textured ceiling made smooth

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Thatguy, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    A crew is sanding off my ceiling with angle grinders and whatever else.

    Is there any downside to them renting a half horsepower electric fan with flexible ducts and sucking all these very fine airborne drywall dust particles out the window? I'd open a few windows on the opposite side of that floor.

    That stuff seems to remain airborne for hours.
  2. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Angle grinders? Are you serious?

    How old is the home anyways, did you test the texture for asbestos fibers before this?

    Edit: Are they misting the texture with water before doing this?
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Second what dlarrivee said!!!!!! Ceiling texture is usually scraped, then lightly hand sanded if necessary. What kind of texture was on there? Was it popcorn or something else?


    Bottom line is YES is a major sanding operation is going to continue, you need to deal with the dust. I would prefer large vacuums to blowing it out the window, but you will be dealing with drywall dust in the house for a while! Was the texture tested for asbestos? Sanding is a major no no, if you have not tested.
  4. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    The texture was peaks and valleys about 3/8" high, like you get when you pull the trowel vertically downward off the ceiling.
    The house was built in '64. I didn't know drywall compound used asbestos but I'll look that up, along with the health hazards of breathing drywall dust. They are using hot mud.
    I'm sure these workers will have respiratory problems 20 years down the road.

    There was some clumping of the dust on the ground and they do have a water sprayer but that might be to remove the wallpaper. My Spanish is not so good as to convey these technical concepts. This lady helps some
    http://www.oddcast.com/demos/tts/tts_tran_example.php?clients

    In any case, besides a white lawn, is there any problem sucking out this air at 2500 CFM? In this large room it would be one air change per minute.

    As to health hazards with delayed effects, the "good" news is that half the people my age will be dead within 18 years of some cause or another in any case. Asbestos? Bring it on! :D :D
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,650
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If it is asbestos, I am sure the neighbors would NOT appreciate you becoming the local distributor of it. Just because your blower moves 2500 cfm does not mean that it will clear the room in a minute.
  6. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    So I know next time, if this were handled "by the book" how would it be done? The job was to paint the interior of a 2000 SF house built in '64 with this room being a special case.

    I guess they should have just put in new drywall on the ceiling, and some of the bids split out this task.

    I'd hope the dust, whatever it is, would settle on the ground and then rain would soak it in. I doubt the concentration would be high enough to kill the grass or shorten the lifespan of anyone but that is something else I guess I should look up, whether there is a lower limit that is "safe" for asbestos.

    16' x 18' x 8' high gives me 2300 cu. ft. Close enough.

    Monday morning they will find a window fan in place, which will help some. This room is supposed to be done by Monday night, maybe. The rest of the house is just drywall patching and painting. None of the bidders mentioned asbestos but they did mention lead.

    What a hassle.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    There is no low limit for asbestos. It the ceiling is just plaster, that is probably ok. The popcorn was a culprit, but if they used a special texturing mix, it could be. In a house built in '64, you are in SERIOUS violation of the LEAD law by messing with more than 6 square feet!

    If you study the links in this http://www.homeconstructionimprovement.com/new-lead-paint-law-effective-april-22-2010/ you may be able to head this off before the fines get into 5 digits. Your contractor....undoubtedly unlicensed......will be hard pressed to avoid jail time on this one, for several reasons!
  8. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    The plot thickens

    The contractor's license number appears on the contract, and it's quite a bit lower than my MHIC #. His is 28***, my first was 49*** and now it's 86***.

    I just now called a neighbor who is a customer of mine who's been here since '68 and her husband thinks that the family room of these houses came with textured ceilings, but this was a long time ago. There are other neighbors/customers I can call and I will.

    Thanks for the link; I definitely have some research to do. Probably I can figure out how many cu. in. of compound were removed [let's say a layer 1/8" thk by 16' by 18'] and go from there as far as our personal safety. My wife detects this dust in the air pretty quickly but it takes me several hours to notice anything.

    From your link, outside concentrations can be 20/6 = 3.3x higher for the same health effect. Also, 1M kids out of probably 100M have elevated lead levels in their blood, about 1%.
    To further muddy the waters, can anyone believe the EPA?
    https://litigation-essentials.lexis...cid=3B15&key=815a4e72e532e39c79cdc6f2d9b552d0

    You guys are good!
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  9. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    I sure as hell am glad I don't live anywhere NEAR you.

    If it were done by the book instead of this HACK and slash method, the contractor would be using large air handling fans with FILTERS installed on them.

    I don't appreciate how nonchalant you people in the States are about this sort of thing. They should at the very LEAST be using water to keep dust down and using scrapers NOT angle grinders, why you would need a metal working tool to work on a plaster ceiling is beyond me.

    Instead of talking to your neighbors you need to shut this job down immediately and have it tested.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    I removed the texture from my first floor ceilings and it was fairly easy, and not dusty. It may not work for yours. I sprayed the ceiling with water that had a small amount of dishwashing soap in it, let it sit for a moment, then it had softened enough to just scrape off. It depends on what was used to create the texture whether that would work, but is easy to test. When a ceiling is going to be textured, they often didn't tape and smooth it that welll beforehand, so that may need to be done. If there is asbestos in the ceiling, it will NOT disappear into the ground...it will be hazard for years to come. Remediation can cost HUGE amounts, not counting the fines and could result in the house being declared uninhabitable.
  11. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Asbestos hangs in the air extremely well.
  12. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  13. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    What is your point?
  14. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    In the overall scheme of things it's not that dangerous but as soon as these guys finish I'm going to get an asbestos test kit.
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Unbelievable...

    Yea... Let them finish write a check and say good bye...

    That's much smarter than "Stop Work Now" test and do it right...

    Carry on! its your SuperFund site....
  16. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    If I knew about this drywall asbestos thing ahead of time I would have questioned all of the bidders. And I would probably have gotten 6 "no bids" so I would spend 100 or 200 hours doing it myself. There are easier ways to make money than to deal with a knowledgeable consumer.

    If the asbestos test comes out above the action level due to their 8 hours of sanding old joint compound, the law has a long arm.

    Our radon test is right at the action level, 4 picocuries per liter, but we hardly ever go in the basement. Risk is one thing, exposure to risk is another.

    All of the bidders came recommended from the Washington Consumer's Checkbook, but this chemical thing is not something most homeowners look for. I wouldn't have, either, if I wasn't looking for a solution to my dust problem and if the people who answered my post weren't knowledgeable.

    And when I get to be 90 [I have a 19% chance of doing that] I will be really taking some risks. Picking a fight with a motorcycle gang comes to mind. :D

    You guys are fun. If you weren't I wouldn't be here.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  17. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    *** Laboratory says, No asbestos detected in the dust from the sanded joint compound. It's 50% binders, 40% cellulose, 5% fiberglass & 5% glue.

    The next thing for me to check is the drop ceiling acoustic tiles which I will soon be replacing.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
Similar Threads: textured ceiling
Forum Title Date
Remodel Forum & Blog Changing textured ceiling finish to smooth finish. Jun 9, 2008
Remodel Forum & Blog Has anyone ever follen thru the ceiling? Jul 29, 2014
Remodel Forum & Blog Best place to get Ceiling Tiles? Mar 12, 2014
Remodel Forum & Blog flat ceiling or something else Oct 15, 2013
Remodel Forum & Blog Plaster ceiling and wall crack repair product Aug 21, 2013

Share This Page