The accoustic ceiling in my home was tested positive for asbestos.
Specifically 2 - 3% asbestos (type: Chrysotile). I have called several
contractors to give me a bid for cleaning it up but the question I have
is (and this may sound like a stupid question) but is this amount
hazardous? I posted here to get an objective opinion that wasn't
influenced by some contractor wanting to make a sale and making me pay
for something that ultimately isn't necessary.
The only time asbestos is a hazard is if you inhale the dust (fibers) from
it. In order to remove the popcorn, it has to be moistened and that prevents
dust and associated problems.
I never had mine tested, We just scraped it off and painted the ceilings.
IMO, it is NOT a problem and you can save a bundle of money doing it
yourself. Messy, so wear some protection.
Keep it wet all the way into the bag. Wash the floor with a mop, don't
vacuum at all, use a disposable wet mop (like swiffer wet). Wear a mask and
scrape the stuff right into a bag lined bucket and you should be fine.
Throw away rags and wash laundry right away.
at 2-3% that means there is 97% other stuff binding it together. Just don't
grind it up and let it dry out and the fibers should remain captive.
A web search will turn up hundreds of resources on asbestos ceilings,
the relative risk, and what is recommended. There are likely state
laws and websites covering it as well.
A related issue to consider is now that you know you have it, in most
locations, if you were to sell the property, you have a duty to
disclose it to the buyer.
If it were mine and it was not coming off, I might leave it alone. Of
course this also depends on who lives there. If you have kids who may
be throwing things around that could hit it, that's different than only
adults living there. If it's coming loose at all, then I would remove
it. And while I do a lot of home repair stuff myself, this is one job
I would leave to the pros. They don't wear suits and establish a
negative pressure area for nothing. The negative pressure area is
particularly important, as you don't want any asbestos making it's way
into other areas of the home during removal.
I'll definitely let a pro do it. I have absolutely no intention of
doing it myself. I've already gotten a ballbark of $7K-$10K. Might
just do it. Of couse, insurance has found a way NOT to pay for it...
"like a bad neighbor, state farm isn't there".
Oh come on, it is a preexisting condition, the asbestos didn't fly in a
window and deposit itself on the cieling after you bought the house. If I
bought a house with a defective paint job, I would not expect the insurance
company to pay for it. Insurance is not a warranty.
You pay so much because they treat every job like it is a worst case even if
the material to be removed is very stable. I wouldn't think twice about
doing it myself in this case. Now if it were insulation removal or that
crumbly old pipe insulation that is mostly asbestos and visably turns to
dust, that would be a jop for the pros.
Why should the insurance company pay? It is NOT a hazard, not a risk, not
an accident. Just looks ugly, IMO. For 10K, I'd come to your house and
take it down. Damned good money for a week of work. My wife did most of
our house. Took her less than a day for each room.
That sounds about right. Remember, not only do pay for the cost of
removing the asbestos-laden ceiling material - the environmental suits,
the filters, the equipment - but you also are paying for them to
legally and safely dispose of the material as well.
Asbestos has significant health issues even in small amounts - 2-3% is
enough to pose a significant risk to you and your family if you tried
to remove this stuff yourself. You never get it all no matter how
careful you are because you don't have the training and equipment the
pros do. Leave it to them, and realize you're paying for peace of mind.
I'd normally be the first to jump on the "my insurance should have
paid" bandwagon, but in this case, no. This is a normal cost of having
an older house. Unless you had the insurance co. write in an asbestos
clause (do they even have those?) it isn't covered under the standard
There are two hazards: (1) the physiological hazard of inhaling
asbestos particles which will not break down in your respiratory
system, and (2) the legal hazard of disposing of asbestos-laden
material at your local landfill in violation of federal hazardous
material disposal laws.
Now, if you want to take your chances with (1), that's fine. My family
has a history of respiratory problems - lung cancer, emphysema, IgA
deficiency (I lack antibodies in the mucous linings of my respiratory
system...it looks like I have allergies, but there are other
susceptibilities) - so I'm not messing with asbestos. Or lead-painted
surfaces. I won't bother to list the results of long-term studies into
the effects of both here. Google is your friend. But if you want to
chance long-term health issues, that's your choice.
On the other hand, with (2), you can't afford the dollar amount of
fines the federal government will hit you with should you dispose of
asbestos at your local dump or incinerator. Andif you do dispose of
material there and your local municipality's landfill is found to have
asbestos, now you've caused your taxes and those of all your neighbors
to go up as the landfill now has to spend hundreds of thousands,
perhaps millions, of dollars to abate the entire landfill.
Not much of a chance. If you work in an asbestos mine, process asbeston,
use i tin the fiber state, you have a very valid point. In the case of a
popcorn ceiling, the asbestos is encapsulated in paint. There are no fine
fibers to blow around and i tis best to work with it wet anyway. I have no
problem doing this nor having any members of my family doing it.
Thereis a lot of asbestos containing material legally taken to the dum every
day. Asbestos tiles, shingles, brake pads (if there are any left) can be
legally disposed of. Some do want a double bag. Please check your local
situation. Encapsulated asbestos is not a problem, now will it contaminate
As yo stated, Goodge is your friend.
Andif you do dispose of
I worked as an auto mechanic in my 20's and inhaled enough asbestos
doing brake jobs and clutches to easily kill me if it were all that
damned dangerous. 30 some years later I'm still here no oxygen bottle
Asbestos. This industry has been shut down in the United States and
Canada. There are more asbestos fibres in the free air in California,
which is composed of chrysotile rock, than in any manufactured
application of asbestos products. The only danger to school children
with asbestos in schools would occur when it is removed. This is a
wind-fall for trial lawyers.
CFC's. As any refrigeration mechanic can tell you CFC's are heavier
than air and do not migrate to the ozone layer. In addition, the oceans
of the world manufacture more fluorocarbons in one day than DuPont can
make in a year. The stuff they replaced this product with have never
been tested for toxicity or explosive characteristics.
Don't be ridiculous.
Gases do not settle in a container, once mixed.
All gases released into the atnosphere will eventually be evenly
diffused. But decomposition and recombination of CFC's occurs in teh
upper atmosphere, where ultraviolet light is stronger and ozone is
But you'd better be wearing an asbestos suit, before making a moronic
statement like that!
On 6 Jun 2006 13:08:28 -0700, " email@example.com"
By "acoustic ceiling" do you mean those separate acoustic tiles?
The older ones that are 12 x 24" almost certainly have asbestos.
I would have assumed that without going thru the expense and liability
If you do mean those tiles, they are easy to pop off the furring
stripes without breaking them apart.
Other posters have assumed that you meant a sprayed popcorn ceiling.
I'm not sure if you meant that or the above...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.