You are about to start house painting in Concord, but you may not be aware what is contained in your old paint. If your home was built before the 1980s, it is possible that your old paint may contain lead, as lead-based paints were widely used way back then. It is important to have this knowledge before you begin.
Scientists had discovered the harmful effects of lead poisoning, especially in children, pregnant women and the elderly. Since then, removal of paint that contains lead is highly recommended when you are about to do house painting in Concord or any other location.
Many homeowners think that they can do the job themselves by removing old paint that may possibly contain lead. However, the reality is that it requires a lot of work, not to mention that it’s also hazardous. There are several methods of removing lead-based paint, but if the homeowners don’t know the best and proper way to do it, they could be exposing themselves and their family to the risk of lead exposure. The job of removing a lead-based paint is best left to the professionals.
If you live in a house that was built in 1960s and 1970s and really want to replace its old paint, it’s important that you first have your old paint tested for lead. This is especially true if you discover chipped or peeling paint. There are lead testing home kits you can find and purchase at home improvement stores and some bigger department stores. Most of these tests can be done on any surface and give immediate results. When the presence of lead is confirmed, a laboratory analysis follows and will inform you the amount of lead present. It’s also highly recommended that you also get your children (under six years of age) to be tested for lead.
You have two available options on how to remove the lead-based paint in your own home. The best and safest way is to hire a professional and licensed paint contractor who is trained to do the job. However, this deemed to be costly, professional paint removal may cost you around $8 to $15 per square foot, which would amount to about $10,000 for a regular-sized home. If you are short on that amount of money in your budget, there are other options on how to do it.
1. Use an encapsulant to cover surfaces painted with lead-based paint. An encapsulant is not the same as an ordinary paint — rather, an encapsulant is a specially formulated liquid coating that gives an effective and lost-lasting barrier over lead-based paint. It’s like a de-leading liquid. However, it’s necessary to have your home inspected by a licensed lead inspector in your local area BEFORE you are able to apply an encapsulant. You can also contact and hire licensed paint contractors who conduct lead testing.
2. Remove the items and fixtures that contain lead-based paints such as doors, windows, and woodwork such as trim. These kinds of things are easier to remove and replace with newer ones. By choosing this method, you don’t have to attempt to remove the lead-based paint yourself, saving yourself and your family from the hazards of lead exposure.
3. It is also all right to cover surfaces with lead-based paint with other materials such as wallpaper, paneling or sheet rock.
4. The Environmental Protection Agency’s website (http://www.epa.gov/) discusses more about lead paint, and has an article called “Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair and Painting.” This will help you in how to deal with surfaces coated with lead paint, including the crucial step in proper disposal of debris containing lead. The EPA also has guidelines regarding proper lead disposal.
5. Unless you find it really necessary to do remove the paint, you can just leave the surfaces in their normal state. This is an alternative as long as the paint is in good condition. This may also be the option to choose as long as you don’t have any small children or someone else in the family who is physically sensitive and weak, allergic or asthmatic. However, if you do intend to put up you home for re-sale, it’s best to disclose that your house contains lead-based paint.
Contact the painting contractors in your area if you are considering house painting in Concord. They will know how to test your home and will be able give you suggestions for the proper way to handle lead-based paint in your home.