Time and time again as a Realtor I’ve come across the question – “What do I do with my popcorn ceiling?” Courtney and CJ asked. Followed by, ‘It has Asbestos – now what?’ When my friend, client and fellow blogger, Marie, emailed me with the same question – I thought – let’s write a blog about it.
Not only are popcorn ceilings horrendous, sometimes they contain enough Asbestos material to make them hazardous waste and require professional removal. The standard options for popcorn ceilings after having it tested for hazardous waste are:
1) Leave it alone – have it spray-painted by a professional and vow never to disturb it.
2) Encapsulating it – having a licensed contractor covering it with sheetrock and creating a ‘new ceiling’ thus encapsulating the material entirely.
3) Remove it – have a licensed hazardous material disposal company remove it using all the necessary precautions. If it does not contain hazardous material after professional testing, a licensed contractor or painter can remove it.
When asked for my personal opinion, having experienced the situation myself in our condo – I was ready with some advice…
Take it down!
I wish I did. At the time, when we bought our first place, like so many other first time buyers – we had a very tight budget. We figured we could tackle it later. So we opted to have the entire ceiling spray-painted professionally instead of taking it down, and vowed never to touch it. Turns out I like to hang streamers for parties. And ceiling lights sometimes have to be moved. So to make a long story short, it’s not practical to think you’re never going to touch your ceiling. I remember the morning our ceiling caved into our bedroom during a rainstorm… well that’s another story….
Looking back, it would have been so easy to remove the popcorn ceiling when the place was empty. Once you move in, well, all you stuff is in the way. Anyway. There it will stay. But man it is ugly. If you can – take yours down!
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