While asbestos may sound scary when cited in a home inspection report, it doesn’t have to be.

During my inspections (including one I recently did in Oak Harbor), I encounter textured “popcorn” ceilings that may contain asbestos on a relatively routine basis. This scenario is particularly true for homes with popcorn ceilings installed before 1978 (and sometimes in the early 1980s). 

However, I have good news: this is typically not a concern, provided the ceilings are painted/sealed, and the product does not become airborne or “friable.” As I cite in my reports, if you intend to remodel and remove this ceiling texture, appropriate precautions and testing should be taken by a qualified contractor for safety reasons.  Testing for asbestos can only be done by a qualified laboratory and is beyond the scope of a home inspection. 

The Environmental Protection Agency web site also features additional information at

If you have questions or comments about interior issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).