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Painting Concord – What to Do If Your Home Has Lead Paint

Painting Concord – What to Do If Your Home Has Lead Paint

Painting Concord – What to Do If Your Home Has Lead Paint

Since the late 1970s, lead-containing paints have been phased out due to lead’s toxicity. However, lead is still very much a concern, and anyone can be exposed to it through contamination or any other means. As lead paints have been banned, they are no longer used in house painting in Concord projects.

If your home was built before the 1980s, its paints may contain lead. As scientists and experts have discovered the effects of lead poisoning, particularly in children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals, they recommended removing lead-based paints in homes.

However, the presence of lead paint in a home makes repainting more complicated due to local and federal regulations, which tend to change periodically and can be hard to keep up with.

Painting contractors tasked to remove lead-based paints in homes are legally bound to follow specific steps and other lead-safe work practices to minimize the risk to the occupants in the house, their crew, and the surrounding environment. Failure to comply with these rules can lead to hefty fines.

Testing your home for paint

Again, if your home was built before the 1980s, it is important to have the painted walls and surfaces tested for lead. Lead paints peel, chip, crack, or deteriorate over time, producing lead dust that can be inhaled and ingested, leading to lead poisoning.

You can purchase lead-testing kits from your local home improvement store or larger department stores. Most lead-testing kits today can be done on any surface and will produce immediate results. The other (and recommended) option is to hire certified lead testers for this process.

Once the test has confirmed that your home indeed has lead paint, laboratory analysis will be able to tell you how much lead content is present. To make sure, you will want to have your family tested for lead, which can be done at your family doctor or local health department. 

Lead paint removal and repainting

If you’re planning a repainting project, and your home is confirmed to have lead paint, you must take precautions to protect your and your family’s health and safety.

Even though a DIY-er might dare to remove lead paint, it still comes with risks if they’re not careful. It’s better to hire experienced professionals in removing lead paint in residential properties. Many of the best painting contractors near me offer additional services, including lead paint removal and repainting. Or hire a licensed lead contractor to get rid of the lead from home.

Keep in mind, however, that hiring professional lead removal services comes with a price. It may set you back at $8 to $15 per square foot for removal, which can amount to around $10,000 for an average-sized home. But because of their experience, you can be assured that your home will be free from the dangers of lead-based paint – for keeps!

But if you decide to take on the challenge of removing lead-based paint by yourself, it’s essential to understand the serious risks that might come with it. If you’re not careful, you could be exposing yourself, your family, and your pets to the hazards of lead exposure. 

When removing lead-based paint, make sure to use safety gear, such as protective eyewear, a respirator, non-permeable gloves, and coveralls, as lead dust can settle on your clothing. Earmuffs or earplugs will also protect your ears not only from the lead dust but also from the noise from the power tools required to remove lead-based paint.

  • Encapsulating the paint – The term “encapsulation” refers to applying a fresh coat of paint over the current lead paint on the surface. This method is generally considered safer, more effective, and less costly than lead paint removal as it doesn’t disturb the current paint and doesn’t tend to release toxic lead dust into the air. It is less labor-intensive, too. You will need to purchase a special encapsulant for covering lead-based paint. A gallon of the special encapsulant costs around $35 per gallon. 
  • Replacing the items that contain lead-based paint – Replacing doors, windows, baseboards, and trim is a lot easier than trying to remove lead-based paint from the surface. But if the walls contain lead-based paint, replacement is not impossible but can be difficult, costly, and therefore not practical.
  • Enclosing lead-based paint – Enclosing or covering surfaces with lead-based paint is another option. For instance, if the lead-based paint is on the walls and you’re replacing doors, windows, and trim that also contain lead-based paint, you may want to cover the walls in many ways – new wallpaper, sheetrock, or paneling.
  • Do nothing – That’s right! Depending on the condition of the existing lead paint or whether there are small children, the elderly, or people with health sensitivities around the house, it may not be necessary to do anything. As long as the paint is in good condition and it is not disturbed, you don’t have to do anything. But if you have plans to sell your home, it will be necessary to disclose the fact to your potential buyers that the house has lead-based paints within it.

You can also go to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website to check out their explanation regarding lead-based paint. It has a publication entitled “Steps to Lead-Safe Renovation, Repair, and Painting” that can help you as you prepare for your lead paint removal project.

Disposal of lead-based paints

Items and debris that contain lead-based paints generated from renovation, remodeling, rehabilitation, or abatement of a residential property are considered hazardous wastes. This means that you just cannot throw them away into the garbage bin, at an empty lot, or anywhere else. It is important to note that proper disposal of waste containing lead is crucial. The EPA presents guidelines for their proper disposal.

If you have an older home that needs lead paint removal and repainting, Custom Painting, Inc. can help. We can test surfaces for lead paint, remove them, and apply them with fresh paint. We will keep you and your family safe. Contact us at (925) 294-8062 to get started!


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