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How to do DIY asbestos removal on popcorn ceiling?

Before you begin on your DIY asbestos removal project, you must be able to answer “yes” to these following questions:

– Are you sure that your ceiling contains fibrous materials? Why: Not all popcorn ceiling contain fibres. To be 100% sure, send a popcorn ceiling sample to a NATA accredited lab.

– If it contains asbestos, are you sure that removal is the best option? Why: Undamaged non-friable materials are not dangerous for you. They become dangerous when being damaged or disturbed, thus generating fibres that can become airborne.


– Are you prepared to accept the risks from doing the asbestos removal Ipswich yourself? Why: Exposure to airborne fibres may cause lung diseases and cancer.

– Are you prepared to do this on your own? Why: It is important that you are aware of all the risks and challenges of tackling an asbestos removal Ipswich project yourself. It can be messy, dangerous, expensive and time consuming to your health if not performed properly.

– Are you aware of the regulations and legal issues involved? Why: You must have a license to remove friable asbestos products. Also, you have to disposed of the waste in a legal facility approved the city council.

If you answered “YES” to the questions above, then read the guideline below.

  1. Do a pre-test: If your ceiling has been painted, you may need to test if water can penetrate the paint and wet the asbestos material before you remove it. Thorough wetting during removal is important to prevent the release of fibres to the surrounding environment.
  2. Gather essential equipment: During the process, all workers must be protected from inhaling fibres by wearing a proper disposable coverall, respirator, disposable glove, goggles, and rubber boots.
Protective equipment Equipment and tools
  • Coveralls
  • Respirators
  • Rubber boots
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Disposal bags


  • Hose with spray nozzle
  • Tank sprayer (around 3 gallons)
  • Putty knives or wallboard taping
  • Liquid detergent
  • Screen molding
  • PEI plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Permanent marker pen
  • Spray bottle
  • Disposable rags
  • Ladder
  • Bucket
  • Sealant
  1. Prepare the building: You must post signs and turn off air conditioning systems before performing the work. You also need to turn off electrical power and remove all light fixtures in the work area.
  2. Build an enclosure: You must contain fibres by building a plastic containment area around the removal area you wish to remove. You can do this by covering the floors and walls to ensure all dust and debris are captured on the plastic sheeting during the removal process.
  3. Wet the ceiling: Wetting process is very important to keep fibres from contaminating the area. If your popcorn ceiling is painted and the pre-test you did in step1 didn’t work. Leave the job to a pro. To wet the contaminated product, mix liquid detergent with water (1 cup to 5 gallons). Spray the ceiling with the mixture using a tank sprayer. Wait for 20 minutes for the water to penetrate properly.
  4. Test popcorn ceiling for water saturation: It is important to check whether the contaminated material is dampen properly. You can test it by scrapping off a few inches of the contaminated material.
  5. Scrape off popcorn: Keep the plastic on the walls and floors wet at all times by continuously spraying them to prevent any debris from becoming airborne. The fist thing you have to do is scrapping the popcorn ceiling material by using putty knife. Allow the debris to fall into the plastic sheets below. Use clean and wet rags to wipe any remaining residue and the exposed portion of the wall. Dispose of the rags in a waste disposal bag.
  6. Remove loose plastic from floor: Once removed, the debris must be kept wet until sealed for disposal. When you are ready, fold the top layer of the plastic and double bag it. Wipe down all equipment with clean wet rags and dispose them.
  7. Apply sealant in residual debris: Spray or roll the popcorn ceiling with latex primer paint or an approved encapsulant.
  8. Remove floor and wall plastic: Spray the plastic with water and remove them carefully. Place the contaminated plastics inside waste disposal bags. Double the bag and seal it with a duct tape.
  9. Decontaminate: Spray yourself with water, remove your protective clothing and put them in a bag. Don’t forget to take a shower after it’s done.
  10. Transfer bags to a legal waste facility: You need to find out a landfill that can accept asbestos waste in Ipswich. You may also require to fill-in a form first and pay some fees to dispose of asbestos waste in Ipswich.

However, if you answered ‘NO’ to any of the question above and you still wants to get asbestos removed from your house. You need to contact a professional contractor to do the job!

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