it signaled the banishment of popcorn ceilings, which is now almost non-existent in its earlier form because it is also out of fashion and can make a room look outdated. However, popcorn ceilings have a rich history of construction in the USA. Reasons for popularity Popcorn ceilings were in high demand through the significant part of the 20th century, especially during the decades between the 1950s and 1980s. It started in the 1930s and even continued until the last decade of the twentieth century. At that time, people looked upon it as an improvement upon other types of ceilings for its aesthetics and other practical reasons. Installing popcorn ceilings was a way to decorate homes and conceal the imperfections and unfinished work on the ceiling. The noise absorption and non-inflammable property of asbestos helped to create homes that were comfortable to live in and look aesthetically pleasing. The dangers of popcorn ceiling The good looks of the popcorn ceiling are deceptive because there are no signs of the risks that remain hidden within it. The asbestos fibers are toxic as well as carcinogenic. It can cause cancer when released in the air due to crumbling or breaking of any part of the ceiling and inhaled by humans. Therefore, it can be highly dangerous to touch, bump, or scratch the ceiling surface that releases toxic asbestos fibers. The amount of asbestos content in ceilings is irrelevant because even the slightest amount of asbestos fibers can be highly dangerous for human health. Leaving the ceiling undisturbed by consciously avoiding interactions is one way of minimizing the dangers. Still, since ceiling damage due to wear and tear can happen any moment, the health hazard looms across homes. Asbestos content does not matter The presence of asbestos, regardless of its percentage in popcorn ceilings, is equally harmful, and the safest ceiling is the one that does not contain any asbestos. Even 1% asbestos can pose a big danger, and higher is the asbestos content more is the danger. Leaving the ceiling undisturbed can reduce the danger, but even if you can achieve it, the danger remains because of the nature of popcorn ceilings that tend to crumble. Inhaling asbestos may not make you fall sick immediately, but it can surface after many years as experienced by construction workers. Even the slightest rubbing of the ceiling surface is dangerous for health as it releases asbestos fibers. The threat looms large The government prohibited the manufacture of popcorn ceilings using asbestos in 1977. Still, the threat persists among homeowners, construction workers, and the general public because many homes that had popcorn ceilings are continuing with it. Since homeowners receive maximum exposure to popcorn ceilings, they remain most vulnerable because of the chances of ceiling damage due to daily living activities like fixing adhesives to the ceiling or accidentally hitting the ceiling during furniture relocation. Construction workers are most exposed to the threat when repairing or replacing asbestos ceilings, and the general public moving around demolition sites remains susceptible to inhaling asbestos fibers floating in the air. Taking protection Homeowners must act fast to seek protection against popcorn ceilings that contain asbestos by consulting some companies like Popcorn Ceiling Solution and arrange to replace it with some asbestos free and more modern ceiling solution like Stretch Ceilings. Not hiring professional ceiling removal specialists to detect asbestos could lead to testing the ceiling on your own by using some home test kit that would cause more harmful exposure. The professionals know how to collect samples by encapsulating the ceiling to minimize exposure. If replacing the popcorn ceiling is not feasible for any reason, and you continue living with it, then you must take some precautions like encapsulation to prevent asbestos fibers from releasing into the air. What is encapsulation? The process of encapsulating asbestos ceilings consists of covering the ceiling securely so that no asbestos dust or fiber can come in contact with the air of the room. One way of doing it is to spray vinyl paint on the ceiling that forms a protective coating on the ceiling and prevents asbestos fibers from escaping into the air. However, you will have to live with the looks of the old ceiling texture, which could be outdated. Another method is to cover the popcorn ceiling with new ceiling panels like gypsum boards, which is drywall but lighter. However, you must hire a professional to do the job safely because the process entails taping the ceiling panels seamlessly, and even the slightest disturbance to the popcorn ceiling is dangerous. The protection will remain till the time it becomes necessary to disturb the ceiling due to renovation or repair work. It means that the solution is temporary and not foolproof, like ceiling replacement. Living with asbestos popcorn ceiling If you have to continue living with an asbestos popcorn ceiling, then you must follow some safe practices that can reduce asbestos exposure to some extent but cannot guarantee complete safety. Asbestos fibers do not come out from the ceiling unless there is some surface scratching or rubbing, and you must ensure that you do not indulge in any act like drilling, hammering, or taping that can disturb the setting. Avoid installing shelves or any other furniture that can touch the ceiling and rub against it and do not ever scrape the ceiling even inadvertently. Never allow children to throw toys or other objects to the ceiling and refrain from any act that can scrap or rub the ceiling. Keep away from the ceiling and leave it alone. Keep a close watch on the ceiling, and if you see the slightest possibility of damage or crumbling, arrange for immediate encapsulation or replacement. Thanks to Popcorn Ceiling Solutions for contributing!
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