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30Five 02-21-2012 09:35 AM

Popcorn ceiling with asbestos - options?
Okay I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, in fact, I've searched through previous posts on this matter quite a bit, but I still need more information.

The deal is, I have two major ceiling areas in my house, both of which have popcorn texture on them. The front half of the house is the original house, and it contains no asbestos. The back half is the newer addition ('70s?) but the popcorn ceiling there DOES contain asbestos.

For the front half, I'm just going to leave the ceiling the way it is, I have no problem with the popcorn texture, and it's not it too bad a shape.

The real issue is the back. Normally (since it contains asbestos) I would just leave it alone, and not fool around with it, BUT, the texture has started to peal over the years, and in multiple parts of the 225sqft area there are whole sections of the texture peeling off.

I need some advice on what option would be best. I cannot afford a professional asbestos removal, in fact due to the number of people living in the house, and the location of the room, it would be completely impossible to effectively have it professionally removed.

Removing it myself is possible. I can wear a sealed pair of coveralls, a full respirator, seal the whole room in plastic, thoroughly wet the texture and scrape it off, and then cleanup. But again, the location makes it extremely hard for me to consider option.

I have heard of people trying these options, tell me what you think:

* Install thin drywall over the existing ceiling.
Pros: Simple task overall, would cover up the peeling texture, and prevent any loose texture from breaking off and causing problems.
Cons: Might add too much weight to the ceiling joists

* Install ceiling tiles on wood strips over the ceiling.
Pros: Fairly simple install process, probably lighter than drywall.
Cons: Depending on the thickness of the tiles, could reduce the height of the ceiling too much. Might look like :censored:?

* Drop ceiling. I've heard of people attaching a metal frame directly to the ceiling, and I suppose installing panels before each new row due to the lack of work room.
Pros: Covers the ceiling.
Cons: Might be way too thick.

Before anyone says it, I KNOW that covering up asbestos would mean that I would have to disclose it at a sale. Thing is, this house will never sell, I won't explain the whole house condition, but we 100% own the house and property, and I can guarantee you it will never be sold.

Mostly importantly, I DON'T CARE ABOUT APPEARANCE. The final look could be kinda halfway decent and it would still be a huge step up.

MarkusAIC 02-21-2012 10:25 AM

Go over it with a layer of drywall. Unless you already have lots of layers up there, have very small ceiling joists or very long spans the drywall is unlikely to cause any issues for the joists.
This is a common solution for your situation. Fast, easy and relatively cheap. If you are going to do it yourself, rent a drywall hanger from HD when you buy the drywall.
If the ceiling is pretty flat you can get by with 1/4" or 3/8". If the ceiling is pretty wavy, you will need at least 1/2" drywall so it stays flatter. Make sure you screw into joists, not just lath.

bjbatlanta 02-21-2012 06:53 PM

Agree. Another layer....

user1007 02-21-2012 07:19 PM

Drywall will be fastest. Unfortunately when you sell, you will have to disclose you know the asbestos is there. Asbestos is only an issue when airborne though but the fact you have it may still be used as a price negotiating point against you.

user1007 02-21-2012 07:21 PM

Drywall will be fastest. It will look the best. And will come as close to sealing the asbestos in place as you seem willing to do. If you do a drop ceiling the stuff will continue to fall off and could go airborne on you. You do not want your family breathing asbestos.

bjbatlanta 02-21-2012 07:29 PM

And a drop ceiling is not really attractive in a residential living space (basements being the exception and I'd rather do drywall then too if possible).

30Five 02-21-2012 09:27 PM

Thanks for the feedback folks! I was leaning in that direction at first, and now I'm definitely going for it. It will be great peace of mind to get it done.


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