Textured “popcorn” ceilings, like that pictured here, could contain asbestos, especially in homes constructed prior to 1978. Because some sheetrock and painting contractors kept stores of this material into the early 1980s, it’s possible that textured “popcorn” ceilings in the 1980s could contain asbestos as well. Provided the material is in good condition and not delaminating from the ceiling, this isn’t a health concern because it’s not considered “friable,” e.g., you can’t breathe it. But if you intend to remodel (or scrape) “popcorn” ceilings, or it they’re in poor condition, testing is advised. Asbestos can only be confirmed by laboratory testing. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.
If you have insulation in your attic that looks like this picture, it may be vermiculite insulation. This type of insulation could contain asbestos. Testing for asbestos is outside the scope of the home inspection and requires laboratory sampling. Here’s a link (click HERE) to the EPA brochure with more information about vermiculite insulation. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.