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Question DetailsAsked on 1/2/2012

Anyone know of a good asbestos testing company in the Twin Cities area? Or if it is even worth testing popcorn ceiling in a 1920s home?

We have 3 rooms with popcorn ceiling in our 1920s home. Is it worth testing these ceilings or should we just assume it has asbestos? The removal seems pretty expensive, and if it doesn't have asbestos, it would be way cheaper to just remove it ourselves. Thanks!

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2 Answers


Becareful what you ask for.

Asbestos and Lead are two items you don't want to mess around with.

If you know you have asbestos in your home, it must be disclosed, as well as its specific known locations from then on. Selling your house, having work done, etc all require you to provide the results of the tests, notice of found asbestos, etc. Once a home is found to have asbestos in it, the processes for renovations, repairs, etc changes drastically and there are specific Codes in the IBR and IBC which must be followed. We are talking tented areas, repirators, certified people, special trash containers, etc.

Also, when testing for asbestos (and lead; they tend to go hand-in-hand) not just a single area is usually tested; they will go to all the typical suspects; so you may learn your insulation, pipe wrap, siding, etc are also asbestos containing items. So you just wanted to know if you could remove your popcorn ceiling, and instead learned (and have to forever disclose) that you have it all over the place. . .

Your best best is to assume you have asbestos and take precautions from there. If you know it contains asbestos, you are required to have a professional remove it and dispose of it in a safe (but required, thus expensive) manner. Removing the ceiling yourself is much cheaper, and if you protect yourself with proper gear to prevent contact and inhalation you should be fine. Because you will most likely be using chemicals in the removal process, the dispoal of the popcorn ceiling doesn't change a whole lot (you typically must disclose to your refuse center that the bags contain chemicals from construction).

If it is a large job, with a large amount of debris the cost of professional removal becomes better, and will be quicker with a team than doing it yourself. If it is a typical 1920s home and you can do it in a weekend, use protective gear just in case and take care of it yourself.

Good luck!

Answered 8 years ago by Kenny Johnson


From my own internet research: Asbestos was outlawed in the 1970's for use in popcorn ceilings. If your popcorn is older than 1978 it very well could have asbestos in it. If the popcorn is later than 1978, it probably does not have asbestos in it. Can you find out from previous owners when the popcorn was applied? Or, the best thing is to look up on-line and find a testing lab that will test a sample for you. Call them to see what they charge and where to send the sample.

To take a sample, wear a dust mask and use a putty knife to scrape a sample into a clean plastic food storage bag. Then mail it off to the testing lab and they can let you know for sure if the sample contains asbestos.

If it does contain asbestos, you will want to have a professional popcorn removal company remove it. It's too dangerous to do yourself.

If it does NOT contain asbestos and you want to save money you can do the job yourself. It's not hard to do, but is messy and time consuming.

I've just done a large kitchen/family room myself and it took about a week since I'm not as young as I used to be and I didn't push myself.

Answered 8 years ago by Guest_9656396

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