Beyond the Surface: Strategies for Lead Paint Abatement

Beyond the Surface: Strategies for Lead Paint Abatement

Beyond the Surface: Strategies for Lead Paint Abatement

Lead paint was a common type of paint used to brighten up approximately 38 million homes before its ban in 1978. It was then that research discovered that exposure to this paint could cause severe health issues in people, especially children and pregnant women.

If you live in an older home, it is crucial for your health and safety to have that lead paint removed from your house. We’ll review the different processes of lead paint removal so you can keep your home compliant with modern laws and your family safe.

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Residential Lead Paint Hazards

Lead paint is paint mixed with the toxic metal lead. The lead helped the paint dry faster, resist moisture, and cover large areas of canvas or a wall. Lead has been used in paint for hundreds of years, initially by artists and later in homes and buildings.

Many houses built before 1978 used lead paint as their primary paint in their home. As these homes get older, the lead paint can break down and create lead dust which can then be inhaled or ingested through regular hand to mouth contact.

Once the dust is created, people can inhale it. The lead dust can get on counters used for food preparation, floors, and other areas people can come into contact with.

The public was unaware of the serious health conditions caused by contact with lead paint or lead dust. If someone is exposed to either of these, they can develop various neurological problems, health conditions, or pregnancy complications.

Neurological Damage

A person exposed to lead can develop issues with cognitive development and behavior. This is especially common in younger kids exposed to lead.

Health Issues

Adults exposed to lead paint can experience issues like muscle pain, headaches, and high blood pressure. Memory and concentration loss are also symptoms of lead exposure.

Pregnancy Complications

Pregnant women exposed to lead can give birth prematurely, and lead exposure can cause developmental issues in their babies.

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Lead Paint Abatement Techniques

You’ll want to start your lead paint removal by first confirming whether your home contains lead paint. A professional lead inspection company will perform an evaluation of your home to check if lead is present or not.

There are several different techniques used to get rid of lead from a home. Some techniques are easier to execute than others but all are effective ways of remediating lead paint.

Encapsulation 

Encapsulation is the easiest method to remediate your home of lead. In this process, you roll or paint a special coating on every surface that has lead paint on it. This method does not actually get rid of the lead paint, however the encapsulation paint adheres to the lead paint to prevent it from peeling or chipping and creating lead dust, thereby making the home lead safe.

This is a great choice for people who need to remediate lead quickly but don’t have a ton of money for complete lead paint removal. The only downside to this method is that lead paint may wear through if the coating ever wears away. Actions such as opening a door or window can eventually wear away the protective coating and cause future harm, which is why this methos is not recommended for friction or impact surfaces such as doors, windows, stairs etc.

Lead Paint Enclosure

Another lead remediation technique is enclosure, which aims to cover any lead paint areas with another layer of material. This is commonly used to cover walls and ceilings that contain lead paint with new drywall or aluminum wrap to cover lead-painted exterior trim, soffits, fascia etc.

Lead Paint Enclosure

This method is to actually replace the component that contains lead paint with a new component. This methos is commonly used for windows, doors and trim where a professional lead abatement company will setup proper containment and remove and replace components that contain lead based paint.

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Lead Paint Removal Methods

If you decide you want lead paint removed from lead painted components there are a few techniques you can use to carry out the task. Professional lead abatement crews know how to identify lead and eradicate it safely from your home.

Wet Sanding 

If you decide to use this method, you’ll use water during the sanding process. The water keeps lead dust from spreading around the area.

Wet Scraping

Another method is using a wire brush or hand scrapers to remove the lead paint. In this method, you use a hand scraper to remove the lead paint from the lead painted components, keeping lead paint dust from spreading into the work area.

Chemical Strippers

Chemical strippers can remove lead paint with minimal dust, but the chemicals are toxic to handle. If you choose this route, you’ll need strippers specifically made for lead paint and wear appropriate protective equipment to avoid any contact with the chemicals.

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Lead Removal Safety Tips

Once the lead paint is removed from the component, you should encapsulate the area. This extra step will ensure all traces of lead are gone from the room you are treating.

You need to use special tools and take special precautions to protect yourself during lead abatement and when the abatement is finished. Here are some steps you should follow once your abatement is done.

Clean Up Post-Removal

When you finish the lead abatement, be sure to clean up your space thoroughly. Using a HEPA vacuum ensures you suck up and remove as much dust as possible when your job is done. Don’t forget to clean areas like window sills, floors, and any other surfaces in the area that could have been exposed to lead dust during the removal.

Dispose of Lead Paint Debris

Anything used in your lead abatement needs to be disposed of once the process is complete. This includes any protective gear, plastic sheeting, and painting supplies. Put contaminated materials in thick plastic contractor bags before disposal and check your local regulations for disposal.

Final Testing 

Once you complete the lead abatement, test the area to ensure no lead dust is still at the site. A professional lead abatement company will have the tools and knowledge to retest the area.

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Keep Your Family Healthy With Professional Lead Paint Removal

Although lead exposure can cause significant health issues, education, preparation, and thorough lead paint removal can ensure a lead-free home. Handling any lead paint yourself can be risky due to its toxicity. Calling in professionals for the job ensures your safety and a lead-free home.

If you’re seeking professional lead removal services in the New York area, AAA Lead Professionals are the experts to call. With over fifteen years of experience, our trained professionals can thoroughly and professionally abate the home of lead. Contact us today for a free quote to ensure your home is lead-free!

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