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Everything You Need to Know About Popcorn Ceilings

A popcorn ceiling is a sprayed-on paint/plaster technique that creates a texture much like popcorn. Sometimes referred to as acoustic or stucco ceilings, popcorn ceilings were commonly used in houses from the 1930s to the 1990s but have fallen out of fashion for many reasons. Decades ago, this technique was seen as a cheaper and better alternative to painting one’s ceiling. When asbestos (the primary binding agent typically used in stippling) was banned in the US in 1978 with the Clean Air Act, popcorn ceilings were created using Styrofoam instead.

Below, we’re discussing everything you need to know about popcorn ceilings, including why they became popular, their possible impact on your health, and how to remove them safely.

Why Were Popcorn Ceilings Used?

Popcorn ceilings came into fashion not only for their look and style but for their practical benefits, too. First, the plaster offered a certain amount of soundproofing and noise-dampening. This was especially true for large rooms with high ceilings and wood floors, which were prone to echoing. Additionally, if there were any flaws in the ceiling – such as water damage or cracks – the popcorn technique could quickly and effectively cover them up.

What Is Wrong with Popcorn Ceilings?

Today, popcorn ceilings are regarded as an interior design faux pas. However, this isn’t the only disadvantage of having them in your home. This ceiling technique may also come with a variety of health hazards that could impact the wellbeing of your family.

Popcorn ceilings trap dirt, dust, and debris, much like Velcro attaches to itself. The allergens adhering to the popcorn ceiling surface are difficult to clean away, causing the problem to persist and increase over time. This can be extremely harmful to individuals who suffer from seasonal allergies.

If your home’s popcorn ceilings were installed before 1980, you might also face a more serious health risk – asbestos exposure. Asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma (a type of cancer) for those with long-term contact. The good news about asbestos is that even if it exists in a home, it has to be scraped significantly and inhaled to cause any health problems. However, this can make popcorn removal difficult, so it’s best to seek help from a professional if you want to update your ceiling. Even if there is no asbestos in your ceiling, the paint used to cover it may contain lead (depending on when it was made), which can also cause health issues.

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

Removal of anything from a home depends on the property’s square footage and the specific materials needed. Generally, you can expect about 20 hours of work for a 500 square foot area. Due to the intricacy and skill required to remove popcorn ceilings, it’s recommended to schedule service from a professional. This, as well as the carcinogen risk, is something a trained specialist will know how to tackle safely.

Not only is using a professional contractor safer, but it can also save time on an already lengthy process. “Do-It-Yourselfers” can expect the process to take even longer than an expertly executed job because of the time it takes to learn the new skill and acquire the necessary materials. You should also keep in mind that the work is highly physical; you will be standing on a ladder and working with your arms raised for a significant amount of time.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

Again, the answer to this question is dependent upon many factors such as time, square footage, and the level of expertise needed. Therefore, it’s important to get a quote from a reputable company before starting any work. On average, the price of professionally removing a popcorn ceiling is about $1-2 per square foot. This is approximately $2,700 for an 1,800 square foot home. The cost of professional removal pales in comparison to the amount of time, money, and effort required for a DIY job.

Looking for Professional Popcorn Ceiling Removal? Contact C&M Painting and Home Improvements

As a top painting company in Shelton, Woodbridge, Orange, and nearby CT, C&M Painting and Home Improvements is here to help you enhance the look and livability of your home. Our team specializes in interior and exterior painting and has been a trusted Connecticut contractor since 1980. Not only do we have the expertise and equipment needed for whatever job you require, but we also strive to provide exceptional customer service along the way. We see every job, big or small, as a quest for complete customer satisfaction.

To ensure your popcorn ceiling removal is as safe, efficient, and quick as possible, contact C&M Painting and Home Improvements. Or, click here for a FREE estimate for your service. Let our 40 years of experience go to work for you so that you can enjoy a popcorn-ceiling-free home today!