If you want to remove your popcorn ceiling, you should be checking for asbestos in your popcorn ceiling first. The good news is that you are safe in your home - even if asbestos is present in your popcorn ceiling - so long as the popcorn ceiling isn't disturbed. The danger of asbestos occurs when it becomes airborne and is breathed into the lungs. Then, asbestos is known to lead to chronic illnesses that become life-threatening - illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Checking for Asbestos in a Popcorn Ceiling
Asbestos Environmental of Canada is committed to protecting the health of homeowners and our environment. That is why people call us instead of checking for asbestos in their popcorn ceilings by themselves. While it is highly recommended that you employ the services of a professional, such as Asbestos Environmental of Canada to carry out asbestos testing, we are aware that there are some people who will still try to test their own popcorn ceilings themselves rather than paying someone else to do it.
Hiring a professional company to inspect and ultimately remove your popcorn ceiling is the only safe way. But if you are a diehard do-it-yourselfer, and you are resolved to do check your popcorn ceiling for asbestos, you should follow the directions from the US EPA's Asbestos Sampling Collection Guidelines, which reads (in part) as follows:
1. Mist the area lightly with water prior to taking the sample.
2. Using a clean scraping tool, scrape a small amount of the dampened material into a clean zip-lock bag.
3. Tightly seal the bag, and with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the outside of the bag clean.
4. Label the bag with, when, and where the sample was taken.
5. Take the sample to a laboratory for analysis.
If you take the DIY approach (which Asbestos Environmental of Canada strongly advises against), you will need a P-100 respirator mask and plastic gloves. You should also lay down a large drop cloth that is long enough and wide enough to catch any potential falling dust - dust that may contain toxic asbestos fibers!
The Cost of Checking for Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings by Yourself
Another good idea is to shop around for a laboratory to do the testing. This is not only practical so that you have a place to take it immediately after sampling, but also keep in mind that prices vary for asbestos testing. They can be as high as $250 per sample and as low as $40 per sample. This expense can add up very quickly if you are taking multiple samples from different areas of your home as you should.
You may purchase your asbestos testing kits from hardware stores and big-box stores. However, we have found that these kits don't contain the testing. Generally, you get some rubber gloves, a face mask, and some instructions. Then, you still have to pay for testing.Checking For Asbestos In Popcorn Ceiling