If you detest your popcorn ceilings, removing them as soon as possible probably isn’t soon enough. A possible health hazard, discolored popcorn ceilings are prime habitat for cobwebs and are serious dust magnets. Also, those little cottage cheese bumps and dips cast dull unattractive shadows, making your home look dingy and dull. Find out why you should remove your popcorn ceilings ASAP.

1. Health Hazards

Asbestos and Lead Concerns

One of the main reasons your popcorn ceilings should be removed ASAP is because they could pose a serious health hazard. You can be pretty sure that if your home has popcorn ceilings that date back to the 1950s to late 1970s, those ceilings contain dangerous asbestos.

Asbestos isn’t necessarily dangerous when it’s left undisturbed, but the minute you start to fiddle with the popcorn texture, you’re inhaling asbestos fibers and are at risk of dangerous exposure. Asbestos causes lung inflammation, scaring, and cancer.

Popcorn ceilings that loom over a kitchen or bathroom pose more of a health hazard because the texture isn’t good at handling moisture. The humid conditions can cause the texture to loosen and fall.

When pieces of popcorn texture start falling, especially in older homes built between 1950 and 1979, chances are you’re exposed and breathing asbestos fibers.

You’ll want to remove your popcorn ceiling ASAP if:

  • Your home was built before 1978 and the ceiling is damaged in any way.
  • The interior of the ceiling is exposed, such as around light fixtures or ceiling vents.

Some old popcorn ceiling textures also included lead in the adhesive material. You can purchase an asbestos and/or lead test kit from your local home improvement center. When you get the results of the test, you should have your popcorn ceiling removed by a certified specialist. This is NOT a DIY project because it’s simply too dangerous.

2. Popcorn Ceilings Are An Outdated Look

Popcorn ceilings are a hallmark of the 70s and 80s. If you want to modernize your home and bring it up to today’s standards, it’s almost impossible if you hold onto your old, outdated popcorn ceilings.

You may have installed gorgeous hardwood flooring, painted the walls a perfect color, and arranged the furnishings of your dreams – but as you cozy up on that awesome sectional and gaze up – what do you see? Those ugly cottage cheese ceilings just confirmed that the look you were trying to achieve has fizzled.

One of the best ways to improve the look of your older home is to remove the popcorn ceilings ASAP.

3. Popcorn Ceilings are Difficult to Clean, Maintain, and Repair

Cleaning and Maintenance Issues

How do you clean and maintain those dust traps known as popcorn ceilings? Cleaning, maintaining, and repairing popcorn ceilings is close to impossible unless you have a lot of time and plenty of elbow grease.

Why devote time, money, and energy trying to clean, maintain, and repair a feature of your home that may be unsafe and looks downright awful?

There really is no way to easily clean the grime and dust that accumulates in all those little popcorn crevices. This, plus the discoloration that accumulates over time, makes a room look dirty and drab.

Repair Problems

If you try to brush down cobwebs, or gently wash off grease or dirt, you end up loosening the texture. Then the ceiling will look worse than before. And if the loosened texture contains asbestos, you’ll need to have a certified asbestos removal company do the job.

How do you match the same type of popcorn or cottage cheese bits? You really can’t patch a popcorn ceiling and if you try , it usually ends up looking worse than before you started.

In most cases, when there’s damage to a popcorn ceiling, the entire texture will need to be replaced so that it will look uniform. Instead of trying to repair damage, this is an ideal time to remove the popcorn ceiling.

4. Popcorn Ceilings Are Difficult to Paint

Painting Challenges

Most old popcorn ceilings are dirty, dank, and detract from an otherwise lovely home. If you want to redecorate or refresh a room, the ceiling may be part of that plan – especially if the popcorn ceiling is dirty.

You now understand that there really is no way to properly or easily clean a popcorn ceiling – so you resort to the idea of painting to make it look clean. Can painting solve the problem?

Painting that rough texture with its bumps and dips is hard. A paint roller usually won’t cover completely, and will result in a spotty unprofessional look. Using a brush is risky because as you dab the bristles into those little hills and valleys, the texture will begin to loosen and fall – a serious problem if the texture contains asbestos or lead.

5. Increases Your Home’s Value

Improved Home Aesthetics

Can removing popcorn ceilings truly increase your home value? It’s said that potential buyers develop an impression of a home within the first three minutes of walking inside.

Potential buyers who spot popcorn ceilings will instantly get a vibe that the house hasn’t been updated as they’d hoped – or worse, they may think the house hasn’t been properly maintained. Smooth ceilings are much preferred by today’s home buyers. When a buyer walks in and sees clean smooth ceilings, they get the impression that the homeowner has cared enough about safety and/or aesthetics to remove the old outdated textured ceiling.

Removing your popcorn ceilings can increase home value – especially depending on where your home is located, the home’s asking price, and the current housing market.


You’re probably more ready than ever to say goodbye to your grungy old popcorn ceilings. Now that you know what the valid reasons are for ditching them ASAP, you’ll either need to do the dirty work yourself (if there’s no asbestos or lead in the popcorn texture) or hire a pro.

The fastest and easiest way to get the job done right is to let Great Guys Painting connect you with a trustworthy and experienced textured ceiling removal expert near you. We’ve taken the time to carefully vet each and every professional in our network so that you can be assured the work will be completed by a fully licensed, insured, and skilled pro.

If you suspect your popcorn ceiling may contain asbestos or lead, Great Guys Painting can help you find a certified specialist who will manage the testing for you and then determine the safest method of getting that old, ugly popcorn texture out of your home for good.

In addition to removing your disgusting popcorn ceiling expertly and efficiently, the pros you’ll be connected with at Great Guys Painting will be able to finish your ceiling so that it’s properly sanded, primed, and painted to the color of your choice. That’s one easy way to get a vibrant new ceiling fast!


Find out how affordable it can be to have a pro remove your popcorn ceilings. Count on Great Guys Painting to find you trustworthy professionals who can do the job expertly and efficiently. Get a free quote now!