Posted by on Oct 25, 2012 in Home Safety, Remodeling | 0 comments

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Lead Paint and Your Remodeling Project

 

Many of the homes in the greater Portland area were built prior to 1978, and up until this date, lead-based paint was widely used in residential construction. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), before it was banned, lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes.

But most people, even those living in older homes, don’t think about lead-based paint on a daily basis. Households with young children may take extra precaution to ensure that paint doesn’t chip and accidentally get ingested because they know it can cause lead poisoning, but usually this only happens when you are doing a home improvement project.

In reality, unless you are disturbing the lead paint, there is usually no reason for concern.

But the remodeling process does disturb lead paint – leaving behind dust from sanding and paint chips from scraping. That’s why, if you live in a home built before 1978, it is particularly important that before you undertake any home improvement project, you make sure it doesn’t contain lead paint. You need to select an EPA Lead-Safe Certified contractor.

As an EPA Lead-Safe Certified contractor, if your home was built before 1978, it is our job to determine whether or not your home contains lead-paint before the remodeling project begins.

What if lead paint is detected in my home?

If lead-based paint is found in your home, there are guidelines that contractors must follow to ensure that it is safely removed.

First, we must contain the work area. The work area is sealed off using heavy plastic and tape. Within the area, any openings and belongings are also draped and sealed – from vents to the floor to furniture. All of it is covered in plastic. This ensures that any dust is kept contained to the work-zone area, and not tracked to other areas of the home.

Second, we must minimize dust. Although we can’t completely eliminate the dust created during your remodeling project, we can greatly minimize it. One way in which we do so is by attaching a HEPA filter vacuum to our power sander and other tools.

Once the work is complete, we have to be meticulous in cleanup. Before we take down the plastic that contained the work area, we’ll clean … and clean … and clean some more. We’ll use a HEPA vacuum on all surfaces and wet mop the area, too.

Taking these steps is important to any EPA Lead-Safe Certified contractor, because we, too, want the peace-of-mind that all lead particles have been removed from your home and your family is safe.

The EPA offers a free brochure called, “Renovate Right.” It provides more details about the safe removal of lead paint.  Download your Renovate Right Guide now. [PDF]

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