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Asbestos ceiling tiles...what to do?

Hello all,

The walls and ceiling in our dining room is covered in a very thick, very rough texture. We called a plaster spe******t to take a look at it and offer up options to remove it, or smooth it entirely.

As he explored the thickness of the texture treatment, he noticed that the texture had been put over ceiling tiles on our ceiling - something we hadn't noticed. He tore a small chunk of one of the tiles away to see was support it, and immediately stated that he felt they were "hot", as in asbestos. He said if the tiles didn't house asbestos, than the glue patches certainly did.

He stated there were three options, and in no particular order here they are;

He can lay 1/4" drywall over it (lowering our already low ceiling)
We can call an asbestos removal crew to come in and remove the tiles
We can remove them ourselves

He was clear that he couldn't make that decision and that he was only outlining possible options.

We'd love to get rid of the tiles and have a higher, clean ceiling, but I'm worried that the cost to remove the tiles will be significant. I'm going to call to get some quotes on the asbestos removal, but wanted to see if there was any direction on possibly doing a self removal.

My wife is concerned, rightfully so, because we have an infant in the house. I simply want to make the right decision based on safety and what makes sense.

Has anyone had any experience with asbestos removal teams that they can share, or any specifics I should look for as I make some calls?

Has anyone done this on their own, and is it challenging or fairly straightforward as long as you're cautious?


Re: Asbestos ceiling tiles...what to do?

first i would send a small sample off to a lab to have tested to see if in fact it is asbestos. if so then start looking for quotes

if you want it out of the house, do not do this yourself especially with a baby pretty much due. it wont be cheap to have removed however the companies that do this will take every precation necessary to ensure that the asbestos is removed safely.

i find asbestos all the time in older homes i renovate.. its in the plaster, the hardwood flooring unerlayment paper is made from it.. old duct work is wrapped in it. some houses have asbestos shingles for siding. there is quite a bit of hype surrounding asbestos on various reno shows and how its harmful.. they make it out to souund like someone breathing in one particle will give you cancer, but its constant exposure to it that does people in

Re: Asbestos ceiling tiles...what to do?


Asbestos is the latest "cause du jour". I have no doubts that repeated exposure to it is harmful. I too would be concerned if I had a small child in the house. However, if it were my personal home, I would seal off the area, cover the floor with plastic, wear protective throw-away coveralls and partical resperator and go at it while constantly misting down the area. Granted, this self-removal might be illegal in some jurisdictions.

Re: Asbestos ceiling tiles...what to do?

Cleaning asbestos is not something I am willing to do, so I sub it out.

You may need to vacate the house for as long as it takes to do the job. And once you start, don't stop in the middle. When the job is complete, the place has to be thoroughly cleaned and all dust removed. This job shouldn't be taken lightly, especially when there is a baby in the house.

Re: Asbestos ceiling tiles...what to do?

Thank you all for your replies.

Since I tend to err on the side of caution, we're simply going to have the plasterer drywall over the tiles.

I'm too nervous to do it myself, and it would be too disruptive for us to clear out of the house for a few days. As easy as it'd be with just myself and my wife, it would be a challenge with our daughter.

Thanks again.

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