Safe Ways to Work with Lead-Based Paint
Paint nowadays isn’t a health hazard unlike before. Back then, paints containing lead existed, which are dangerous to health. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lead paint can cause health hazards that can lead to learning disabilities, seizures, and even death.
Good thing it was banned in the late ’70s and became history. While people use lead-free paint nowadays, traces of lead paint still exists in-home and other structures built before the Federal government ban.
If your home still does have traces of lead paint, hiring paint professionals is usually the best solution. On the other hand, going DIY is a cheaper and more practical way to deal with lead paint removal. However, you should do due diligence to protect yourself from possible health hazards while dealing with lead paint removal.
How to deal with lead paint safely at home
If your home was built before the 1940’s up to 1978, chances are that it used lead paint. If you are not sure, you can have a part of the surface tested in a laboratory through dust samples.
You will need to have the following tools and equipment to work on lead paint safely.
- HEPA vacuum (wet/dry) – you can rent or buy one for your use
- Sanding block or sponge
- Electric sander
- Staple gun
- Putty knife
- Latex gloves
- Duct tape
- Painter’s tape
- Plastic sheets
- Spray bottle
- Disposable coveralls (to wear)
First, you need to make sure that everyone in the household is outside the work area during the lead removal process. You should also turn off your air conditioning or heating systems before starting the removal. Remove any food items displayed in the open or near the work area as well as the décor and furniture.
When removing lead paint in your home, keep yourself protected all the time.
- Install an air-tight plastic curtain in the work area.
- Wear protective gear when removing lead paint.
- Use spray water filled with water to lessen the spreading of dust when you are scraping the lead paint off the surface.
- Use a HEPA vacuum to clean up the work area after the lead paint removal.
- Never use heat (ex. heat gun or an open flame) to get rid of the lead paint.
Home improvement experts often recommend scraping the surface instead of sanding it. Do so in large portions. But in case that scraping does not work, you can go ahead and sand the surface using the electric sander or sanding block.
Wet the surface liberally first before sanding so the debris won’t float around the work area. As much as possible, do not use a corded sander as it can cause electrocution when coming into contact with water.
After the paint removal, clean the area using a HEPA vacuum and take down the plastic partition. Be informed of the proper way of disposing of lead paint debris from your local area.
These are things you need to remember if you plan on doing the lead removal by yourself. If you are not sure, you can always hire the best professional residential painters in Franklin TN for these kinds of tasks.