Asbestos in ceiling dilemma


The old house that my elderly mother lives in in California was recently found to have traces of asbestos from behind the popcorn ceiling of her living room. There is a 4" x 6" patch where the popcorn has come off. But there are no openings/holes in the ceiling. Taking out and replacing the ceiling would be a major job, that would require her to move out while the work is being done. Because of her frailty and dementia, we would rather not put her through such an unsettling experience. I've heard that an alternative would be to put wall board over the ceiling and then paint it as a temporary but long-term fix. Is the information re the wall board correct? If so, how much time and expense would it entail? Can any contractor do it or must they be certified to do asbestos work? We are looking at the ceilings of two 9X12 rooms. Thanks for any information or suggestions.
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tenplay wrote:

Patch the 4x6" area and forget it.
Asbestos in place is not a hazard. Asbestos in any commercial product is not a hazard.
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This is NOT a hazard. Quite worrying about things that won't harm you. The tiny amount of asbestos in the ceiling is encapsulated and is not friable so you won't be inhaling it.
You have a few choices. Dampen the popcorn and scrape it all off and be done with it. (I did it because we don't like the looks of popcorn) Patch what you have and stop worrying Call an asbestos abatement specialist and spends thousands of dollars for no good reason.
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tenplay wrote:

The other replies are correct. Forget it or just patch it.
In case you are misinformed: Asbestos was used in 'popcorn' mixes back when and that is the source of your 'traces'. It would show up when the popcorn was disturbed.
Harry K
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wrote:

I also agree with the others. The asbestos scare is far over rated. This was done so the removal companies could get your money. Just patch it and forget it.
You could also put a suspended ceiling under it (ceiling tiles in a steel grid). They are pretty easy to install.
If you are still scared, move mom to the doghouse, have the house demolished, and build a new house :)
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

If the ceiling is not deteriorating and flaking off, then you can do as suggested and make a small patch if needed. If it is flaking off, then you have a real problem. I would probably go with installing drywall over it. And as the first step, I'd cover what's there with a plastic sheet to prevent any of it from entering the air while you secure the new drywall. I would not use a suspended ceiling, as then any material that comes off is going to be on top of the ceiling tiles, which if disturbed by say a kid tossing a ball around, will release into the air.
The only reason I say "probably" in the above, is not knowing exactly what your real estate sales disclosure laws say about this. Covering it up is certainly a sound practice, but you may still be required to tell a future buyer that the asbestos is still there. If you have to do that, then it may be worth it to have it professionaly removed, which is surely going to cost several thousand bucks. But it could be worth it, if it makes a sale easier and gets you a better price.
And I wouldn't worry about it much for an elderly person with dementia, as they will be dead long before the asbestos could ever harm them.
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How nice must it look? Using spackling compound, one can patch various textures (followed by paint) for a decent appearance. There are folks who are very good at this.
My mother-in-law (now deceased) had senile dementia and her counselors/doctors unanimously advised us to minimize changes in her life style and upsetting her daily routines.
The asbestos thing is way over-blown.
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