The 1930's brought a dose of hardship across the world. Not the least of which was a new spray-on ceiling treatment: popcorn ceilings. During the Great Depression, this building trend became the go-to style in almost every home. But it wasn't long before this once sought after home decor was revealed as a historically bad idea.
Popcorn ceiling is a textured finish that resembles actual popcorn. It lost popularity in the late 70's (1977 to be exact) when the EPA banned this snack-looking decoration due to the discovery of asbestos. Despite the ban, many old homes still have popcorn ceilings which haven't been tested or removed.
Does your home have a deadly ceiling? In this article, we discuss why it's time to update and remove popcorn ceiling from your home.
Asbestos in the Popcorn Ceiling
Most homes built before 1978 likely have asbestos in the ceiling's texture. This is a major health risk.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that's harmful to the body if inhaled or ingested. It's most toxic in its friable state--crumbled in the hand or sprayed on.
Ceiling popcorn has a cottage cheese texture or crumbled look. If it's manipulated in any way, asbestos particles can release into the air. Ingesting asbestos particles over time may lead to certain cancers and body deformities.
Illnesses linked to asbestos exposure include:
- Ovarian Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Club Fingers
Asbestos claims the lives of almost 15,000 people per year. That's more than enough reason to remove it.
Textured Ceilings are Hard to Paint
When you own your home, you have the luxury of redecorating whenever you like. Part of the updating process is changing your home's color scheme.
This may present a problem with popcorn ceilings.
Because of the odd texture, they're very difficult to paint. The traditional method of painting entails a paint roller with an extended handle. But if a surface is too bumpy, it's hard for paint to seep into the flatter parts of the ceiling. Also, when these ceilings get wet, the texture tends to liquify and slough off in chunks.
This may result in repaint jobs, causing a difference in the density of the paint in certain spots. It's more work than it's worth and the final product looks tacky.
Repeated Maintenance and Difficult Repairs
Popcorned ceilings do not last forever. Like other parts of your home, you have to maintain them. After a period of time, the ceilings dull and flake.
They leave little messes that look like snow on your couches and floors. That's not a good thing since it's like a paint. Falling droppings may damage the fabric on your furniture and rugs.
Also, if you do any damage to your ceiling like punching a hole in it or leaving a deep scrape, a simple patch won't work. You may have to replace the entire ceiling or leave it looking a mess. Either way, you lose.
Consider Removing Popcorn Ceiling Texture
In the past, popcorn ceilings were the optimal choice for builders and homeowners. Installation costs were less and it was a formidable replacement for drywall. But it's not without its flaws.
Today, smooth ceilings are on-trend. Because popcorn ceilings are outdated, unhealthy, and high-maintenance, homeowners are increasingly taking action to remove them.