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Thread: textured ceiling made smooth

  1. #1
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default textured ceiling made smooth

    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. #2
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    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. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    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. #4
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlarrivee View Post
    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?
    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...le.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!
    Last edited by Thatguy; 09-19-2010 at 07:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    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. #6
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    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.
    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 by Thatguy; 09-19-2010 at 09:21 AM.

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    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.homeconstructionimproveme...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. #8
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default 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.lexisn...cdc6f2d9b552d0

    You guys are good!
    Last edited by Thatguy; 09-19-2010 at 10:33 AM.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    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. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Asbestos hangs in the air extremely well.

  12. #12
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    In wading through this document
    http://oehha.ca.gov/air/toxic_contam...l/Asbestos.htm
    the numbers don't make asbestos to be all that bad as to mortality, but I wouldn't want to work at asbestos removal every day.

    At 10,000/yr fatalities in the US
    http://www.ewg.org/sites/asbestos/facts/fact1.php
    it's 1/4th as dangerous as operating a motor vehicle.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 09-19-2010 at 04:57 PM.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    What is your point?

  14. #14
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlarrivee View Post
    What is your point?
    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. #15
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    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....

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