If you are thinking about going through the process of popcorn ceiling removal in your home as a way of update aesthetics, you need to be aware of some serious precautions before doing anything. This type of ceiling is also referred to acoustic ceiling, which was extremely popular during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and even into the early part of the 1980s. In addition to being used in homes contractors also provided commercial buildings with a finishing like this. While at the time the look was modern and chic, it was eventually replaced with different materials and innovative designs.
Another reason the popcorn finished ceiling was replaced had to do with the materials used. From the time this type of ceiling was initially installed until the early part of the 1980s, it contained asbestos. As we all know today, asbestos is a cancer causing materials that is extremely dangerous. While asbestos does not pose serious health risk if not compromised, once a person begins to move or scrape ceiling material such as this off, the fine particles become airborne, which are then inhaled. At that point, the individual has been directly exposed to a material known to be aggressive for causing cancer.
Now, this does not mean there is no option to remove popcorn ceiling material just that a few things need to be determined first. Most importantly, the room or rooms with this type of ceiling would need to be assessed by a highly trained professional. This individual would come into the home, remove a small sample using protective hazmat gear, and then have the material analyzed in a laboratory setting. If asbestos were found, the only way for a ceiling covered with popcorn material to be removed would be for a licensed professional to do the work. If no asbestos were found, then you could safely remove the material.
Another aspect of having a ceiling covered in popcorn material removed is that once everything has been scraped off, by law, it must be disposed of in a very specific manner. The reason is that if the material were simply placed in the trash, again whenever moved by the trash haulers, anyone at the dump, etc, the particles become airborne and are breathed in, further causing serious physical risk to anyone around.
When damaged, popcorn ceiling removal by a professional is the only real option. However, if only a small portion of the ceiling was damaged and you did not mind the textured look, the same licensed professional would need to handle the repair. On the other hand, if the material were void of asbestos, you could easily fix the damage. For this, you could purchase a special patch for the ceiling or visit your local home improvement store and buy a can of spray on popcorn like material to complete the job on your own. When done, the ceiling could be left as is or painted, if needed.