Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

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nkanderson
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Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by nkanderson » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:39 am

We moved into our house about 2 years ago, and at the time it had 2 bedrooms with asbestos popcorn ceiling texture (that we've since had removed). The rest of the house has either a knockdown or orange peel texture that was done sometime before we bought it.

I'm trying to figure out how the previous owners dealt with the popcorn ceiling that was very likely throughout the house (besides the 2 bedrooms we know about). If they did it right, they would've scraped it, repaired the drywall and re-applied texture, then painted. There's one area where the ceiling meets the fireplace, that makes me wonder if they could've instead just covered it rather than removed it.
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This photo is from the top left of the fireplace. There's a little bit of texture that looks like popcorn texture to me, just above the rock fireplace. To the left, where the ceiling meets the wall, it looks like there's some type of covering. Anyone know what that is? Is there any common method of covering old popcorn ceiling that might look like that?

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This photo is from the other side of the fireplace, if it helps to figure out what was done. I don't see the same covering, but it seems like that could've been painted over (and probably should've been smoothed out and painted over on the other side).

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A. Spruce
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by A. Spruce » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:17 pm

To me, it looks like it was poorly scraped and wasn't repaired after the fact. If it hadn't been scraped, the texture would definitely be a lot thicker and more pronounced. After scraping the bubbled tape on one side should have been addressed and the other side with a bare seam should have been taped. The new texture should have gone all the way to the brick, and finally, the holes between the brick and drywall should have been filled.
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Shannon
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by Shannon » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:39 pm

Yes its been removed. On the left you are just seeing the paper corner tape ,it was previously covered by the brick and was not ever seen before and on the right is the same thing but the edge of the tape has come loose from the ceiling.

Popcorn is sometimes covered up but basically using drywall mud to cover and fill the entire surface until it can be sanded flat again. Its as much work or even more then scraping and removing the popcorn.
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nkanderson
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by nkanderson » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:11 pm

Ah, got it. Yeah, drywall tape would make sense. The fireplace is stone though - I don't think that section ever would've been hidden by brick. (Or at least the part facing the interior of the house is stone, the chimney is brick.) Photo below is the same as that first photo, but further away so there's more context.
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Part of the reason I thought it could've been covered was because the contractor we ultimately had scrape and remove the other popcorn texture told us that one option would be to hang new drywall, to essentially contain the old asbestos texture. Still a lot of work, but probably cheaper than getting someone in who is licensed to remove asbestos, has the equipment to do the negative pressure, etc.

I'm also just curious about how this drywall was put in place around the fireplace. I don't really have experience with drywall, but I'm not sure I understand why they would've had to tape there. To me, it seems like you'd have drywall overlap with the top of the stone such that you wouldn't have any gaps or small sections like that. @Shannon, do you have any videos on doing drywall around a fireplace?

Thanks folks, for weighing in :)

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Shannon
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by Shannon » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:39 pm

That is a better perspective from further back. It does actually look like they strapped and drywalled over the old ceiling. Normally the drywall would have been completed then the brick installed up to it on the walls and ceiling. There is popcorn above that ceiling I am 95% sure of it.
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nkanderson
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by nkanderson » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:58 am

Ok, good to know. How much of a drop in the ceiling would you expect if they covered with new drywall? That is, when measuring from floor to ceiling, would I expect the ceiling to be like 1/2" shorter than the rooms with the popcorn texture removed if there's another layer of drywall that's been added?

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A. Spruce
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:06 pm

it will be more like 3/4", but shouldn't be noticeable
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by Shannon » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:56 pm

Depends what they did. If they simply applied drywall over the old popcorn then you would see about a 3/4” difference . If yheybstrapped the ceiling first with 1x4s then drywall you would see about 1-1/4 difference
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by nkanderson » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:09 am

Interesting, it doesn't seem to be any lower than the ceiling where we had the popcorn scraped off. I think this has raised enough questions that it's probably worth getting someone to come out and test, and try to get a peek at what may be beneath the current ceiling.

This was really helpful for me to understand what the previous owners may have done though. I super appreciate you all providing your insight!

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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:10 am

Does it matter whether it's been scraped or overlaid, what's important is that you don't have asbestos present.

FWIW, asbestos isn't the great big boogieman that it has been made out to be. The only time it is an issue is when it is friable. Covering with drywall or paint is every bit as acceptable as removing it, as far as abatement is concerned. If you're worried about it, you can scrape your own samples and have them tested.
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by Shannon » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:14 pm

I personally would not worry about it . If it has been covered and now can not be disturbed then there is really very little risk IMO.
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by nkanderson » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:24 am

Well the reason I'm wanting to figure it out is because I'd potentially like to do some work like putting in new light fixtures or maybe even doing vaulted ceilings at some point. So any work like that would result in disturbing it.

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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:57 am

As I mentioned earlier, asbestos is not the boogieman that it's made out to be. Is it all sunshine and roses, absolutely not, but the only time it is openly harmful is when it is friable. Friable is when the fibers of the asbestos are breaking down, most commonly caused by constantly being disturbed and banged around.

When doing remodeling work as you suggest, working carefully, with a good quality dust mask, and sealing off the area to contain construction dust and debris, will go a long way to keeping everything contained and harmless.

Also, as mentioned earlier, if you're concerned about the presence of asbestos, take a sample of material and have it tested. If you're in the US, generally your county extension office will do the testing for a small fee. Your building department/permit office should also know who is capable of conducting tests.
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Re: Asbestos under newer ceiling texture?

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:03 pm

A quick note on vaulted ceilings, this will be a huge structural undertaking, especially if you've got trusses. You will want to consult with an engineer to redesign the structure. There are some aesthetic things that you can do to achieve similar results, and that is in the use of crown moldings, paint, installing soffits around the room, or a combination of these things.

For example, if you paint the ceiling a lighter color than the walls, it "pushes" it up visually. Installing crown does the same thing, especially if you also paint the ceiling a lighter color. Soffits do a similar visual effect. Best of all, all these things are inexpensive to do and don't require disturbing the drywall to do them.
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