Steps to Remove Lead Paint Safely
If your home was built after 1978, your risk of dealing with lead paint is almost nil. However, if your house is older, it’s a good idea to assume that lead is present. You can protect your home and family from the risks of lead exposure by following the points below.
What You Need to Know About Lead Paint
Why is Lead Paint so Dangerous?
The risks of lead paint primarily stem from lead dust and lead chips. As lead paint ages, it breaks down, loses the bond and flakes, or drifts away. Once airborne, it’s easily inhaled and quickly absorbed. Adults who suffer lead poisoning can lose memory function, suffer from digestive damage, and develop high blood pressure.
If you have children in the home, the risk of lead ingestion can be extremely dangerous. Lead paint chips contain sugars that reportedly can taste like the crunchy shell of an M&M. Children who ingest lead can suffer anemia, hearing loss, and a lessening of cognitive development.
Remove it Safely: Protect Your Home
Create a double barrier or envelope around the room you’re working in. Hang a plastic curtain on the “away” side of the door frame that covers the whole doorway. Inside that, tape plastic sheeting to allow a center slit for workers to pass in and out of the space. The outside curtain will serve as a barrier on the edges, and the inside curtain will protect all but the middle. Professional house painters Las Vegas would also recommend putting down a sticky dust capture mat at this opening to prevent tracking dust into the rest of your home.
In the room you’re working in, cover the flooring with plastic sheeting. Tape it along the baseboards to prevent dust from settling on the floor. If at all possible, turn off your HVAC system, cover all return air ducts, and shut down the heating and AC ducts. If there is any furniture left in the room, cover it in poly sheeting and tape it snugly around the bottom.
Remove it Fully: Protect Yourself
A commercial painting company travels with the gear necessary to protect themselves from inhaling dangerous fumes and dust. You deserve the same gear. Invest in a quality respirator that fits you well; a surgical mask will not fit tightly enough to protect you from lead particles. Also, take the time to find rubber gloves you can function in. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and washable shoes that you will immediately wash separately from the rest of your family’s laundry.
Scrape and sand lead paint only after you wet it down with plain water. Keep a plastic trash bag near you to scrape away the sludge. Finally, invest in or rent a HEPA shop vac for this project. Your body and brain, as well as the safety of your family, are worth this tool. Vacuum the site thoroughly after you stop working each day. If you can’t wash your clothes that night, put a robe outside the room you’re working in and leave your contaminated clothes in the space, put them back on in the morning to wrap up.
Contact us online or call 702-300-3359 for a conversation before you start scraping or sanding. Your health and the safety of your family is important to us. Learn how to choose the best sheen options for your wall here.