cvf


  8. #8
    Hollie Hartinger's Avatar
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    Default popcorn ceiling

    Playing chicken little? Really? Do a few basic Googlesearches? wow wonderful advice chances are I already have and that's why I amasking "SMART" people for their feedback. No one really read thequestion I don't know why I expected a decent response. Now that I know it isan asbestos ceiling and it wasn't disclosed to me, it is not cost effective forme to buy it. Knowing 80 percent of people wouldn't want to buy it and itsoverpriced due to replacing the ceiling. Seriously get over yourself. Who caresif it is or isn't airborne to the public if its asbestos its asbestos.



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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie Hartinger View Post
    Playing chicken little? Really? Do a few basic Googlesearches? wow wonderful advice chances are I already have and that's why I amasking "SMART" people for their feedback. No one really read thequestion I don't know why I expected a decent response. Now that I know it isan asbestos ceiling and it wasn't disclosed to me, it is not cost effective forme to buy it. Knowing 80 percent of people wouldn't want to buy it and itsoverpriced due to replacing the ceiling. Seriously get over yourself. Who caresif it is or isn't airborne to the public if its asbestos its asbestos.
    Sorry that you did not obtain the answer/response that you wanted. You should have stated what response you wanted and just asked for agreement. The issue of "SMART" is a relative one. You received some informed responses. In a forum it is a matter of opinion with a understanding of the area in discussion. Not a dissertation on a subject.

    Your problem is not so much about the asbestos that may be in the ceiling but with the fact that you signed a contract that did not protect you from your concerns. Being three day before closing is the wrong time to raise a the concern of the property being over priced. The issue of not being disclosed requires that the seller knows for a fact that there is asbestos present. Not a supposed opinion on probability.

    Asbestos quite often generates a knee jerk reaction with many people as does lead paint and radon. The concern of a presence of anything in a property is relative to its condition and many other factors.

    The concern about resale may be a valid concern depending on the disposition of the buyer. A buyer such as yourself would not be interested in the property due to your fears. Justified or not. Many times people spend a lot of money to correct a problem that is not a problem. Other times it is about correcting a potential problem. All of that should have been addressed in your purchase offer in the beginning not in the eleventh hour.


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Hollie, here is a bit of truth to the matter.
    Yes, there are people that are hurt by asbestos but very few if any are home owners that just live in a building that has asbestos products in the home. Risk is relative to what you are dealing with, for example water. Water is necessary for life but also causes more destruction and loss of life than any other substance on earth. It is all about the quantity and exposure.
    Asbestos in the ceiling of a home has little risk unless it is disturbed so you breath in the microscopic fibers, this only happens during demolition or remodeling.
    There is no health risk to asbestos in the ceiling if it is left in place.
    If you want to remove it, you can but there are other things throughout any home that are more dangerous.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Hi Hollie,

    I read your post three times and you requested feedback, which you received. The only direct question that I can find is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie Hartinger View Post
    ... who is going to want to buy a house with an asbestos ceiling?
    Not a question that we can answer. From my perspective, they are ugly and I would have it professionally removed.

    One problem that I see is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie Hartinger View Post
    He said something to the effect of after 1978 they weren't allowed to put asbestos in ceilings...
    Not entirely true, as you found out. The product could not be sold after 1978, but I believe that any product the contractor had in stock could be used-up. Consequently, an end date is difficult to pinpoint, particularly if the contractor stockpiled a bunch.

    I would say if you really like the home, neighborhood, etc. and it is what you are looking for, then buy it and have the acoustic spray texture professionally removed. Use someone that is qualified to remove asbestos-laden acoustic texture. If you are uncomfortable with the home or costs involved, then move on and find a home that is newer.

    CREIA CCI & Evil Genius
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    HOLLIE

    better not drive that car you own--there is asbestos in the brake pads--clutch plate. get the bike out

    cvf


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    better not drive that car you own--there is asbestos in the brake pads--clutch plate.
    Auto mechanics have a greater risk of lung damage from asbestos than most other trades. That is a fact.

    Here's some more general facts for my area at least.
    Pre-1980 housing - asbestos plaster, asbestos flooring, possible asbestos traces in the insulation, asbestos on heating ducts. Aluminum wiring is also a possibility.
    Everybody knows this. I wouldn't say 80% of buyers would not buy an older home. That is simply not true.

    1980 condo housing - maybe a bit of asbestos, a bit of lead-based paint. Metal-framed windows that have failed seals need to be replaced, costly, and then the walls may leak around the replacements.

    1990 condo housing - Watch out for moisture problems, often leading to mold in the wall cavities. A lot of cheaply built condos turned out to be the most expensive to home owners. Not too bad after remediation, but was the remediation completed properly? Check for vinyl window frames. If they are metal frames, check the stamp for a date. This will tell you if the windows were replaced.

    Newer condo - formaldehyde off-gassing. It takes a few years for the air to come clean. A 10 year old condo would be a pretty safe bet around here, but ....

    What about the dust drifting up from the traffic outside? It will be loaded with asbestos and carcinogens.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Hollie,
    Where is Selah located ?

    Did you have the water tested ?


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Auto mechanics have a greater risk of lung damage from asbestos than most other trades. That is a fact.

    Here's some more general facts for my area at least.
    Pre-1980 housing - asbestos plaster, asbestos flooring, possible asbestos traces in the insulation, asbestos on heating ducts. Aluminum wiring is also a possibility.
    Everybody knows this. I wouldn't say 80% of buyers would not buy an older home. That is simply not true.

    1980 condo housing - maybe a bit of asbestos, a bit of lead-based paint. Metal-framed windows that have failed seals need to be replaced, costly, and then the walls may leak around the replacements.

    1990 condo housing - Watch out for moisture problems, often leading to mold in the wall cavities. A lot of cheaply built condos turned out to be the most expensive to home owners. Not too bad after remediation, but was the remediation completed properly? Check for vinyl window frames. If they are metal frames, check the stamp for a date. This will tell you if the windows were replaced.

    Newer condo - formaldehyde off-gassing. It takes a few years for the air to come clean. A 10 year old condo would be a pretty safe bet around here, but ....

    What about the dust drifting up from the traffic outside? It will be loaded with asbestos and carcinogens.
    Good points, Reseanable


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Hollie,

    I never tell my clients whether to buy or not to buy a home. After discovering that the ceiling has ACM, and hearing all of the opinions only you can decide.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  17. #17
    Lee Taylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Hollie,
    That is why I suggested you go to the US Environmental Protection Agency website. You can get most of the information and answers there.

    As inspector's, we can only advise (generally speaking). Since the seller is unwilling to allow any tests on the material, it is impossible to state whether that ceiling does contain ACM's or not. This would require proper testing to confirm the material contents. It is true that undisturbed, it is not hazardous, should become air-born, then it can get into your lungs.

    The only true test is to have it analyzed. There lies your delimma. You are correct that should there be ACM's or lead based paints that there could likely be costs involved with removal and re-installation. There again, costs will vary depending on the region you are located.


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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie Hartinger View Post
    It seems to me like people are ALREADY deathly afraid of it no matter what kind of justification inspectors give them. No one would want to buy it if I have to include ASBESTOS CEILING in the listing. The test results came back positive for all three samples, I guess either we can work out a deal with the seller to have it removed or I find another house.

    Lee,
    Guess you missed that she was able to test and did receive the results.


  19. #19
    Lee Taylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: popcorn ceiling

    Yes Gary, I did miss that. Scanning through this too quickly. I guess I had better slow down and re-group.


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