Are you concerned about lead paint found in a home inspection? What you need to know about lead paint is that it can cause serious health issues, especially in young children and pregnant women. As lead paint ages, it will chip or crumble releasing harmful dust particles that can be inhaled by you and your family. To ease your mind, HomeSpec has some answers on what you can do if lead paint is detected.
Most older homes, especially those built before the 1970s, will more than likely have lead paint traces. That’s because lead-based paint and the only option available at the time. If your home inspector has found traces of lead paint in your home, there are some things you can do.
ENCLOSURE is a process that covers a lead paint surface with a new surface. Walls can be covered with new drywall, windows and windowsills with vinyl or aluminum. This method does not require the removal of lead paint and is typically the easiest and lowest cost solution. But, if the new surface is ever removed or damaged, the lead problem will unfortunately return.
The key is to use materials that are durable and fire-resistant, including gypsum board, aluminum, vinyl, plywood paneling, laminate, acrylic sheets, plexiglass, fiberglass, or tile.
ENCAPSULATION is another technique where materials are bonded to the existing painted surface. Whether you go the DIY route our hire a professional, it’s important to follow all product instructions, creating a strong and durable bond when choosing this process.
COMPLETE REMOVAL is another option. It’s important for anyone working on lead paint removal to use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and disposable coveralls when using paint removers and chemicals. Now, here are ways to remove the lead paint:
- Wire brushing or wet hand scraping in conjunction with a solvent (non-flammable) or abrasive compound. Liquid paint removers are great for windowsills, doors and woodwork. Just be sure to read all the product warnings and instructions before getting started.
- You can also try wet hand sanding and/or power sanding, but only with an attached, HEPA filtered vacuum attachment. Never attempt dry sanding as it will release lead particles.
- Low-temp stripping with a heat gun, along with hand scraping, is another option. However, the risk of dust and vapor exposure and the inherent fire hazard make this a more advanced method best left to the professionals with heavy-duty respirators.
REPLACEMENT is a pretty straightforward option, especially if the house is old and the surface is in need of replacement. It can get costly, but peace of mind might be worth it.
CLEANUP is probably the biggest and most important job of all. If the lead paint is not properly disposed of and diligently cleaned, your home will continue to emit lead.
Lead paint found in a home inspection? What you need to know about lead paint can be explained by our experts at HomeSpec. For now, we recommend that the removal always be handled by a team of professionals before you move into your home. Remember, the elimination of toxic lead paint can be even more detrimental if not done properly. For more facts and help, call or contact HomeSpec.