Just The Facts On Lead-Based Paint
Prior to the 1970s, both interior paint and exterior paint often contained lead. So if your Northern, VA home was built before 1970 and it has not been repainted, odds are that you may be dealing with a lead-based paint job. As the paint flakes and chips away, it can release lead paint dust into the air of your home which, not to completely freak you out, is toxic and dangerous, especially for pregnant women and young children. Long term exposure to lead based paint can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Studies show that 1 in 11 children are dealing with high levels of lead in their systems, so this is truly not something you want to mess around with.
Remember, lead paint wasn’t only used on walls and trim, but antique furniture and frames as well, so it’s important to be aware of what painted surfaces you have in your home. If you are unsure of whether or not a surface is covered in lead-based paint, pick up a test kit at your local hardware store. These should not cost you more than $20 and are generally a simple swab test that will turn color if lead paint is detected.
So, what do you do if you have #leadpaintproblems? First of all, know this: The EPA does not recommend that you try to remove it yourself. There is a time and a place for DIY, but this is not one of them. The good news is that you may not have to remove it at all; if the lead paint on your walls or ceiling is not chipping or peeling, simply grab your painting tools and cover it with a fresh paint color and you have sealed off your issue.
Okay, so what if it IS peeling or chipping and it DOES need to be removed? Then it’s time to call professional painters who are EPA certified to remove lead based paint, like we are. Lead paint is the MOST dangerous when it is being removed so you want to make sure you use a company of professional painters who are knowledgeable and well-trained in keeping work areas sealed off and the job site cleaned up. If this is not done properly, you can return to a home that is actually more dangerous after the lead-based paint has been removed because the interior paint dust is everywhere.
You will want to plan on leaving your home while the work is being done because it is not a safe environment. Trained professionals will be wearing protective bodysuits and masks to keep them safe and since it is silly (only slightly) to sit on your couch and try to watch Netflix in hazmat gear, you would be happier and healthier at a hotel, or even at your Mother-in-Law’s house.
Do not let lead-based paint scare you, it can be easily taken care of either by using painting tools and a new interior or exterior paint color to cover it or by calling professionals like us who are well trained in removing it. If you want more details, check out the EPA pamphlet from our blog which will fill you in further on the specific ins and outs of removing lead-based paint from your Washington DC area home.
If you are ready to get started, give us a call. We can give you an estimate and answer any and all questions you may have about safe, effective lead-based paint removal.