popcorn ceilings

what’s a fair rate for testing a popcorn ceiling for asbestos and sending it off to the lab?

In my state you need a license to sample potential asbestos for testing. If you fill out your profile we will know which state you are in and you may receive better help.

Aside from that why do you care?

Asbestos is not a health hazard if undamaged and fibers are not friable. The only reason to check, IMHO, is because you want to remove the popcorn spray.
Is that the reason for your question? If so, say so!


No Doug!
The kids are gonna eat the ceilings.:smiley:

People often ask about asbestos in popcorn ceilings, so I can see why an inspector might want to provide an answer to that question and make it a billable event. I have decided to just inform them that they can take care of the testing themselves and save my mark-up. Also, it requires three samples, each about an inch square, so getting the owner’s permission is not something I want to mess with. Also, the tests might not make it back from the lab within the option period.

As has been said by others, it’s not a problem until it is disturbed, and even then, proper removal is not rocket science.

If I were a seller and the buyer wanted the transaction/price to hinge on the question of asbestos in the popcorn, I would probably just look for a different buyer.

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My lab only charges me $20 per sample. However…

  1. You probably have to be licensed by your state to obtain the sample.

  2. Since you generally need a half-dollar sized sample, are you going to cut into the ceiling to obtain the sample of a home you are inspecting? Are you going to obtain samples all over the home? Because you would need to. Pretty sure you are opening up a huge can of worms to do this even if the seller allowed you to do so. Think of all of the variables from actually obtaining the sample to repairing the damage you created.

  3. Consider using a disclaimer such as the following that I use in my report: ( feel free to plagiarize or add to it):* Textured ceilings and asbestos or any other environmentally hazardous materials: We make no warranty or guarantee that the materials in the home are free from asbestos, contain asbestos or any other environmentally hazardous material. Only environmental testing can prove the existence of environmentally hazardous materials. Permissions need to be granted in order to take bulk samples from the home, by the current home owner. All testing should be done by a third party lab. Belrose Home Inspection Services, LLC is not responsible for any future findings of hazardous materials within the home if they were not tested for, at the time of inspection. It is recommended that environmental testing always be undertaken/performed if the presence of hazardous materials are in question. Textured ceiling material should not be removed or disturbed until testing is performed by a qualified professional.

*A fellow inspector got popped for a $250,000 lawsuit this summer because he did not address the potential for asbestos in popcorn ceilings. Sucks that we have to address the unknown, but we do.

Many states require an asbestos license OR EPA certification.

Is your state one of those.

My lab charges $20 per sample … I charge $175 for my service and $50 per sample (minimum 3).

If you are a home inspector doing a VISUAL home inspection when you think ACM may be present I might say something like …

Texas has some pretty strict laws regarding asbestos testing ( spent more money there than I wanted to lol)…

I always picture a ceiling full of popcorn kernels when anyone mentions, “Popcorn Ceiling.”

If the building was built in the time frame when asbestos was being used, it is prudent in this case to always state that asbestos may be an issue and recommend further testing?