If you live in an old house or buy one to fix up, consider checking for the presence of lead-based paint, particularly if you have young kids. If you're just starting your family, it may be worth having the lead paint removed since it's most hazardous to young kids who put their hands in their mouths or who might actually eat paint chips. Here's a look at ways to deal with lead-based paint in an old home and an overview of how it's done.
Your Options for Dealing with Lead-Based Paint
The best way to eliminate the risks associated with having lead paint in your home is to remove the paint. Hire a lead-based paint removal service to do the job because they have the equipment needed to remove the paint safely so lead doesn't contaminate your home or yard when it's removed.
There are alternatives to removing lead paint, so you may want to discuss all your options with the contractor. Painting over the lead-based paint with regular paint is not helpful. Instead, you have to use paint that encapsulates the old paint so no lead dust can escape. However, there is always the danger the encapsulation paint will scratch off and expose the lead paint below.
This same threat exists if you cover the lead paint up with building materials, such as new drywall. A possible option if you're planning to renovate is to remove all the old walls that have lead paint and replace them with new walls. However, if the building materials are in good shape and you aren't planning to knock out the walls, then simply removing the paint is a simpler choice.
Overview of Removing Lead Paint
Lead-based paint can be removed in several ways using different types of tools. The paint might be scraped off, taken off with chemicals, or sanded. Efforts are made to reduce dust by using wet-sanding methods and HEPA filters. It's also necessary to vacuum your home afterward with a construction-grade HEPA vacuum to remove any lead dust that might have escaped.
The crew working on your home has to wear protective equipment so they don't come in contact with lead dust or breathe it in. Lead-based paint removal can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. That's why it's best to hire professionals to do the work, and DIY removal may even be prohibited in your area for health reasons.
When you've had the lead-based paint removed by a professional, you don't have to worry about your home being contaminated with lead. You can enjoy raising your young kids without worry of lead affecting their growing brains. If your home is several decades old, you may want it tested for lead-based paint, and if it's found, weigh all your options for making your home safer for you and your kids.
Learn more by contacting companies that offer lead-based paint removal services.