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Would this worry you? Asbestos Popcorn ceiling related

Would this worry you? Asbestos Popcorn ceiling related

Old 11-23-10, 05:25 AM
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Would this worry you? Asbestos Popcorn ceiling related

I am looking at purchasing a house and have a few questions. The house was built in 1972. The current owners removed the popcorn themselves from the living room and the hallway. No abatement company was used and I really doubt they used similar procedures. The popcorn has not been tested for asbestos yet.

I am planning on getting samples tested but did any contractors use non-asbestos popcorn before it was banned?

Would you have any concern about fibers throughout the house and the HVAC system? I have a bad image in my head about fibers floating around and the HVAC carrying them to every room in the house and them getting stirred up when the vacuum cleaner comes by.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Old 11-23-10, 08:30 AM
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<OPINION>The real danger with asbestos is long term exposure of concentrated amounts over long periods of time such as working in an asbestos factory. Even if the ceiling material was asbestos it wasn't 100% asbestos and only a small amount of the original remains so actual amount of asbestos that remains is small. Throw out carpet and padding and vacuum well before installing new. Have your AC ducts cleaned before installing new carpet. But that is just opinion.
Old 11-23-10, 10:14 AM
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I donít think it matters whether someone else would worry or not. Given your worry, have it tested by a certified 'asbestos testing agency' to determine if it was asbestos popcorn or not as both types were in existence. If you donít resolve your worry (or the worries of a spouse if one is involved) and you buy this house, youíll probably find this is a nagging concern that surfaces in various ways over time.

If the test comes back showing it was non-asbestos popcorn, then you may have one more thing checked off the worry list. You donít speak to the chain of custody of this sample material you mention. Is this sample a bag of the supposed popcorn from a batch saved by the current owners, or are you obtaining this sample from room(s) that still have popcorn ceilings? I would be somewhat skeptical if the owners saved samples of the popcorn ceiling earlier removed. My skepticism would be heightened if they told me they removed this material a long time ago, and still have sample bags to give out when selling the home. Most sellers would not keep evidence of an environmental concern if they know it will test positive. This chain of custody issue comes up in drug testing when the test procedures canít be certain a urine sample is from the person being tested.

If youíre confident youíre testing valid material and the test comes back showing it was asbestos popcorn, then you should seek expert opinions. Iím not an expert in this field but would think consequences and concerns might be driven by the length of time involved from when owners removed it . . . for example, 3 weeks ago might register higher concerns than say 15 yrs. ago. Another issue to consider is your future disclosure requirements to another buyer if you go forward in buying this house. I donít know if there are any reporting requirements to state health officials if your sample is positive but something you should learn about before going to far.
Old 11-23-10, 01:10 PM
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In the 70's there was probably as much asbestos popcorn as there was non asbestos. The asbestos was mainly used in commercial settings [including schools] The contractors that did commercial work often used the same materials on residential job. Wet asbestos poses little or no hazard, it's the inhaled dust that is a concern. If asbestos is removed properly, there isn't much danger. It can be a diy type job.

Like Ray, I wouldn't be overly concerned but Rob brings up some good points. The remaining popcorn texture can be tested but there wouldn't be much point in testing where the popcorn has been removed. If the carpet is shampooed and the house generally cleaned - I would think any asbestos concerns would be minor. Paint would adequately seal any asbestos left on the scraped ceiling.
Old 11-24-10, 10:16 AM
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Even if it comes back non aspestos think about having the ducts cleaned anyway. Lots of nasty stuff in there since 1972.

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