Asbestos may seem like a non-existent threat for many homeowners. After all, many people talk about asbestos as if it has been completely eradicated. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Many older homes can still contain asbestos in their ceilings because of the presence of popcorn ceilings. Because of the popularity of popcorn ceilings in construction in the past, there are many homes that could be dealing with asbestos right now. Asbestos has lifelong consequences, so it is important to understand the implications of having asbestos in your popcorn ceilings.
What is asbestos? Asbestos was originally used as the material of choice for popcorn ceilings because of its resistance to heat and the strength of its fiber. It is actually a naturally occurring fibrous silicate material, and it is typically found in rocks and soil. However, in 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned it from being used. This decision was made because asbestos can release microscopic filaments into the air. These fibers, when inhaled, can cause scarring to the lungs and, over time, can lead to lung cancer as well as other diseases.
While the banning took place in 1977, this only meant that manufacturers stopped producing asbestos products. However, suppliers continued to sell asbestos-containing materials until they sold out. That means that popcorn ceilings installed as late as the 1980s could still have asbestos.
Having popcorn ceilings that contain asbestos is not dangerous in and of itself so long as the particles are not disturbed. However, suppose that you want to have your kitchen remodeled or your pipes redone. All of this can disturb the asbestos and release it into the air.
Testing for Asbestos
If you have popcorn ceilings in your home, you may not want to run the risk of finding out that you have asbestos during a remodel. It is best to know ahead of time so that you can make the decision of having it removed. There is a simple way to test your home for asbestos and it can be performed by you with the right equipment or by a professional if you do not want to run the risk of coming into contact with the asbestos.
If you do want to test for asbestos yourself, the first thing you are going to want to do is to get a high-efficiency particulate air (or HEPA) mask to keep yourself protected. You’ll also want to get some gloves to keep your hands from coming into direct contact with the surface.
Once you have your protective equipment, the next step is either purchase an asbestos testing kit, which will come with all the supplies and instructions you need to perform the test, or get a putty knife. You will then scrape a sample of the popcorn ceiling into an airtight container or bag. Once you have your sample, you can then send it out to an asbestos testing lab to determine if asbestos is present.
What to Do If Your Ceilings Have Asbestos
If your home has asbestos in its ceilings, do not attempt to remove it yourself. This can be dangerous as there are many things that professionals use to keep themselves safe when they are removing asbestos. The professionals that you hire may choose to either remove the asbestos or encapsulate it. Removing the asbestos involves slowly scraping off the popcorn ceiling and disposing of it safely and legally. Alternatively, encapsulating the asbestos means covering it up with other materials that will keep the asbestos from releasing into the air.
In some cases, asbestos may have already been released into the air through some form of construction or other disturbance. In these instances, there are things that you can do to keep you and your family safe before a professional can come to your home to remove the asbestos.
The first thing that you must do is to remove all people and pets from the affected area. If this means evacuating your home, be sure to have a contingency plan for where you will stay until the asbestos is taken care of.
Next, you will have to shut off all vents and circulation to the area. You may also want to wet the area to keep the fibers from going out into the air.
Searching for Popcorn Ceiling Removal Near You?
Asbestos is a serious threat to you and your home. At Have Paint Brush Will Travel, we treat asbestos removal with the care that you need to keep your home safe. If you have popcorn ceilings in your home, you should not take the risk of endangering your family. Be sure to have your ceiling tested for asbestos and then contact Have Paint Brush Will Travel for the top popcorn ceiling removal near you. We are professionals, so we can have your popcorn ceiling removal done right to minimize the risk to you.