Is There Asbestos in Your Popcorn Ceiling?

April 21, 2014

You may have recently moved into an older home that has what is commonly referred to as “popcorn ceilings.” These kinds of ceilings were popular in the 1970s, but constructed with material containing asbestos. Asbestos is a dangerous material that causes many debilitating – and often fatal – diseases including mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs. As a result, it is imperative that you have popcorn ceiling asbestos removal performed as soon as possible.

While the manufacture of popcorn ceiling asbestos material was banned in 1978, it remained legal to install it in homes. Because contractors, suppliers and manufacturers would have suffered financial losses if installation were banned, the material was still being used in homes well into the 1980s until stockpiles were finally depleted. So even if your home was constructed after the manufacturing ban was enacted, you should still have a sample of your ceiling tested to see if it contains asbestos.

If the test comes back positive, you need to hire a professional to remove the asbestos. Typically, a contractor will charge by the square foot to provide this service. Based on the amount of labor needed to take care of this job, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1 and $3 per square foot. If popcorn ceiling asbestos removal is involved, however, you’ll pay more.

How to Hire a Contractor

This is an extremely important job that will affect the health and safety of you and your family. As a result, you need to carefully consider the contractor you are going to hire for the project. Here are a few of the factors that you should keep in mind when selecting a contractor for your popcorn ceiling asbestos removal:

  • Ask each contractor to supply documentation proving its technicians have completed state- or federal government-approved training.
  • Speak with your local air pollution control board and the Better Business Bureau to make sure the contractors you are considering don’t have any past safety violations or are the subject of any pending legal action.
  • Once you have selected a contractor, make sure you get a written contract that specifies the local, state and federal regulations that must be followed.

What the Contractor Must Do

A qualified popcorn ceiling asbestos removal contractor will know all of the proper safety procedures that must be followed. These are just a few of them.

  • The contractor must not spread or track asbestos into other parts of your home.
  • Technicians must properly dispose of all materials, clothing and disposable equipment in leak-proof, sealed, heavy-duty plastic bags.
  • Upon completion of the job, the work site must be thoroughly cleared of debris and dust. The area must be completely cleaned, either with sponges, wet mops, wet rags or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners. Contractors should never use regular vacuum cleaners.
  • Material cannot be broken into small pieces, because this can release asbestos fibers into the air.
  • The work area must be completely sealed from the remainder of the house with plastic sheets and duct tape, and the heating and cooling system must be turned off.
  • Air monitoring must be conducted afterward to ensure there are no asbestos fibers in the air.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, contact the mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd to learn more about mesothelioma lawsuits. We have been fighting for the rights of patients suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure for more than 35 years, and we want to help you.

Give us a call at (866) 538-0485 or contact us here to learn more.