How to test for asbestos and should you fix it?

5 Replies

Hello, so my friend purchased a home built in 1961 in Ventura county (Moorpark/Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village/Simi/Agoura area) with popcorn ceilings with the intention to rent it out and/or Airbnb part of it.  

1) Should they get an asbestos company to come out and test it or do it themselves?  And finally, what is a good ballpark estimate for removing asbestos for a home that is 1,962 square feet? (4 bed, 2 bath).

2) If the asbestos is just in the popcorn ceilings, is it better to just plaster and paint it over?

If you suspect asbestos and are concerned you should call a couple of inspection / remediation companies to test and provide an estimate to remove. Its not a huge cost in most cases. could be $2-$5k for what you describe. 

You can mail out samples as well to be tested. But with popcorn ceilings it is only a hazard when it becomes friable, meaning it is crumbling and can break apart by hand.

Don't do anything if it is secure, unless you need to in order to renovate.

Back during that time asbestos was every where. It was on roof shingles, insulation and even in appliances! Up until the early to mid 90's a small amount of asbestos could be used in the manufacturing of certain goods.

As for whether or not you should do asbestos abatement on the property will depend on whether it is friable or non-friable like @Brian Ellis said earlier. Asbestos is only a problem when it is broken up and in the air. If I were you I would do further research with environment organizations that could give you more information on how to test for it, how to remediate it and how to make that decision.

I will say that if you are planing on adding/upgrading the Air Condition I would suggest you work with an asbestos abatement company to do the work for that portion of the house.