Ditching the Popcorn Asbestos We Can
One of the first things we knew we would change ASAP during our first walkthrough of our house was the disgusting popcorn ceiling in our living / dining room. Every other room in the house as close to a Level 5 gypsum board finish, but the biggest room of the house had super attractive popcorn caked on the ceiling.
We’re assuming they wanted to hide some cracks or leaks since it had been used as a rental for so long, and popcorn ceilings tend to be a quick fix. Why? I have no idea. We were sort of in a pickle though because we knew our house is 80 years old, but we had no idea when the popcorn was applied. Meaning. We had no idea if the popcorn contained asbestos or not. We had initially planned to scrape the ceilings ourselves but the fear of the unknown (and the type of cancer that runs in my family) was weighing heavily on us, and we both agreed that professional abatement was the way to go. We knew that we needed to have it removed before we moved in. Otherwise. Holy mess. So we had a few contractors come out to give us their bids, and they got to work right away.
They covered our freshly refinished floors with paper, then literally covered every surface except for the ceiling with plastic. It was like a plastic fortress.
All of the white on the floor? Yeah that was popcorn.
They removed all of the popcorn, reinforced our ceiling in a few areas, retextured it with a nice orange peel finish, and painted it flat white. They couldn't go back in with a Level 5 finish because cracks in San Antonio are absolutely unavoidable, and the orange peel had helped to hide any that have crept along when our house shifts after a good rain. Let’s take one last look at the before.
△ B E F O R E △
△ A F T E R △
Isn’t it so much better? It honestly makes the ceilings look higher. Probably because we no longer have stalactites hanging over our heads. We had them completely remove the gross (and sagging) ceiling fan and crystal chandelier (which we gave to a neighbor) because we knew were going to replace them. Also we knew we wanted to have our dining room near the fireplace and our living room where the chandelier is. It just didn’t make sense to leave them up even though we didn’t have anything to go up in their place.
Although it was really hard for us to not DIY this one, in the end it was the safer choice to have the professionals take care of it. Also. That would have been pretty messy. Luckily because they Dexter-ified the whole room they were able to just roll it all up and our freshly refinished floors were left in pristine condition.