Experts say that most if not all popcorn ceiling used between 1920s to 1980 contain some asbestos. Please do not panic! You can get asbestos caused illnesses by breathing clouds of concentrated asbestos fibers on a regular basis for years and years (possibly decades). Most likely it is not the case in your house. We should not be confusing chronic exposure risks with acute risks. That said, asbestos is not a joke.
It is hard if not impossible to determine existence of asbestos in your popcorn ceiling without testing it. Asbestos becomes dangerous when you disturb the ceiling and asbestos fibers become airborne. The fibers are super fine (human hair is 10,000 times as thick as asbestos) and they stay airborne for very long time.
Once asbestos is discovered it must be disclosed to future buyers. You basically have two options how to deal with this:
1. Have it removed by professionals following very strict rules.
2. Cover the ceiling with texture that doesn’t contain asbestos. Encasing prevents asbestos fibers from becoming friable.
Even after covering it with another texture you must disclose presence of asbestos to prevent possible future exposure when someone else works on the ceiling.
Cost guides provided by Golden-based HomeAdvisor estimate that popcorn ceiling removal projects in Denver cost an average of $1,500. Professional asbestos abatement more than doubles that cost, to an estimated $3,300.