Living in any home built before 1978 comes with a significant chance that the home has, or has had, lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was incredibly popular until it was discovered that it was also incredibly dangerous and a potential hazard to children and pregnant women.
We’re going to take a look at why lead paint is so bad in the first place, as well as tell you how to get rid of lead-based paint in a step-by-step guide. Then we’ll cover how to clean up, and in the end, if you decide you just don’t want to deal with all of that, we’ll show you a local company that can take care of it, hassle-free.
What’s The Problem With Lead Paint?
Lead-based paints used to be incredibly popular, like asbestos, until they suffered a similar fate when it was discovered just how toxic and potentially hazardous lead can be to kids and pregnant persons. The problem was the dust the paint created, which caused considerable behavioral, developmental, and health problems in those affected.
How To Get Rid Of Lead-Based Paint
Here’s a rundown of the basic process for removing lead paint. Be sure you wear adequate protective equipment.
Get Tested To Be Sure
The first step is to have a professional lead-based paint testing service determine the extent of your lead-based paint issues. This will tell you where you have to focus your efforts. There are DIY testing kits, but they will only work for a single spot, and will not be as comprehensive as a professional test.
Prep The Area
Preparation is crucial when removing lead-based paint. Before you do anything else, make sure you:
- Seal off the area with plastic to keep the dust from spreading outside the work area
- Wear protective clothing, including a respirator, gloves, and eye protection, lead can enter your system through mucous membranes
- Cover the floor with a plastic drop cloth to catch debris
Strip The Paint
Scraping lead paint is the most common way to strip it, though there are some other methods.
Wet Scraping Lead Paint
Wet scraping involves wetting down the area with water, and scraping the lead paint off with a stiff putty knife or paint scraper. Wetting the paint with water not only helps keep the dust down, but it makes the paint peel off of the surfaces easier in some cases.
Chemical stripping is using a sprayer to apply a chemical stripping agent to the painted surfaces. The paint is then partially dissolved and can be stripped off much easier. The downside to this method is the use of the chemical agent and the expensive spraying equipment. This is often done only by professionals.
Heat stripping is just what it sounds like; using heat to strip the paint. In heat stripping, a high-temp heat gun is used to soften the lead paint and help it release from the surfaces so it can be scraped off easily. While efficient and somewhat less dangerous than chemical stripping, heat stripping does produce some fumes from the paint, which can be unpleasant.
Once the paint has been removed, there needs to be a full cleanup. Be sure all paint and associated debris is in plastic bags and disposed of properly. Following clean up, wet mop the entire area, or dust with a damp cloth, to ensure the removal of any remaining particles.
Home Bio Testing Can Help You Test & Remove Lead-Based Paint Easily
If you need lead testing or removal consultation in Southern California, Home Bio Testing is ready to be your trusted partner. Reach out today to speak with an expert member of our lead remediation team for more information, or to get started.