If you live in a home built before 1978, the chances are high that your house may have lead paint. If you suspect or have just confirmed through testing that your house has toxic lead paint, your instinct is probably to remove it as soon as possible. It is not advisable to remove lead paint without professional help. Some states only allow the removal of lead paint by certified professionals. You can learn more about paint removal here.
When trying to remove lead paint without professional help, you need to take serious measures to protect yourself from the toxic dust. When repainting, repairing or remodeling a home that contains lead paint, stringent safety measures have to be taken. This article will give you handy tips on removing lead paint from your home without endangering your health.
Using a Chemical Paint Stripper is the Best Way to Remove Lead Paint
Lead only poses a danger when it gets into your body. People are more likely to suffer toxic exposure to lead paint by removing it incorrectly. Many chemical paint strippers in the market are specifically designed for the safe removal of lead paint. These strippers are designed to bind the lead paint, so it does not create toxic dust as you take it off. You can check online reviews or consult a painter to find out the best lead paint stripper on the market.
Knowing which method of lead removal to use is only one part of the fight. You will also have to follow the procedure correctly to ensure you complete your lead removal project successfully. Your next task will be buying the supplies and equipment necessary for the lead removal.
Buy Equipment, Supplies and Protective Materials
Before starting your lead paint removal project, you will need to purchase long-sleeved gloves, goggles, and a respirator. Exposing your lead dust or paint can have very adverse effects on your health. You will need an overall, elbow-length glove, hair cover and a respirator with a HEPA filter. Ensure you wear the protective gear throughout your lead paint removal project.
After finishing the lead paint removal, wash the clothes you wore during the project separately. Alternatively, you can wear clothing you do not mind disposing of after completing the project.
After purchasing the protective gear, you will need to gather all the necessary equipment. Having the right tools is another way to keep yourself safe when dealing with toxic lead paint. You will need the following: dustpan, bucket, paint scraper, rags, putty knife, trash bags, plastic sheets, duct tape, sanding sponges and a spray bottle.
Remove Furniture and Other Obstructions
You will need to clear the room of as much furniture and obstructions as you can. Ensure you also remove curtains, carpets, soft furnishings and anything that may be hanging on the wall. If you cannot move things, cover them with plastic sheets and seal them with duct tape.
Sealing off adjacent rooms by covering the doorways with plastic sheets or plastic tape is your next step. It is also advisable to switch off your HVAC system and use duct tape or clear plastic to cover your vents. This will keep lead from getting into your ventilation system. You can also close any windows in the room, which could cause a draft and disturb any lead dust that may have come free.
Remove Paint and Dispose Waste
The technique for removing lead paint is always keeping your work area wet to prevent the lead from turning into particles. You should keep your work area small (about three feet) and ensure you keep spraying it before scrubbing or scraping the paint. Keep wiping and cleaning up the work area with a damp sponge as you move along. Change the water in the bucket as necessary. Remember that lead paint is sealed off and harmless when repainted over, so you do not need to struggle with any stubborn paint residue.
Lastly, clean up your work area by thoroughly vacuuming. Ensure you use a HEPA vacuum and not a household one. You can rent a HEPA vacuum at your local hardware store. Use a wand and nozzle attachment to go over every inch of the plastic sheets to get loose dust. Depending on where you live, you may be permitted to dispose of the vacuumed dust in your outdoor garbage can. If not, call your local county office to find out the regulations for lead disposal.