Thursday, March 7, 2013

Popcorn (Acoustic) Ceiling Removal

Have you ever thought about getting rid of your out of date popcorn ceiling?  Removing an acoustic (popcorn) ceiling is a relatively simple process, but not necessarily a pleasant one.  Once completed though, you will not only have a home that is more up-to-date, but one that will have a higher re-sale value!

Here are a few reasons why I recommend removing your popcorn (acoustic) ceiling in your home.

Appearance – In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons to get rid of your old popcorn ceiling is appearance.  I personally do not like the look of a ‘cottage cheese’ ceiling; in fact, this style often brings down the value of your home and often makes the house look old fashioned..  Popcorn ceilings were the 'in' thing back in the 1950's - 1970's because of their sound absorption as well as the ability to hide imperfections and shoddy workmanship.  Things started to change in the 80's and most homes from that point on were built without popcorn ceilings, but with a smooth texture instead.

Allergies - Over the course of time acoustic ceilings collect dust and dirt and with no way to really clean it.  If you paint over it, you’re only trapping in the grime, which eventually can ruin the ceiling.    If you suffer from allergies and have a popcorn ceiling, removing the popcorn and replacing it with a smooth, cleanable surface can help reduce your allergies significantly.  Things that you are allergic too, such as dust mites, tend to get stuck in the porous areas of the ceiling.

Aroma – Popcorn ceilings absorb not only sound, but smells as well.  They tend to be a problem in the kitchen area due to the strong odors from cooking.  Another problem I have noticed all too often, is if you smoke indoors, not only does the smell gets trapped in your ceiling; it also turns an ugly shade of yellow that is impossible to remove.

Asbestos – If your home was built pre 1978, there is a fair chance that your ceiling contains asbestos.  If you are thinking of having it removed and your home is built before 1980, it is best to have an asbestos test done.  If asbestos is found it will need to be removed by a licensed abatement company. 

If you decide to tackle this project yourself, here are some basic steps to follow after you have confirmed that there is no asbestos present:
  • Clear the room of all contents, including any hanging fixtures. Turn off electricity if you have any exposed wires to avoid electrical shock.
  •  Protect walls and floors with a lightweight plastic dropcloth.
  • Soften the acoustic material by spraying lightly with water; a pump garden sprayer works well.
  • Scrape the popcorn off with a wide-blade taping knife.
  • Let the drywall dry overnight. The next day, repair any imperfections with drywall joint compound then sand using a sandpole.
  • Apply texture to match the wall finish.
  • The final steps are to seal with a drywall primer and then paint.
If this sounds like something you just aren't up to tackling yourself, I would love to help out.  Give me a call or email me for a Free Estimate!