Removing Lead-Based Paint in your Idaho Home
If you live in or are considering purchasing an older home, it is important to know if lead-based paint is present and to understand the risks of lead-based paint. If you are planning on remodeling or painting and your home is more than 35 years old, you should consider testing for lead-based paint. If present, be sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family from lead exposure. On The Spot Cleaning and Restoration services homeowners and businesses throughout Idaho and can test for lead.
Lead was commonly used in paint and other materials during the 1960s, and is prevalent in homes built before 1978. Even low levels of lead exposure can cause damage to the nervous system, leading to learning disabilities, poor muscle coordination, slower growth, and hearing, speech, language or behavior problems. High levels of lead exposure can cause to seizures, unconsciousness and death. Children and pregnant women are especially affected by lead exposure.
If you believe you may have lead-based paint in your home, you can have a trained professional inspect your home prior to starting any remodeling project. If your remodel job includes sanding or scraping paint or tearing down walls, you should especially be aware of the potential for lead exposure. And remember that lead-based paint is not just found on walls, but is also commonly found on window frames, doors, floors, radiators, stairways and even exterior surfaces.
There are several things you can do to remove the lead paint while protecting your health and the health of your family. Be sure to wear protective clothing including coveralls, shoe covers, head coverings, goggles and gloves to prevent lead dust from getting tracked throughout your home. Also use a respirator to prevent inhalation of the dust.
Before getting to work, On The Spot Cleaning and Restoration recommends that you completely seal the work area using heavy-duty plastic sheeting and duct tape. Also have a HEPA vacuum on hand, as well as spray bottles to help reduce the spread of dust. Also turn off your heating and air system that can spread dust throughout your home from the work area.
Before leaving the work area, remove your shoe covers and change your clothing to reduce the amount of dust tracked throughout your home. You should also shower immediately after leaving the work area to remove dust from your skin and hair.
If you have lead-based paint in your home, it is also possible that there is lead dust in your heating, ventilation and cooling system. You may want to consider having your air ducts cleaned by a professional to remove any dust and lead particles.
There are additional precautions that must be taken when removing lead-based paint. If you intend to use a chemical paint stripper, be sure it is safe for use on lead-based paint, as they contain toxic chemicals. It is also not a good idea to dry-sand, use a power washer, or a high-temperature heat gun to remove the lead-based paint.
By correctly removing the lead-based paint and taking the necessary precautionary measures during your remodel and cleanup will help reduce your risk of lead exposure. If you have hired a contractor to complete the remodel, make sure they are following the proper precautions to prevent lead exposure in your home.
While removing lead-based paint may temporarily put you and your family at risk for lead exposure, being proactive will prevent long-term exposure. If you need additional information about lead poisoning or prevent, each state has lead poisoning contacts, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency also has various resources available. We also invite you to call On The Spot Cleaning and Restoration professionals at 208-643-9394.
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