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Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Ottawa - Facts & Removal

All Questions Answered Here - Get a Free Quote Here As Well!

By Jud Menshal | Apr 9 2024 | Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Removal

There are a lot of questions regarding Asbestos containing Popcorn Ceilings. To learn all about it, you can watch the video. If you want an immediate answer to a specific question, find and click your question from the list of "Jump Links" listed below the video.

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Can Popcorn Ceilings Have Asbestos?

Yes. If the home was built prior to 1986, it was legal for it to have contained asbestos. Sometimes even after 1986, it was used illegally.

Do All Popcorn Ceilings Have Asbestos?

No they do not all have asbestos.. Although if your home was built before 1986, there is a decent probability that it does. It depends where the stipple was manufactured. The main mines for asbestos were located in Libby, Montana (United States) and South Africa.

Asbestos popcorn ceilings removal project with the Canadian parliament in the background.

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How Can I Tell If My Popcorn Ceiling Has Asbestos?

The only way to tell is by having it tested. If you live in a condo building, the condo board should have already done this if the building was built before 1986. Ask your condo board. This doesn't mean you don't have to test, but it may save you from having to test if you already know it's asbestos positive.

Should I Test My Popcorn Ceiling For Asbestos?

Yes, you should have your popcorn ceiling tested for asbestos before any renovation that will affect the ceiling if the home was built before 1986. There have also been detections found as late as 1990. It's not a bad idea to test up until this year as well. Another consideration is if you have people in your home that might be prone to scraping or scratching the ceiling (kids usually).

How Do You Test For Asbestos In Popcorn Ceiling?

To test for asbestos in a popcorn or stipple ceiling, a company will come collect samples under an Asbestos Type 1 procedure, regulated by the OHSA Reg 278/05. This process also must follow OHSA's PEL - permissible exposure limit. Transportation of the asbestos falls under the EPA - Environmental Protection Agency and requires TDG - Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

Logo for asbestos popcorn ceiling testing

Where To Get Popcorn Ceiling Tested For Asbestos?

PatchBoyz can help you test the popcorn ceiling for asbestos. On top of the regulatory accreditations listed in the question above this one, there are also minimum requirements for collections. Depending on what kind of material you're testing and how many square feet of ceiling or surface you might ultimately work on, there are minimum sample quantities. We've seen home-owners collect too few samples or collect them in a manner that releases fibers into their homes, endangering their families. It's not worth it.

How Dangerous Is Popcorn Ceiling With Asbestos?

If cut, scraped or abraded and the fibers are released into the home, this closed-loop air system can create a prolonged exposure to asbestos. This can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer or pleural disease. Do not attempt to work on an asbestos containing stipple ceiling on your own.

What Years Was Asbestos Used In Popcorn Ceilings?

Homes built before 1986 have been found to contain asbestos in the popcorn ceilings and stipple ceilings. Not all popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. It is important to have it tested to determine whether the ceiling is asbestos positive or negative. Asbestos has even been detected in ceilings as late as 1990. Though this application would have been illegal.

Before and after of an asbestos popcorn ceiling removal project.

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When Was Asbestos Last Used In Popcorn Ceilings?

The last year asbestos was detected in a popcorn ceiling was 1990. Although legally speaking, the last year it was legally permitted was 1985. In 1986 Ontario banned the use of asbestos in residential construction.

When Did They Stop Using Asbestos Popcorn Ceilings?

1986 is when ceiling contractors stopped using asbestos in popcorn ceilings in Ontario.

When Was Asbestos Banned In Popcorn Ceilings?

1986 is when asbestos was banned for use in popcorn ceilings and other residential construction materials in Ontario.

Entrance to the asbestos containment for an asbestos popcorn ceiling removal project.

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What Does Asbestos In Popcorn Ceiling Look Like?

Asbestos fibers are not visible. They are 1/100th the thickness of a human hair and require microscopic analysis.

How Does Asbestos Abatement Work?

There are 4 types of asbestos abatement. For the removal of Popcorn Ceilings with Asbestos, please refer to the following question "How does one remove popcorn ceilings with asbestos".

For more general asbestos abatement.

