Check for Asbestos in those dated popcorn ceilings.

Asbestos was used in popcorn ceiling up until the late 70’s.  

Asbestos was used in popcorn ceilings, ceiling tiles, textured paint and drop panels.  Just because you have popcorn ceiling in an older home does not mean that it contains asbestos.   However, it’s critical before the renovation starts that you have it tested.  If you take a chance and scrap the ceiling you could send asbestos particles into the air.  Once inhaled asbestos fibers can cause lung disease and lung cancer.  Protect your family, friends and workers by running an asbestos test before the work begins.

Article on popcorn ceiling and asbestos by Huge Cairns

The thing about asbestos is that one can’t tell if a construction material contains it simply by looking at it. The only way to prove the existence of asbestos is to have the material of concern tested. This means that you will have to obtain a sufficient sample of the material and send it off to a laboratory that test for asbestos in building materials.

Laboratories that identify asbestos in building materials use highly sophisticated microscopes to determine the presence and amount of asbestos in the sample; in most cases they will determine the type of asbestos too. In most cases, a sample of the popcorn ceiling is obtained through safe methods and inserted into a zip-lock back and labelled. It’s safe to say that you’ll need a sandwich bag full, but check with the laboratory that you wish to work with about how much of a sample they need.

You’ll need to fill out a simple form to track the processing of the material. This form is often referred to as a Chain of Custody, sounds official, but necessary. Laboratories will not analyze samples without a completed chain of custody, so make sure it accompanies your sample material. Usually it only takes a couple of days to get your results, but if you’re pressed for time expedited testing may be available.

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