Lead paint clean-up inside your home
If your home was built before 1978, it may have lead based paint located somewhere in the home. If your home happens to have lead based paint there are a few requirements that the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA, requires to safely and efficiently renovate the interior of the home.
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac is certified for lead based paint clean-up so to help, here are some handy tips to ensure the safe removal of lead based paint in your home. Collect all of the paint chips and debris. Seal these in a heavy duty plastic bag. Mist, remove and fold, with the dirty side in, and tape or seal any protective sheeting.
Always place plastic sheeting between non-contaminated rooms. All work areas must remain in place until after cleaning and removal of other sheeting has been done.
The area must be vacuumed by a HEPA vacuum and or the walls wiped from high to low with the appropriate wet wipes. Following the wiping, the room must then be vacuumed by a HEPA vacuum again and wipe the room down again with the appropriate wet wipe or damp cloth.
When cleaning, clean out at least 2 feet beyond the contaminated and contained work area.
As always, use disposable wipes and change clothing frequently.
If you are cleaning a room that has a rug or carpet, use a HEPA vacuum with a beater bar for the best and most efficient results. For all hard floor not bearing carpet, use a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop for the best cleaning results.
As always, were here to help, so for any questions concerning the clean-up of lead based paint, please visit www.SERVPROmanisteeludingtonandcadillac.com.
For your protection
SERVPRO hosted the areas first lead renovators training for the area contractors in December of 2009 and have been the areas leaders in work safe practices since 2002. We highly recommend that you ask any contractors that you hire to provide proof that they are trained in lead safe practices and are following the law to protect you and your family. If you choose to have the lead removed from your home (and this can be very expensive) make sure your contractor is a licensed and insured lead paint abatement professional which is vastly different from someone trained in lead safe procedures. If you have questions call the EPA hotline 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or go to www.epa.gov/lead website for questions.
Lead paint poisoning
Lead poisoning from paint is not just an indoor issue. If the pre 1978 paint on the homes exterior is not properly removed it can contaminate the soil. The lead never breaks down and your loved ones can track it into your home, get it on their hands, clothes, or toys and ingest it causing health issues. Extensive containment of the outside of the home including covering bushes and the ground with heavy plastic sheets is necessary to prevent the lead from getting into the soil. It's the law. SERVPRO recommends going to the EPA website website www.epa.gov/lead to learn how to remove the paint safety.
Being EPA certified
You should never allow a contractor or painter to work on your home (built before 1978) unless he/she shows you their training certificate that proves they are EPA certified in lead safe procedures. The law also requires that every contractor working on a home built before 1978 either test the paint to prove that it is lead free, or follow lead safe practices. All contractors are also required have you sign a form stating that they gave you an EPA guide to lead safe practices if they do over 6 square feet of interior work or 20 square feet for exteriors. There are large fines for failures to follow these steps. You should not try to remove this paint yourself without first going to the EPA website www.epa.gov/lead to learn how to do it safely.
Lead paint basic rules
The basic rules of safely disturbing lead paint include setting containment to prevent dust and debris from escaping the work area, moving any furniture or contents that can be moved, covering the floors and any furniture that cannot be moved, and sealing doors and heating & cooling systems to prevent transfer to unaffected areas of the home. Open flame burning or torching, sanding, grinding, needle gunning or blasting with power tools not equipped with a shroud and HEPA vacuum attachment, or using a heat gun with temperatures greater than 1100 degrees F are prohibited. The affected area must be cleaned using the EPA special methods including HEPA vacuuming followed by wet wiping and mopping with clean rinse water. Stay tuned to learn how to know if your contractor is lead paint safety trained.
Lead paint in your home
With the mandated water testing in most areas of Western Michigan, you can be comfortable that the area lead issues are related to lead paint, not water quality. Before it was banned in 1978 most paint contained large amounts of lead (sometimes 50% or more). There are multiple layers of this paint on nearly all homes built before 1978. If this paint is in good condition and not disturbed, it is usually not dangerous. Also, it has often been painted over with modern lead free paint providing further protection. However once you disturb it by scrapping, sanding, using a heat gun, or trying to remove the paint, it can become very dangerous. The next blog will give some SERVPRO hints on what your contractor should be doing to protect your home.
Lead in our area
During the past few weeks there have been excellent articles written in Western Michigan about the high lead levels in the area. According to the Center for Diease Control, no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay atention, and academic acheivement. And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. That means prevention of lead exposure is the only option. Stay tuned as SERVPRO gives some guidelines on how to lower you or your families risk of lead poisoning.