  • Type 1 Asbestos Removal
  • Type 2 Asbestos Removal
  • Type 2 Modified (glove bag) Asbestos Removal
  • Type 3 Asbestos Removal.

Each one requires more stringent rules and containment procedures than the previous one. The different types are further defined and executed based on what kind of material the asbestos is in, how many square feet of it and what kind of tools will be used (hand vs power). Last but not least, the decision as to whether wet supression will be used or not will further define which type of removal is to be used.

How Does One Remove Popcorn Ceilings With Asbestos?

There are 2 Methods (removing or scraping) of removing Popcorn ceilings with asbestos. But PatchBoyz has a more affordable alternative than both of these. Inquire here for a FREE quote.

Type 2 - The Removal Method

The most affordable asbestos removal method and only true way of removing it all is to remove the drywall or lathe and plaster ceiling itself. While this may be counter intuitive at first, it is more affordable than scraping it because of all the containment measures required to scrape it. It's important to remember that you will still need a new ceiling installed after the asbestos work is done. The cost of doing this is $2 to $3 per square foot for a new ceiling, not including the asbestos removal cost.

Type 3 - The Scraping Method

The other way to do this is to scrape the stipple off the ceiling and then seal the ceiling in acrylic. This method is more expensive as it requires a type 3 containment which consists of a dirty room, shower room, clean room, notice of project to the city, negative air containment, capnometer to measure negative pressure and a third party air quality test before the containment can be taken down. This makes for a very expensive project. Additionally, not all asbestos is removed from the ceiling using this method since asbestos fibers are microscopic. Once this is done, the ceiling still needs to be skimmed and painted. The cost of doing this is between $4.25 and $6.25 per square foot, not including the asbestos removal cost.

Before and after picture of a skylight that had asbestos containing popcorn ceiling.

How Much Is Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Removal?

The cost per square foot to remove asbestos Popcorn Ceiling is between $10 to $15 per square foot or more. Smaller projects cannot be priced by the square foot as setup, tear down do not fit into the square foot model. These require a minimum price.

But PatchBoyz has a more affordable alternative than both of these. Inquire below for a FREE quote.

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Removing Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling - DIY

Removing Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling on your own would be very cost prohibitive due to the equipment, training and time required to learn the procedures. One would not save much money by doing this on their own. Not to mention the thousands of dollars of equipment you would then own and rarely, if ever, use again. If you plan to do DIY asbestos removal, please take the proper training and buy the proper equipment.

Improper procedural execution could lead to contamination of the home. Guests, residents or future tenants  facing health complications might then fall under tort law. Your duty of care to these people is not something to take lightly.

PatchBoyz cannot give information resembling legal advice when it comes to asbestos removal.

Why Was Asbestos Used In Popcorn Ceilings?

Asbestos was used as a binding agent and filler in many residential construction materials. Many people carry the misconception that asbestos was only used in lower quality homes or materials, when in fact this couldn't be further from the truth. One of Asbestos' amazing qualities is that it is a very good fire retardant, reducing heat and burn rate of the materials it is integrated into or wrapped onto.

What Percentage Of Popcorn Ceilings Contain Asbestos?

Approximately 45% of the popcorn ceilings we've tested in Ottawa that were built before 1986 came back positive.

before and after of an asbestos popcorn ceiling removal in ottawa

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What Is The Likelihood Of Asbestos In Popcorn Ceiling?

Our educated guess would be about a general average 45% chance of the popcorn ceiling having asbestos. The probabilities increase the closer to 1986 a home gets, as adoption of asbestos in stipple products grew heavily year over year until it was banned in 1986. When a home is closer to 1920 and below, we find the probability of asbestos to be lesser.

Are There Grants For Asbestos Removal?

At the time of writing, in April 2024, no, there are not. In 2023 there was a home environment grant that did include a certain amount of asbestos work, but to our knowledge this is no longer available. If you're aware of a new grant that is available, we would appreciate an email so we can update the answer to this question. Thanks!

Article By

Jud Menshal | 📚

Jud is a 14 year Asbestos Removal Type 3 & Supervisor certified remediation technician with additional experience and certifications in Mold, Lead and Finishing. He holds all mandatory safety credentials important for running a safe project site.

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