Popcorn ceilings, also known as stucco ceilings, acoustic ceilings and cottage cheese ceilings, were hugely popular in buildings and residential houses built between the 1930’s and 1990’s. The stippled “popcorn” look was a cheap alternative to properly painted ceilings, and because of how easy it was to apply the mix builders didn’t need to concern themselves with fixing minor ceiling imperfections such as cracks and small holes since they would just be covered up by the texture.
5 Reasons to Remove Popcorn Ceilings
As with most home improvement projects, popcorn ceiling removal is not necessarily considered a must-do item for most homeowners. Even so, there are a handful of compelling reasons that may shoot popcorn ceiling removal to the top of your to-do list. Before we look at the popcorn ceiling removal process and talk about the cost of removing a textured ceiling, let’s quickly go over some of the benefits of this home improvement project.
Popcorn ceilings may contain asbestosIf your home was built before 1979 and has popcorn ceilings, the texture may contain asbestos fibers, which can cause serious illness such as asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, and respiratory complications, among other serious conditions. The EPA banned the use of asbestos in spray-applied surfacing products in 1978, but asbestos was commonly used in popcorn textures before then. If you have an older home and suspect that your popcorn ceilings may contain asbestos, removal is the best option to protect your health.
Popcorn ceilings are hard to cleanThe bumps and grooves in textured ceilings may have sound-dampening properties, but besides “catching” noise they are also very good at catching cobwebs, dust, and bits of dirt. Although a duster can help you get rid of debris, it can also cause pieces of the ceiling to break and fall off, resulting in more aesthetic harm than good. A smooth painted ceiling is leaps and bounds easier to clean, which means a more beautiful and inviting home overall.
Popcorn ceilings are hard to paintIn addition to all the dust and dirt that popcorn ceilings can accumulate over time, they can also begin to yellow as they start to get older (this can also happen if there’s any water damage). Unfortunately, if your plan is to simply paint over your popcorn ceiling to give it a fresh coat, you may have a harder time than you thought. It can be difficult to get paint between all the tiny crevices without the right brushes, and even with the right tools it can hard to achieve a uniform and consistent coat over the old ceiling. If asbestos is not a concern and you would rather paint over the ceiling instead of removing it, hire a professional painting company to make short work of this difficult DIY painting project.
Popcorn ceilings may lower your home’s resale valueFor all of the reasons above, popcorn ceilings may actually lower the perceived value of your home. That’s not to say popcorn ceilings necessarily lower the actual market value, but buyers may shy away from taking on a place they know will need extra renovations after moving in, or if they are interested in the house they may try to use the popcorn ceiling as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower closing price.
Professional Popcorn Ceiling RemovalEven for experienced do-it-yourselfers, popcorn ceiling removal can present many challenges. Not only is popcorn ceiling removal an incredibly messy job, but improper removal can damage the substrate underneath the popcorn or stucco. This is a labor-intensive job that is best left to professionals. And if you plan on painting the freshly exposed ceiling afterward, you can save even more time and hassle by hiring a professional interior painting company. From removal to disposal to repainting, hiring a painting company to handle your popcorn ceiling removal can streamline the entire process.
The question you may be asking at this point is how much does professional popcorn ceiling removal cost? There are numerous factors that can affect the price of popcorn removal, including:
- Square Footage – Professionals usually charge per square foot. It may go without saying, but the cost to remove stucco in a large living room or in multiple rooms will be higher than a smaller job in a single room or across a smaller home. If you don’t know the square footage of your home or the room with a popcorn ceiling, you may only receive a general estimate until someone can measure the exact square footage of the popcorn ceiling that will be removed.
- Prep and Setup – Prep and setup are usually included in the fees, but there may be exceptions if anything about the job requires additional work beyond what is “normally” expected for these kinds of jobs. For instance, unpainted stucco is easier to remove than painted stucco, which requires increased effort to remove and often requires further prep after removal due to the substrate being affected. Asbestos is another factor. The presence of asbestos can turn popcorn ceiling removal into a much more complicated (and expensive) process.
- Finishing – What do you want to do with your ceilings after the popcorn texture is removed? This is one of the first questions you will be asked when calling for a quote on popcorn ceiling removal since the answer directly impacts the total cost of the project. You don’t necessarily need to repaint your ceilings, but even if you want to keep them exposed there is some level of finishing needed to complete the job. If you choose to go the painting route, the type of paint you choose can also impact the total cost.
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Everyone loves popcorn, but no one loves their popcorn ceilings. If you’re ready for a change of scenery inside your home, the professionals at The Painting Company Birmingham can help. We’re in the business of creating beautiful home interiors in Alabama.
In addition to our great interior painting services, we also provide popcorn ceiling removal for homeowners and businesses.
Contact us online for a quote on your popcorn ceiling removal needs.