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Home Repair Deep Thoughts

There is so much cruelty, ugliness, and evil out there whose existence I cannot fathom. For example, why, I ask you--in the name of mercy and everything decent--why, oh why, did anyone ever, at any point, think it was a good idea to spray popcorn ceilings on in their homes?

Priming and painting; calling furnace contractors; installing new floors; packing all our stuff into boxes--all of those things are looking downright fun in comparison to getting those &$#@% ceilings scraped clean.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
elycia
Nov. 28th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
why, oh why, did anyone ever, at any point, think it was a good idea to spray popcorn ceilings on in their homes?

My guess: to hide something even more unsightly, like water stains.

I feel your pain. My most-dreaded upcoming chore is replacing the ENTIRE kitchen subfloor, which got irreparably damaged when a pipe sprang a leak. This entails removing every single thing from the kitchen, including installed cabinets... Wanna trade jobs?

::sings the Frustrated Homeowner Blues::
(Anonymous)
Nov. 28th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC)
Cheap! Cheap!
The reason is easy - when you're a builder, if you can drag someone off the street, hand them a compressor, say, "Hey, point this at the ceiling and pull this lever", and have them do a ceiling in 30 minutes, as opposed to hiring a good drywall finisher and waiting for 3 - 4 days of mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding.... you're going to hire the guy who can pull the lever. When it comes to commodity home construction, cheapness rules.

That being said, I hope the house is relatively new, since up until the late 1970's, the "popcorn" material was primarily asbestos, and scraping it off without the use of a respirator is a really, really bad idea. In lots of places, you'll need an approved remediation firm to do it legally.
elycia
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:01 am (UTC)
Re: Cheap! Cheap!
Re asbestos: Ayup. I used to work for a firm that produced training materials for OSHA asbestos-abatement instruction/certification. It ain't easy, it ain't cheap, and it sure the heck ain't safe unless you've got the proper equipment and know how to do containment properly.

But I'd still be willing to swap doing THAT for destroying my entire kitchen. ;-)
mollyringle
Dec. 4th, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)
Re: Cheap! Cheap!
Oh, and yeah, we were paranoid about the asbestos, so my husband got the proper variety of respirator to use. But we were still being a bit careless about it, so it was a relief when the lab results came back negative for it. Whew. :)
mollyringle
Dec. 4th, 2004 04:10 am (UTC)
Heh, yeah, there are some water stains or other unsightliness underneath the popcorn, we've found by now. But it doesn't really explain why they did it on all THREE floors. (Basement, main, attic.) Weirdos. :)

Hrm, plumbing issues do perhaps suck worse than any other type of household problem. Though you probably have a working furnace, which we don't; which would sort of tempt me to trade places with you as it's December now...heh...
wandererrob
Nov. 28th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC)
why, to add to the already stupendous fun of painting ceilings, of course. Why else? :)
trilliah
Nov. 28th, 2004 07:23 pm (UTC)
*snort* We had those all over our house at one point. You're right: pain in the arse. Our cats were sneezing for months.
terrylj
Nov. 29th, 2004 01:27 am (UTC)
Let us know how that goes if you don't mind; I'm trying to talk my DH into scraping ours. (20-ft cathedral ceiling in the living room...urgh.)
mollyringle
Dec. 4th, 2004 04:14 am (UTC)
Ooh, high ceilings like that would not be fun. (But they would look a lot more attractive without the stuff.) We're basically done now, and it was not fun, but not impossible either. The method is to take a garden sprayer of warm water, get the ceiling wet, let it stand for 20 minutes or so, then start in with a scraper. (The type that screws onto the end of a long painting handle may be good for high ceilings.) And cover the floor with plastic sheets first, of course. Oh, and have a sample tested for asbestos before going to town on it. Heh. (Our test cost $30, and they sent the results within 24 hours of receiving the sample, so it's worth the peace of mind.) Good luck!
bluesound
Nov. 29th, 2004 08:34 am (UTC)
I hope you don't have woodchip on the walls either. That's a bastard and a half to get rid of. I should know I spent about 6 weeks removing it from one of the bedrooms!
mollyringle
Dec. 4th, 2004 04:15 am (UTC)
Yikes. Hm, no, I think woodchip is mostly a UK thing, for whatever reason. Or else we have it under a different name. Anyway, these walls are drywall and tacky paneling, pretty much.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )