Popcorn ceiling/overhead radiant heat?
We have a somewhat complicated situation. We bought this house last fall. Noticed the living room ceiling was far more heavily textured than others (some of which are lightly textured, some not at all) and guessed it was an effort to hide repairs to the hydronic radiant heat (45+ years old) running IN the ceiling. As early as a few months after we moved in, the ceiling began to crack (the popcorn) and now the cracks are becoming chasms. None has actually fallen off yet but it looks as if one could peel it like a clementine! It has separated from the existing ceiling enough that we can see that under it is the OLD textured ceiling (not smooth plaster). These ceilings are plaster, with the copper heat pipes "sandwiched" between two layers of plaster and lathe. Questions: Why is the heavy popcorn layer lifting off? We do notice that you can see the lines of the copper heating pipes in the ceilings on humid days (assume they are sweating? the house is not air conditioned). How hard would it be to remove it, given there is not a flat surface beneath it but an older textured one? If we assume the previous owners chose the popcorn route because they had patches in the plaster they didn't/couldn't disguise, what other options do we have if we don't want to texture again? Can we do 1/4 sheetrock? Is there anything that will resist the moisture/humidity issues better than the plaster and popcorn? Are there decorative ceiling tiles that we could affix without removing the older texturing (which is nowhere near as thickly done as the newer stuff, and which seems to be similar to the lighter texturing that exists in other rooms). Anyone have any suggestions as to creative alternatives, if, as we fear, we find that the reason for the thick popcorn is much repair/patch/damage to the old ceiling? Many thanks for any advice or suggestions!