Although it's difficult to imagine why given modern design standards, people used to add "popcorn" treatment to their ceilings to try and improve the look and feel of their homes. This kind of material was very popular, and if you have bought a period home and intend to renovate it, you may certainly notice its presence within. Yet before you get your tools out and roll up your sleeves to remove, think about the potential risk. Did you know that your popcorn ceiling could be hiding asbestos? What should you know before you proceed?
Do Not Disturb
Before you panic, note that there is very little risk from asbestos inhalation if the popcorn ceiling remains intact and is in good condition. So long as you do not disturb it without taking precautions, you can probably leave it in place and may even be able to paint over it as part of your renovation.
However, there is a risk that asbestos fibres could be released if the surface of the ceiling is disturbed in any way. Thus, you will need to be particularly careful if you want to install a ceiling fan or even shelving that comes very close to the ceiling. Any accidental contact could lead to damage and, consequently, fibre release.
What to Do Next
The best way to get rid of popcorn ceilings is to scrape them off with suitable tools. Before you think about that, you will need to test for the presence of asbestos, and if it is found, you will need to leave that part of your renovation to the experts.
Preparing for Removal
If an expert tests your ceiling material and finds that it does, indeed, contain asbestos, they will take the appropriate action. Typically, they will seal off the windows and doors of the room, and you will need to turn off the HVAC system while they proceed. Ideally, remove any furniture from this room before work commences.
The experts will wear the appropriate protective gear together with a respirator before they begin the process. Then, they will remove the entire popcorn ceiling, using water to keep dust levels as low as possible. The waste will be placed into special asbestos bags and sealed before it is removed to a qualified disposal facility.
Once the work is complete and the experts have certified that everything is okay, you'll be able to continue with your renovation and line the ceiling with something far more appropriate!
For more information on asbestos removal, contact a company near you.