Popcorn Ceiling Removal
Popcorn ceilings are also known as stucco or textured ceilings. There are many different types and methods of texturing walls and ceilings, but the stereotypical spray-on stucco, widely known as popcorn, is the topic of this post, and popcorn ceiling removal is explained.
Facts, popcorn ceiling removal.
Why remove a popcorn ceiling?
It’s out of date.
Popcorn ceilings are an outdated feature that makes the property look old. To improve the appearance of your ceiling, skim-coat it with a thin layer of drywall mud after sanding the surface to a smooth finish. This will make an extremely smooth ceiling. This choice is more adaptable than painting and gives you a smooth finish. It requires more work than painting or covering, though.
Allergens and dirt can stick to their surface.
Texture ceilings can hold onto allergens and dirt, making it harder for homeowners to breathe freely in their homes. These ceilings are not only problematic for those with asthma or allergies but can also reduce the air quality in the environment since holding onto allergens, dirt, and other particles can affect the quality of the air we breathe. Homes with popcorn ceilings must receive additional maintenance/attention to avoid health risks. Therefore updating or removing popcorn ceilings can be an essential step in improving air quality and overall health in your homes.
It can lower the value of a house.
Popcorn ceilings that are out of style and outdated can significantly decrease the value of your home. Most potential buyers consider a modern, updated home a top priority with great-looking features. Popcorn ceilings are considered to be one of the tell-tale resources of outdated home design. Popcorn ceiling texture is known to hold onto dirt and stains and can cause the ceiling to appear yellowish due to discoloration. In addition, removing popcorn ceilings can be costly and require additional cleanup making homes buyers shy away from making an offer on such. Therefore, removing popcorn ceilings would give your home an immediate upgrade, and ultimately, it has the potential to add more value to your home.
It may contain asbestos (If older than approx. 1977)
It is crucial to be aware that some popcorn ceiling textures may contain asbestos, a potentially hazardous material known to cause lung disease and various cancers. When asbestos fibers in the air are inhaled, they can lodge into lung tissues causing shortness of breath and respiratory problems. Therefore, if your home was built before 1980, it's likely that your popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, which can be dangerous if it is disturbed during renovation. Asbestos testing may be required to ensure that it is safe to begin renovations. In case the presence of asbestos is detected, it is recommended that homeowners contact asbestos remediation specialists to help remove it safely. Asbestos removal often requires a professional service to handle it safely to avoid hazards to homeowners and professionals executing the task. It is always best to air on the side of caution and consult with experts when handling asbestos-related issues.
It is not cleanable. Needs to be repainted.
Cleaning texture on popcorn ceilings can be a challenging task due to the uneven surface and the potential for the material to be easily damaged. Some of the underlying textures on the ceiling cannot be easily cleaned or removed using a simple dusting process. Using a cleaning solution or cleaning the ceiling aggressively can damage the surface, making it difficult to maintain the texture of the popcorn ceiling. Popcorn ceilings also absorb stains and dirt due to their surface, making it difficult to keep the surface clean. This may affect the health and well-being of homeowners, especially when particles and allergens are held for an extended period. In situations where dirt and stains are stubborn and have accumulated over time, homeowners may need to consider a popcorn ceiling replacement.
It is generally not repairable. A drywall patch can be performed, but it is extremely difficult to seamlessly match the popcorn texture so the patch cannot be seen.
How does the popcorn ceiling removal?
Before attempting to remove a popcorn ceiling, make sure it does not contain asbestos. According to the EPA, the use of asbestos in textured ceiling paint was banned in 1977. If you think the popcorn ceiling might be from prior to 1977, then get it tested. Pro-lab is one company that offers an EPA-approved asbestos test kit.
Dry scraping a popcorn ceilingis the preferred method if the popcorn has never been painted and is loose enough. You might get lucky and be able to dry scrape an entire ceiling in no time.
Wet scraping takes a little more time. If the popcorn has been painted it is often too difficult to dry scrape. Spraying the entire surface area with a mist of water (a garden sprayer or spray bottle will work) and allowing the water to absorb into the popcorn (usually about 10 to 15 minutes) often is enough to loosen the popcorn allowing it to scrape off easily.
With both of the above methods, you have a choice of covering the floor and allowing the scaped popcorn to fall freely. Or there are several methods that attempt to capture the popcorn as it is being removed. Several tool makers have a texture ceiling remover that is essentially a 6 to 10-inch scraper attached to a painter's pole with a catch bag attached to the scraper end.
I’ve also seen highly effective two-man crews where one guy scrapes the ceiling, and the other guy slides a garbage bin along the floor, catching the popcorn as it gets removed. Or where the second guy attempts to vacuum up the scrapings at the ceiling in real-time with a shop vac.
Dust-Free Power Sanding
is by far the cleanest, quickest, and most professional way to tackle the job. At Mississauga Handyman we use a Festool Planex dust-extracting power sander to both remove popcorn and sand out freshly skim-coated ceilings and walls.
After Popcorn Removal
After the popcorn is removed, you can either sand out the ceiling as it is and paint it. Or, for a more uniform finish, it can be skim-coated with wall compound (2 or 3 coats), sanded out, primed, and painted.
Painting or re-painting a popcorn ceiling?
An alternative to removing an old-looking popcorn ceiling is to paint or re-paint instead. This is a much smaller job, less expensive, and a lot less messy. The challenge with painting a popcorn ceiling that has never been painted before is that the popcorn is dry and chalky and easily breaks off, contaminating the paint roller and potentially the paint. If this is the case, use a shorter pile roller (finishing roller) and apply several light coats, being careful not to get the popcorn too wet and saturated.
Since popcorn absorbs water, it is a good idea to use an oil-based primer (like Kilz Odourless) on the first coat of unpainted popcorn.
More resources to look at
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