It wasn’t long ago that you would not see a new home built without a popcorn ceiling. This textured, spray-on ceiling finish is an affordable option to hide flaws in ceilings, such as leaks, cracks or damage. They also have acoustic properties that help reduce sound in multi-story homes. For these and other reasons, popcorn ceilings were once very popular. That is no longer the case.
Popcorn Ceiling Drawbacks
There are a few reasons that popcorn ceilings are no longer popular or practical. First, if they are installed in any room that gets a fair amount of moisture (such as a bathroom or kitchen), it can loosen and even fall off the ceiling completely. Even when it stays in place, it can collect dust, dirt, cobwebs, and other uglies. The surface can also cast harsh shadows, which makes small rooms look even smaller.
It Might Not Be as Simple as Just Removing the Popcorn Ceiling
Of course, any good real estate company will suggest that buyers look at the bones of a property and do not turn down the perfect property just because of a few aesthetic issues that can be easily fixed. For example, if a home has wall colors you don’t like, it is easy enough to paint over them. This is not always the case when it comes to popcorn ceilings.
Why? Because it is possible that there is asbestos involved. This is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil and, when inhaled, can cause serious issues to include cancer. It was once used in various building materials but has been banned since 1990. That said, if the home you are looking at is older than that, the spray-on textured could very well have asbestos in it.
To further complicate things, it is not as simple as just looking at the material to determine if it has asbestos. You would have to actually scrape off a portion to have it tested. This is not only cost-prohibitive for a home you are not sure you want to buy, but it can also do more harm than good by releasing asbestos through dust. The EPA recommends that any material that is in good condition and might have asbestos is simply left alone.
Talk to Your Real Estate Professional if You Have Concerns About Popcorn Ceilings
If you find a home you want to buy except for the fact that it has popcorn ceilings, talk to us at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. We can work with the buyer’s agent to determine when the property was built, when the ceiling was installed, and the likelihood of it containing asbestos. To learn more, call us at (310) 373-0021 for help.