Most paints used to be made using lead. However, because of worldwide health issues, lead paint was reduced, which led to changes in the way paints were manufactured and sold.
However, this did little for the millions of homes of a certain age, and still, paint contains lead requiring lead paint removal.
In some instances, adults can tolerate the levels, yet children aged 6 and below are at risk. The way the paints make them bad can come in multiple ways.
Most of it comes from paint chips, cracks, flakes, and turns into lead dust as homeowners carry out home renovations and are unaware of the issues. (Read Acrylic Paint vs Enamel Paint)
In this guide, you can learn all you need to know about lead paints, the removal of lead paint, and how to get rid of lead paint, so it doesn’t cause any health hazards in your home.
If your homes are built before 1978, you need to make sure you read this before renovating.
When Was Lead Removed from Paint?
They banned the use of lead-based paints for residential use in 1978. However, any homes built in the United States before 1978 are more likely to have lead-based paint somewhere in the house.
Any lead-based paint-covered surface where paint may wear through friction or rubbing is susceptible to lead dust, including windows, doors and frames, porches, stairs, and kitchen cabinets.
Once it cracks, flakes shatter or turn to lead dust, or even if children chew the paint, it can become harmful to their health.
Approximately twenty-four million dwellings are at significant risk from lead-based paint, including deteriorating paint and contaminated lead dust in the home.
Is Stripping Lead Paint Dangerous?
Contamination when you use leaded paint is generally the result of swallowing. The lead paint removal is not dangerous to health, so long as the paint does not chip, flake, crush, or turn into lead dust. Minor exposure to lead may cause health issues like learning difficulties and abnormal behavior in children.
High levels of lead exposure may cause lead poisoning and other issues like anemia and impaired brain and nervous system function. At present, there is no established safe level of lead painting and no known safe concentration of lead in the blood.
But as lead exposure increases, so do the range and severity of symptoms and consequences.
Despite a decrease in public exposure to lead over the years, it remains a problem. It is essential to be conscious of the sources of lead to minimize your family’s health risks.
Can You Just Paint Over Lead-Based Paint?
Yes, it is possible to paint over paint with lead in it, but you cannot paint over with just any kind of paint.
Overpainting leaded paint, also known as encapsulation, is a highly effective restoration technique for lead paint.
Encapsulating is more cost-effective than lead paint removal, and it is much safer because it releases neither lead dust nor deposits into the air.
Be aware that conventional oil or water-based paints are not encapsulants. For a DIY project, an epoxy-based or polymer encapsulation product ought to be used as there is no mixing
Can You Get Lead Poisoning for Stripping Paint?
If you follow the lead paint removal steps, you can eliminate most of the risks of lead dust or paint chips around your home. However, they can be time-consuming to prepare your work area, yet once you remove lead paint, your home is much safer.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Bucket and Dustpan
- Half mask respirator
- HEPA shop vacuum (purchased or hired)
- Paint and carbide scrapers and Medium and coarse sanding sponges
- Putty knife and Utility knife
- Rags and paper towels
- 6-mil poly sheeting for doorways and 6-mil trash bags
- Duct tape
- Rubber gloves and goggles
- Spray bottle
The techniques will show you how to control dust, working wet, and cleaning up correctly to remove lead paint from your home after painting.
Identify Lead Paint
If your home was built before 1978, you should follow these procedures, and even if it was one or two years later, you never know who followed the instructions right away.
Homes built any time before 1950 are sure to contain lead paint. If your home was from 1950 to 1978, it could be one way or the other, yet it is better to err on the side of caution.
Seal Your Area
It would be best if you covered your floors and doorways using your poly sheeting. The doors should have two sheets. One taped to your doorframe and with a slit, and the other draped from the top of the frame to create a barrier.
Wear Protective Clothing
You need to make sure you have all your protective clothing on to stop the lead dust settling in the fibers of your clothes, getting in your eyes, or being inhaled through your nose or mouth.
When working with lead paint, take your time as you shouldn’t use power sanders in your house, as this can kick up the dust too much. Working wet is the best way to dampen lead paint dust that could otherwise be airborne. (Read Best Handheld Belt Sander)
Before you remove lead paint, use your spray bottle to damp the work area you are focusing on.
The one thing to watch for when you work wet is that as you sand with your sanding blocks, the paint can form a sludge as you wet sand, and it builds up in the grit of your sanding sponge. Be sure to keep these clean, or it will be much harder to remove the lead paint.
Once you have worked your way around the areas that need painting, the area needs to dry, and you can then begin vacuuming up the lead paint chips you created with your scraper.
Vacuuming up the paint in your work area can clean most of the paint chips, yet you still need to use your spray bottle and cloth to wet the area down and remove the last traces of loose material.
If there is dust and lead paint chips on your poly sheet, wet this down and fold the sheets inward before placing them inside your trash bag and sealing it correctly.
Once you discard your dirty materials, you are ready to prime the area and then paint a fresh coat. Your trash bags will contain lead paint from your work area, and this can amount to quite a lot from your house if you work in multiple locations. (Read Best Portable Air Compressor)
You need to use heavy-duty trash bags as you would if you were removing mold from your home. In the same way, you need to remove lead paint from your house, and you need to use the safest methods possible.