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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Carnicella

How to Do Acoustic Ceiling Removal

Updated: Apr 30

AC Interiors Acoustic Ceiling Removal

AKA Popcorn or Cottage Ceilings in Thousand Oaks

For more information please see our main site

Drywall Hanging & Taping Thousand Oaks
Drywall Hanging & Taping Thousand Oaks

Servicing a Wide Range of Areas to Include:

Acoustic, Popcorn Ceiling Removal
Acoustic, Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Acoustic ceiling removal in the city of Thousand Oaks, CA also known as "popcorn ceiling removal" or "cottage ceiling removal," refers to the process of removing a textured ceiling finish that became popular in the mid-20th century. This textured finish is often referred to as "popcorn" or "cottage cheese" due to its bumpy appearance.

Here's a simple explanation:

  1. Popcorn Ceiling:

    • Imagine if your ceiling looked like a popped popcorn kernel, all bumpy and textured. Well, some ceilings were intentionally made that way, especially in homes built between the 1950s and 1980s. It was thought to be a trendy design back then.

  1. Acoustic Ceiling:

    • The bumpy texture on these ceilings wasn't just for looks; it also served a purpose. It was called an "acoustic" ceiling because it helped absorb sound and reduce echoes in a room.

  1. Removal Process:

    • Now, some people don't like the look of these textured ceilings, or they may be concerned about issues like asbestos that were sometimes used in the popcorn texture. So, "acoustic ceiling removal" is the process of taking down this bumpy texture. It usually involves scraping off the textured layer and then often applying a new, smoother finish.

In summary, acoustic ceiling removal is like giving your ceiling a makeover by getting rid of the bumpy popcorn texture, which was once considered trendy but is now often seen as outdated. People might choose to remove it for aesthetic reasons or to address concerns related to materials used in the original textured finish.

History Lesson 101 :)

In the olden when we installed drywall on the ceilings we had to nail them off, not screwed, then 1 layer of joint tape, and then we spray on the acoustic. When we hang the walls we tape then apply 2-3 coats of joint compound aka mud over the tape joints. This is so the drywall joints and nails will not show through the paint aka photographing. After the acoustical material is removed it exposes the unfinished drywall joints/nails and MUST have the 2-3 additional coats or the joints and nails will show through the paint.

This is where we shine, we are trade specific with years of experience of acoustic ceiling removal, drywall hanging, taping, patching and texture coating. Drywall is all we do, day in and day out. We have done over a few thousand homes. We have worked hard and take pride in our work and reputation, it shows in our 5-star reviews and constant referrals.

Masking Process and Protection

This entire process (depending on the size of job) normally takes 2-5 days and is very invasive on your home. All areas worked on will not be accessible until it is finished. Many of our clients will make other living arrangements.

Before the arrival of professionals for cottage cheese ceiling removal, clients can take several steps to prepare the space. Here's a checklist to help clients get ready:

  1. Clear the Area:

    • Remove furniture and other belongings from the room, or cover them securely with plastic sheets. This will protect items from dust and debris during the removal process.

  1. Cover Floors and Walls:

    • We will cover the floors with plastic sheets or drop cloths to make cleanup easier. Additionally, consider covering walls if they are not being removed or modified to protect them from damage.

  1. Remove Light Fixtures:

    • If possible, take down light fixtures or cover them securely with plastic. This helps prevent damage and makes it easier to work on the ceiling.

  1. Turn Off Utilities:

    • Ensure that electricity to the room is turned off. This is a safety measure, especially when removing light fixtures or working near electrical components.

  1. Ventilation:

    • Ensure good ventilation in the room. If possible, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. This can help dissipate any dust or odors during the removal process.

  1. Inform Residents:

    • If the property is occupied, inform all residents about the upcoming cottage cheese ceiling removal. This includes any workers, tenants, or family members.

  1. Contain Pets:

    • If there are pets in the home, consider keeping them in a separate area or outside during the removal process. This is both for their safety and to prevent them from getting in the way.

  1. Discuss Asbestos Testing:

    • If the cottage cheese ceiling was installed before the 1980s, it may contain asbestos. Discuss with the removal professionals whether asbestos testing is necessary before they begin the removal process.

  1. Communication with Professionals:

    • Communicate any specific concerns or preferences with the removal professionals. This could include preferences for the new ceiling finish or any specific areas of focus.

  1. Plan for Alternative Living Arrangements:

    • If the removal process is extensive and the property is a residence, clients may want to plan for alternative living arrangements during the removal and refinishing period.

Remember that this checklist is a general guide, and specific preparations may vary based on the client's preferences, the scope of the project, and the recommendations of the removal professionals. Consulting with the removal team ahead of time can provide tailored guidance for the specific situation. 

  1. Assessment:

    • A professional team will assess the existing ceiling to determine the type of acoustic texture, any potential issues like asbestos, and the overall condition of the ceiling.

  1. Preparation:

    • The area is prepared for the removal process. This includes covering and protecting the floors, walls, and furniture with plastic sheets or drop cloths to minimize mess and damage.

  1. Safety Measures:

    • If the acoustic texture contains asbestos, the removal team will take necessary safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear and using specialized equipment to prevent the release of asbestos fibers into the air.

  1. Moistening the Ceiling:

    • The acoustic texture is often softened by misting it with water. This helps in making the scraping process more manageable and reduces the amount of dust created.

  1. Scraping:

    • Technicians use tools like scrapers or putty knives to gently remove the acoustic texture from the ceiling. This can be a meticulous process to avoid damaging the underlying drywall.

  1. Repairing and Smoothing:

    • After the texture is removed, any damaged areas are repaired, and the entire ceiling is smoothed to create a flat and even surface.

  1. Cleaning:

    • The removal team cleans the area thoroughly, removing any remaining debris or dust. This step is crucial to ensure a clean and safe environment.

  1. Finishing:

    • Depending on the homeowner's preference, the ceiling may be left with a smooth finish, or a new texture or ceiling treatment may be applied.

  1. Inspection:

    • A final inspection is conducted to ensure that the acoustic texture has been completely removed, and the ceiling meets the desired standards.

  1. Post-Removal Services:

    • The removal team may provide additional services such as painting the newly exposed ceiling or assisting with any necessary touch-ups.

It's essential to note that the specific procedure may vary based on factors such as the type of acoustic texture, the condition of the ceiling, and local regulations. Hiring a professional service is recommended to ensure a safe and effective acoustic ceiling removal process.


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