“Popcorn” refers to a textured material that gives the ceiling a bumpy surface. Also known as a stipple, acoustic, or textured, the material once used in popcorn ceilings often contains asbestos.

How Common is Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings?

Very common. The pebbles used to create the popcorn texture were typically vermiculite. Also, a lot of joint compound in that era also contained asbestos as a binding agent.

Popcorn ceilings were extremely popular from the 1930s to the 1990s as a design aesthetic, and if your home was built prior to the 1980s, you may have asbestos in your ceiling, no matter the texture. Between the 1940s and 1980s, asbestos was widely used in a variety of building products because of its strength, durability, and fire-resistant properties. Several asbestos products have since been banned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), but it remains in many older homes.

Scrapping a popcorn ceiling house renovation
Popcorn Ceiling

Are Popcorn Ceilings Safe?

Yes, if the textured ceiling is in good condition. Generally speaking, asbestos-containing materials don’t pose a health risk as long as the material remains in its current state. Disturbed asbestos can create a health hazard and should be handled carefully.

In most cases, however, this type of ceiling sits on top of sheetrock, and eradicating it will render the material friable, which requires a full asbestos containment for removal (as explained below).

The Dangers of Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings

Asbestos is considered harmful when the fibers are released into the air and break down into particles that can be easily inhaled, according to Cleveland Clinic. These particles can cause scarring and inflammation in the lungs, and it’s well-documented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that asbestos can cause such serious health problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis

Take off in the popcorn ceiling home wall texture removal
Removing materials containing some asbestos

Who Is Most At Risk of Exposure to Asbestos in Popcorn Ceilings?

As we’ve discussed, the material is not dangerous unless it becomes airborne. This means construction professionals and homeowners should be especially careful not to bump or damage popcorn ceilings, and special care should be taken if your home is undergoing any type of renovation project.

Do You Have to Remove Your Popcorn Ceiling If It Contains Asbestos?

No, but you probably want to have the material tested for asbestos if you have a construction project on the horizon that involves your ceiling.

Tips for Living With an Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling

If you have a popcorn ceiling — or any type of textured ceiling in your home that was built prior to the 1980s — it’s important to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use caution when installing screws or tape on the ceiling. Try to avoid creating any dust.
  • Abate the ceiling texture before installing recessed lighting.
  • Avoid banging, bumping, or brushing up against the ceiling.
  • Don’t touch the material if it does become damaged — and give us a call!

Asbestos Removal Services Offered

We offer a variety of asbestos removal services, including:

  • Asbestos abatement
  • Asbestos insulation removal
  • Asbestos roofing removal
  • Asbestos pipe wrap removal
  • Asbestos floor tile removal
  • Asbestos popcorn ceiling removal
  • Asbestos cement sheet removal
  • Vermiculite insulation removal
  • Asbestos boiler insulation and component removal
Asbestos corrugated roofing sheet being removed and sealed


629 Calef Highway (Route 125)
Epping, NH 03042

10 Spencer Street
Stoneham, MA 02180

680 Stroudwater Street
Westbrook, ME 04092

Asbestos Roofing Removal Service Areas: NH, MA, and ME

EnviroVantage providesresidential asbestos roofing removal services in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Please call 1-800-640-5323 for more information or to get a quote

Workers wear protective face masks for safety in machine industrial factory.

Asbestos Removal Certifications and Training

All of our asbestos workers undergo intensive training and must pass exams and continuing education courses. Our certifications include:

  • CT Asbestos Contractor
  • MA Asbestos Contractor
  • MA Home Improvement Contractor
  • MD Asbestos Contractor
  • ME Asbestos Abatement Contractor
  • NH Asbestos Abatement Entity
  • NH Asbestos Disp. Site Contractor
  • NY Asbestos Handling License
  • PA Asbestos Contractor
  • RI Contractor Registration
  • RI Asbestos Abatement Contractor
  • VT Asbestos Abatement Entity

We’re also associated with the following organizations:

  • National Demolition Association
  • Associated Builders & Contractors
  • Society of American Military Engineers
  • Environmental Business Council of New England

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

The cost to a remove a popcorn ceiling in an average-sized living room is about $3,500 to $4,000. Removing ceilings in an entire house will cost about $10,000 or more, but the final price will depend on how much asbestos is present, where the asbestos is located, and where your home is located geographically.

It typically takes 1-2 days to remove a ceiling in one room and about a week to remove ceilings in an entire house.

Young couple thinking over budget

What is the Process for Removing a Popcorn Ceiling?

The process will depend on whether you want just the popcorn texture gone or the entire ceiling removed. Scraping a popcorn ceiling off sheetrock can be tedious and challenging, especially since you don’t want to damage the sheetrock, whereas a full ceiling removal is often easier. You also want to be mindful of any asbestos-containing materials located above the ceiling, such as vermiculite in the attic.

Here’s an overview of how we handle a full containment, should you need one:

  • We will build a containment area around the asbestos by hanging two sheets of 6 mil poly and two sheets of regular poly. We will also cover critical barriers, such as windows, doors, and HVAC openings that are not being used.
  • EnviroVantage will construct a decontamination unit that includes three chambers: a clean room, a shower, and a dirty room.
  • We wet the asbestos using a mixture of water and surfactant with hoses and pump sprays since there can be no dust in the work area. The asbestos is removed and put into two layers of pre-labeled bags that are then sealed. We properly dispose of the asbestos in an enclosed, lined dumpster that has been brought to the area.

Here’s an overview of our asbestos removal process:

  • We will prepare an effective removal plan to best fit your project. place.
  • Our office staff will prepare and submit all state notification paperwork.
  • Our field staff will go above and beyond to respect your home during the removal process.
  • We will ensure proper disposal of all asbestos material.
  • We will arrange for an independent inspection. This process involves a visual inspection and air samples as required to re-occupy the space following the removal of asbestos.
  • Finally, we will create a final report detailing abatement activities and compiling the appropriate documentation.

Why EnviroVantage?

We are an established, highly trusted demolition, environmental, and indoor air quality contractor with over 35 years of experience. Our trained, expert technicians leverage leading-edge equipment and technology while adhering to industry best practices to deliver safe, high-quality services to our clients on job sites every day.

Our team is also cross-trained, which means every member has experience in asbestos removal, mold remediation, air duct cleaning, and sensitive homeowner specialty cleaning. This means if we find mold while removing asbestos, we can handle it. We’re a one-stop shop so you don’t have to make appointments with multiple contractors.

If you have any questions about asbestos in your popcorn ceiling or would like more information, contact us and we’ll get back to you shortly.


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