How to Remove A Popcorn Ceiling
Popcorn ceilings were often used in the ’60s and ’70s since there was no painting required, and it was a quick and easy fix to imperfections in the ceiling. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to match if it needs to be patched up from holes and cracks, and the texture makes it difficult to clean dust and spiderwebs. Trying to remove the texture is messy, but worth it if the substrate is in good condition underneath.
If your popcorn ceiling was installed before the 1980s, the chances of it containing asbestos are high. This is dangerous because breathing in these particles could damage your lungs and cause lasting damage. You will need to have a sample tested by contacting your local health department. If the sample comes back positive, you will need to either cover the ceiling with new drywall or hire a professional who specializes in asbestos to remove the popcorn ceiling.
If your asbestos test is negative and before prepping the entire room, you’ll want to do a scrape test first in a small area. Try scraping the area while it’s dry first to see how easily it comes off without water, but in most cases wetting the texture works best. Dampen the area with water and try again. If the water doesn’t soften the texture or soak in, the ceiling might have been painted or paint mix was added to the texture. If that’s the case, then wetting the ceiling might not work and you’ll have to decide if you will take on a tough scraping job, or find an alternative option of covering your popcorn ceiling.
You’ll want to cover the floors and walls with plastic drop cloths to make cleanup easier. It will also be useful after the popcorn is removed and the ceiling is repaired by sanding. Remove all furniture from the room, ceiling fixtures, and fans. You will also need to protect or remove light fixtures and cover electrical junction boxes with painters tape to keep from getting wet. Turn the power off in the room in the circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
Get to Work
Start by working in small sections, such as a 4×4 space to keep the popcorn from drying. Use a pump sprayer (like a garden pump sprayer) and let the water soak in for about 15 minutes to reduce dust and make scraping easier. Use a mud pan to catch the popcorn while you work so it reduces the mess. To prevent gouging from the scraper, round of the corners so you have less to repair in the ceiling once the popcorn is removed. Most likely your ceiling will need some repair and you will need to sand and smooth out the ceiling before painting.
Forensic Engineering Specialists
Engineering Specialists Inc. has nearly 30 years of field experience in analyzing the damage to vehicles, residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. We can work on any project in any state, nationwide. When you or your business needs to confirm the extent of damage or how to correct a problem, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us, toll-free, at (877) 559-4010.