Photo by Steve Johnson

Also known as acoustic ceilings and, more amusingly, cottage cheese – this rough, bumpy ceiling texture has been the craze around town for half a century. Brushing up on the basics of what a popcorn ceiling is will be helpful to every homeowner.

The popcorn ceiling is less expensive than the traditional plaster method. It’s applied sprayed, resulting in more of a cottage cheese look than an actual popcorn, hence the nickname. Typical benefits of having a popcorn ceiling include the following:

  • Concealed imperfections
  • Upgraded fire resistance
  • Sound-insulating benefits

These are just some of what a homeowner could attain from a popcorn ceiling installation. Although lately, this style tends to make the room a little dated. You also need to understand a few things about popcorn ceilings, which we will discuss below.

What was the problem with Asbestos?

Health risks should be considered in construction materials, especially if such materials contain Asbestos. It is a fibrous silicate mineral that became the main component of popcorn ceilings until it was deemed a hazardous material in 1978.

So why is it dangerous, you ask?

Well, Asbestos, once struck or scratched, could distribute microparticles of fibrils which could scar the lungs, causing multiple illnesses and, worse, lung cancer if anyone inhales them.

In the United States, there was a significant downturn regarding Asbestos in the ‘70s. After thorough research, they found that Asbestos was connected to a type of cancer called ‘mesothelioma’ and several other pneumonic complications.

How did popcorn ceiling manufacture change over time? 

The same year that Asbestos was declared a hazardous material in 1978, the U.S. government passed the Clean Air Act.

Now, manufacturers are using paper fiber or Styrofoam, though unfortunately, many suppliers still sell asbestos-laced materials. If your home has a pre-existing popcorn ceiling installed during the mid to late80s, you should contact a health inspector to determine if there is Asbestos.

Why do popcorn ceilings remain popular?

You might wonder what’s so great about having a popcorn ceiling around the home despite its turbulent history. To some, it’s more of a nuisance and isn’t so aesthetically pleasing and unsightly. There are a lot of mixed feelings about this design approach.

  • Cost-effective means to make the interior space nicer
  • Covers up for the flaws that could be found on drywalls
  • Intentionally evokes roughness on the surface
  • Excellent noise reduction
  • You can paint on it to fit in with the other house décor

Joint compounds on drywall can be tiring, and popcorn ceilings make life easier since they hide unfinished edges. Since it spans the entire ceiling, it doesn’t look too tacky compared to spot patches which ruin the look of a typical flat ceiling.

Keeping the home updated in terms of look and quality takes time and effort. The appearance of popcorn ceilings makes every other minor structural flaw an integral part of the home.

Say “bye-bye” to popcorn ceilings!

Popcorn ceilings are challenging to clean. If you’re not heavy on deep household maintenance, retaining such ceiling textures may not be a good idea. Cobwebs, dust, dirt, or grime may get in between the gaps, creating discoloration.

Putting up ceiling-oriented lighting fixtures is not advisable since they cast many shadows that look messy/all over the place. Another problem is that you would have to focus more on the wall and floor décor to lead the eyes away from what’s above. Isn’t that too tiring?

Any drywall mishaps, cracks, uneven surfaces, or even harmful residue pose a threat when paired with a popcorn ceiling. Hence, if you find such a texture unpleasant, you must get a professional service to get the popcorn ceiling off.

As mentioned earlier, no one should casually remove or scrape off a popcorn ceiling without adequate knowledge. Given the health risks, there might be other worse consequences if not done by professionals.

Thankfully, there’s The Patch Boys of St. Louis. They’re a trusted name in popcorn ceiling removal and have been providing excellent service for the past decade. Their seamless work, especially for taking out risky materials like popcorn ceilings, has made several homeowners come to them repeatedly.

So if you’re gearing up and ready to get rid of that popcorn ceiling, you know who to call!

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