Do you think or know your home has lead paint? Are you looking to remove lead paint from your apartment or house? In this blog we will share with you everything you need to know before getting your home deleaded. If you do not know for sure that your home has lead paint signs you should look out for include chipping, cracking, dusty or extremely deteriorating paint. To really tell if your home has lead-based paint, you’re going to need to have a professional take a look. When lead is suspected, inspectors use an X-ray to look through the paint layers to the base wood of the wall. X-rays can’t pass through lead, so it is easy to spot. What is Lead Paint and Why is it Dangerous? Lead paint or lead-based paint is paint containing lead. Lead is added to paint to accelerate drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. It is one of the main health and environmental hazards associated with paint. In some countries, lead continues to be added to paint intended for domestic use, whereas countries such as the U.S.and the UK have regulations prohibiting this, although lead paint may still be found in older properties painted prior to the introduction of such regulations. Although lead has been banned from household paints in the United States since 1978, paint used in road markings may still contain it. Alternatives such as water-based, lead-free traffic paint are readily available, and many states and federal agencies have changed their purchasing contracts to buy these instead. Lead paint is hazardous. It can cause nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage, and delayed development. It is dangerous to children because it tastes sweet, therefore encouraging children to put lead chips and toys with lead dust in their mouths. Lead paint is dangerous to adults and can cause reproductive problems in men or women. Decreases in sperm production in men have been noted. Lead is considered a possible and likely carcinogen. High levels may result in death. WHAT IS DELEADING? Deleading is the work that involves removing or covering the lead hazards in your apartment or home. Not all lead paint must be deleaded. For instance, the paint on a flat wall does not have to be deleaded, but all the paint on the wall must be made intact; it cannot be cracked, chipped, or peeling. Deleading also includes other things such as replacing windows, doors, cabinets and woodwork. Scraping or covering old paint. Repainting with non-lead-based paint after removal of lead-based paint.
WHAT MUST BE DELEADED? Surfaces below 5 feet that can be mouthed by a child. These could include (but are not limited to) wall corners, doors, stairs, railings, windows, baseboards, and chair rails must be deleaded. Also parts of windows (with sills below 5 feet) that move or touch moving parts, including window sashes, wells, and sills must be deleaded. In Massachusetts “The Lead Law” is to protect a child’s right to a lead-safe home. The Lead Law requires making homes safe if they were built before 1978 and have a child under the age of 6 living there. Property owners must comply with the Lead Law. If a child gets lead poisoning from his or her home, the owner is responsible, even if the owner didn’t know about the lead. It is the owner’s job to find out about lead by having the home inspected. There are 2 ways to comply with the law: 1. Remove or cover all of the lead hazards in the home. After the work is done safely and approved, you will get a Letter of Full Deleading Compliance. 2.Fix only the urgent lead hazards. This temporary method is called interim control. After the work is done safely and approved, you will get a Letter of Interim Control. This letter is good for up to 2 years. After that, the hazards must be permanently corrected if children under 6 still live there.
THERE ARE A VARIETY OF LEAD PAINT REMOVAL TECHNIQUES, INCLUDING: Encapsulation This involves rolling on a paint-like coating that seals the lead-based paint. Encapsulation involves applying a paint-like substance over the lead-based paint. The point is to seal it underneath and prevent the paint from chipping or dusting. encapsulation provides a barrier between the lead-based paint and the environment, eliminating its harmful capabilities. There are three different forms of encapsulation: 1) Involves polymers that form a flexible but resilient membrane. They are applied with a brush, roller, or airless spray gun. 2) Involves polyurethane polymers that for a hard membrane with some flexibility but not as much. They are also applied with a brush, roller, or airless spray gun. 3) Involves a cement-like material that forms a hard, thick coating. It is generally applied with a trowel. Enclosure This involves covering the old surface with a new surface (such as in the case of putting up new drywall). Enclosure involves putting a material or new surface on top of the current lead paint surface. Commonly, you will see a wall board put off, closing off any visibility of the lead paint surface and thus enclosing the lead paint from chipping or dusting. Removal This involves removing lead paint by wire bushing, wet hand scraping, wet sanding (with a HEPA filtered vacuum) or by stripping with a low-temperature heat gun. There are three main ways to remove lead paint: 1) Involves using a wire brush or wet hand scraper. That, along with a non-flammable abrasive compound, combine to make a powerful liquid paint remover and can be used on small areas like windowsills and doors. 2) Involves using a wet hand sanding or power sanding. Make sure to use a HEPA filtered vacuum attachment at all times to ensure safety. DO NOT try dry hand sanding. 3) Involves using heat stripping with a heat gun under low temperature (under 1100 degrees Fahrenheit) along with hand scraping. Replacement This involves taking out all problematic surfaces and features (including windows, doors and woodwork) and installing new ones. Involves completely replacement the surface with lead paint and putting in a new one. This is a good idea when doing new home renovations so that there are no signs of lead paint at all.
If you are looking for professional lead abatement services, you do not need to look any further. Our team at P Hill Contracting is fully licensed and insured. If you would like to receive a free lead paint removal estimate, call us (617) 230-3229 today!