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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Asbestos ceiling?

    Hello all,

    My wife and I have a 1901 craftsman-style Victorian in Colorado. In a couple of rooms they've put a texture over the existing plaster ceiling. Is there anyway to tell if this is asbestos without sending a sample off? I should mention that my wife is nearly 8 months pregnant with our first child so I want to be absolutely no-kidding sure before I start scraping and painting. Also, the texture is over stairs that would make it a serious hassle to cover with thin drywall. Thank you in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4,045

    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    Afraid not --- you'll need to have a sample tested.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    Now it may not be the proper time to start sanding and creating dust. First you need to test the texture. Second you will not have enough time to do what you want to do before the baby arrives. Why did you wait too long?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,190

    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    No, you cannot tell if there's asbestos present without having a sample tested. This is a very easy thing to do, you only need a sample the size of a quarter to send to the lab, and your local county extension office or building department can direct you to a free or low cost testing facility. You can collect a sample from any inconspicuous place to send in.

    Contrary to my esteemed colleague dj1's reply, there is something you can do to protect your family if there is asbestos present. The easiest thing to do is encapsulate it by applying a good layer of paint over it. This will seal in anything until you can take the time to remove or remediate in another manner.

    Having said that, asbestos is only a problem when it's disturbed or friable. Friable means that it's decaying and releasing its fibers into the air on it's own. Disturbing, well that's pretty self explanatory and includes anything that disturbs the texture, from a mild graze while moving furniture to full on removal of the texture.

    The best and first place to start is to get it tested. From there you can determine what your best options are in the time frame allotted. I personally would hold off on removal for a few years and go for encapsulation, which btw, is a widely recognized means of dealing with both asbestos and lead.

    Congratulations on the baby, best wishes to you, your wife, and your soon to be little one.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    Spruce is correct with the second option to spray paint the texture and encapsulate whatever is there. However, painted texture is much harder to remove, if and when you decide to remove it.

    I didn't mention painting because tyheel asked about scraping and sanding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,190

    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Spruce is correct with the second option to spray paint the texture and encapsulate whatever is there. However, painted texture is much harder to remove, if and when you decide to remove it.

    I didn't mention painting because tyheel asked about scraping and sanding.
    True, paint will make removing it late a bit more difficult, however it will take care of his immediate concerns and problem. If he's happy with the paint encapsulation, then he's also just done this job the easy way.

    Removal later will depend on how it was painted and how much paint was applied. A good coat of sprayed on paint will do the trick without hampering removal too badly later. Roll the paint on and it will be an arduous test of endurance to get the texture off as well as more time spent floating out the surface ready for new texture and paint.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    1,522

    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    or you can go over the asbestos bases plaster with a layer of drywall, which will fully seal both by the drywall and hte paint.

    this is something i normally to on stipled ceilings as its much faster to simply go over it with a fresh layer than it is to sc**** it all off then fix all the gouges inthe ceiling
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    2

    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    Thank you all for the advice. For those of you that were worried the texture has more than enough layers of paint to encapsulate it. It just looks a little out of place with the rest of the house. We've only lived in the house for about a year and we haven't gotten to all the cosmetics yet. Especially those that involve hazmat :-)

  9. #9
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    Following your latest bit of information...

    If the ceiling is very unattractive, a baby is coming, winter is coming, the holidays are coming, property taxes are due...maybe it will make more sense to re-drywall on top of what you have, as suggested by jkirk !

    if you do that, you need to locate and mark the joists and use longer screws, to make sure you have a secure ceiling. You'll need a helping hand for this job.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    NY
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    35

    Smile Re: Asbestos ceiling?

    sampling from a lab is cheap $15 per or so..even here in NYC

    http://westchester-architects.com
    Last edited by designseeker; 10-27-2011 at 04:04 AM. Reason: add url

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