How to Deal with Lead Paint Safely & Sustainability
If there is one thing that we know for sure in the home remodeling business, are the dangers that come from exposure to lead paint. Several chronic illnesses stem from exposure to lead paint. Because of this in some states, the government requires lead paint abatement. Any company or individual that performs lead-paint abatement in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities is required by the EPA to be certified. Lead paint abatement is clearly not a job for amateurs.
The Dangers Inherent in Lead Paint Removal
When lead paint is detached from the walls and can be easily ingested by animals, children, and adults is when lead paint can become dangerous. If it is removed improperly, lead paint can contaminate an entire structure rendering it a Superfund site for which you as the owner are responsible.
The primary goal when performing lead paint removal is to eliminate or greatly reduce dust and fumes during abatement. All furniture, carpeting and anything left inside the structure has to be covered in thick sheets of plastic as dust will settle on these items.
Methods and Costs of Lead Paint Removal
Even though professionals must conduct lead paint abatement, consumers can test their homes in cheap effective ways themselves. The EPA has published recommendations for testing kits.
It is suggested by the EPA that the cost for lead paint removal can cost $8 – $15 per sq. ft. Depending on the size of the structure and the square footage, the average cost is about $10,000.
There are two methods used as common removal of lead paint. The first is encapsulation. This is the least complicated and cheapest method. A paint-like coating is applied to the affected surfaces as a way to seal in the lead paint. With opening and closing of doors and windows can cause the coating to wear off exposing the lead paint underneath.
The second method is the enclosure. This method involves covering the lead paint surface with another material like drywall or aluminum and vinyl cladding for windows. This is often compared to the replacement method where every surface is removed and replaced in what can be a time-consuming and quite cost method that is usually only necessary in large renovation projects.
How to Prevent Exposure to Lead Paint
There are things you can do to lessen your exposure to lead paint and how to safely remove lead paint. You can clean floors and other surfaces with warm water and an all-purpose cleaner. It is important to rinse the sponges and mop heads used.
Wash hands frequently, especially before eating meals and bedtime to minimize exposure. You should also remove your shoes when indoors to prevent the tracking of lead-contaminated soil into your home.
If the paint in your home is in good condition you may not have to undertake the lead paint abatement project. This would mean the paint is not chipping or damaged. There should also not be children under the age of 6 that visit your home. If you decide to sell your home you will have to disclose the presence of lead paint.
Find a qualified Syracuse lead paint removal contractor if you find any of the signs described here. Make the right choice and consult with an expert on lead paint removal if you have found it in your home.