Scraped Concrete Ceilings:
The Popcorn is Gone, But Now What?
If you own an condo apartment in a typical high-rise building, it very likely comes with concrete ceilings. Those ceilings are probably covered in some sort of texture—either the really rough popcorn texture which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s, or the lighter texture that’s still being applied today in the third decade of the 21st century. If you’ve removed the texture yourself, you have no-doubt realized that the ceilings are too rough and uneven to be paint-ready. Why is this, and what should be done next?
Why Are Concrete Ceilings So Uneven?
The concrete in your building has been poured into formworks, or molds, that are most often made from timber or plywood. These materials are flexible, and somewhat uneven. That means that your ceilings will also be somewhat uneven, and have blemishes from knots or other imperfections of the wood frame.
Rather than spend time grinding little bumps down, filling in holes, or making sure the ceiling is level, most builders just spray it with texture. Fast and cheap for them. To sum things up, scraped concrete ceilings are entirely unsightly, and are nowhere ready to receive the final decoration, which is usually primer and paint.
The Best Way to Get a Smooth, Level Ceiling
Nine times out of ten, you’re going to save time and money in the long run when you hire a professional from the start; this is true whether it’s tiling a bathroom, installing cabinets, or removing popcorn ceilings. And it’s especially valid if those ceilings are concrete, for the reasons mentioned above. Ceiling experts have the tools and experience to accomplish in a few days what would take you a week or more when it comes to unfinished, scraped concrete ceilings. On top of that, it will look professional, instead of ending up looking like a DIY hack job.
But most importantly, if the building was built prior to 1980, there’s a relatively good chance that the ceiling texture could contain asbestos. Scraping the popcorn texture would cause the asbestos fibres to get airborne, which is when they’re most dangerous. Since the fibres are microscopic, the only way to tell if asbestos is present is to have the material tested at a certified lab. Any professional wall & ceiling contractor will be able to do this for you.
However, if you’ve already scraped the popcorn off of your ceilings yourself, that advice is probably not helpful at the moment. Don’t panic; most health problems associated with asbestos are seen in people who have worked in an asbestos-related industry and have had repetitive exposure to asbestos fibres. That being said, it’s always a good idea to monitor your health; have a doctor look into anything suspicious, especially any respiratory issues. Click here to find out more about asbestos-related health issues.
If you’ve scraped your concrete ceilings, are you stuck with the rough-looking, coarse surface? Not at all! A ceiling expert can still create a flawless surface for you.
How Does a Professional Take Scraped Concrete Ceilings & Make Them Smooth?
The key to getting a flawless, smooth ceiling is to skim coat the entire surface—at least twice. That’s right, every square inch needs to be coated. At RemoveCeilingTexture.com, we use the same method that has been used by plasterers for centuries: a hawk and trowel, and an eye for detail. Working on stilts, on a canvas above your head, takes stamina and skill. Filling-in random holes is one thing, but the real expertise comes in when a wavy ceiling needs to be levelled. This takes a keen eye, and a steady hand. Without the popcorn to hide all the imperfections on the ceiling, the finished product needs to be impeccable. Your average condo owner doesn’t have the time, patience, or skill to attain a perfectly smooth finish, and neither should they be expected to.
There’s No Shame in Admitting You Need Professional Help!
If you’re looking at your scraped concrete ceilings and have realized that they don’t look like a proper, finished surface, RemoveCeilingTexture.com is here to help. We’ve worked extensively on concrete ceilings since 2007 in the Metro Vancouver area, and have seen it all: Failed DIY Popcorn Ceiling Removal, Water-damaged Texture, Rough, Unfinished Concrete Slabs, and Wavy Concrete Ceilings That Needed Filling.
Avoid frustration and contact us today for advice, and a free estimate on resurfacing your ceilings via our contact form, or by phone at 604-420-7578.