Lead-Based Paint Removal: What You Need to Know

syracuse lead paint removal abatement contractorHome updates and renovations can be exciting, particularly if you’ve just purchased your home. But part of home renovations is knowing what is dangerous and can cause you and your family harm. That’s where an experienced home renovations contractor can help – particularly when it comes to older homes. Ripping out a bathroom or kitchen built in the 1960’s and updating your home to the twenty-first century according to your tastes and needs can be enormously satisfying. But it can also subject you and your family to the potential dangers of asbestos and lead-based paint.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1978 published guidelines alerting people to the health hazards associated with lead poising and literally banned the use of lead-based paint in the United States. Since then, lead has continued to cause a variety of health-related problems, most especially in young children. The dangers of lead have grown in recent years, but the problems of lead poisoning still persist in day-to-day life, and especially in the renovation and remodeling of older homes in Syracuse and Central New York.  An experienced Syracuse home improvement and remodeling contractor with experience in lead paint removal are important when considering any home renovations project in older homes built before 1978.

These older homes have a better than even chance that their walls were originally painted with lead-based paint. These walls may have been painted over a number of times, perhaps with other lead-based paints, or more modern latex paint.  These walls can be perfectly safe as long as the paint on the wall remains intact. But during renovations projects, old lead-based paint is disturbed and lead particles become airborne.  There is a major misconception that old lead paint can be removed without any health risk as long as you do it carefully and wear a face mask. This is categorically not true. Lead paint must be removed and disposed of in a correct way to be safely and effectively done.

Lead Paint Removal & Abatement

In 2010, the EPA enacted Rule 40 of CFR 745 (Code of Federal Regulations) known as the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. Simply stated, any contractor working on more than six square feet of painted surface (a 2-foot by 3-foot area) must be a certified lead renovator and practice lead-safe practices as promulgated by the EPA. Safe practices prohibit, among other things, the removal of lead using any methods that create dust, chips, or any other airborne particles that can be inhaled.

When it comes to older homes built before 1978, home renovations aren’t simply a matter of demolishing walls and scraping and removing old paint and wallpaper. If you live in an older home that may reasonably be affected by these rules, it is a good idea to make sure you work with a reputable Syracuse home renovations contractor that is certified and has experience in handling lead-based paint removal.

The EPA takes lead paint removal very seriously. They have developed significant fact-based safeguards to protect homeowners, their children and pets, and the contractors who perform this type of work. If you have any questions about your home renovation and remodeling project and how it might affect your family, we encourage you to speak with an experienced, reputable home improvement contractor who will be able to provide you with quality, code-compliant, and safe work throughout your home.