Re-modeling may be on the cards if your walls look too bad if they do not wear out or the paint fades. In general, lead is a dangerous contaminant, and lead paint has been banned in the U.S. since 1978 as it poses health and safety concerns. So, consider removing lead paint if your caveat returns to that period.
Fortunately, removing lead paint is not a painful process. You can hire a professional for this job or use our easy-to-follow guide to safely remove lead paint for your family to relax easily. Here’s how to do it:
Customize Your Space
Prepare the area where you need to work by removing furniture and other moving objects. This reduces their exposure to lead dust as they later rub or sand areas. Similarly, turn off the HVAC system to prevent contamination.
Use plastic sheets to cover immobile or heavy objects, floors, and air vents. While you are in it, use duct tape to protect the edges of the plastic sheets. Also, keep windows and doors closed to prevent paint dust from entering other rooms or buildings in your neighborhood.
Make sure all items are in the room so you do not leave the area where the work has started – doing so may follow lead particles in other rooms. An adhesive pad placed on the outside can hold pieces of lead dust or chips.
Beware of Your Safety
To keep your body and clothes free of contaminants, wear masks, and fitted to a ventilator to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. Disposable shoes or shoe covers, sunglasses, hats, and rubber gloves should also be part of your safety gear. Keep other family members or pets out of the work area until you have finished and the area is clean.
Work in the Water
Lead dust in the air can be dangerous. The concept of ‘wet’ performance is to prevent lead or dust particles from filling the air.
Grease the working areas with water from the spray bottle. Use wet rug in wet areas around power switches or shops to avoid the risk of electric shock. Once that is done, wipe off the peeling paint with a metal scraper, and continue spraying as you continue to work.
A reliable heat gun comes in handy if you plan to remove paint from large areas or remove multiple layers of paint. If so, the low to medium temperature setting works best – below 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
If some of the scratched surfaces appear rough, smooth by hand using a sandy sponge. After removing the sand, wipe the area with a damp rag. Avoid using an energy sander as this leads to an increase in dust in your workplace.
Once your areas are free of bumps, it is time to remove the paint and paint brushes. Apply a new coat of lead-free paint over your area. Depending on the condition of your walls, you may need a second coat to create the same look.
Cleaning After Work
Wipe up trash and dirt and put it in plastic bags when you finish your repair project. Carefully remove the plastic sheet by wrapping it inside to contain the lead particles and place them in a plastic bag. It would also be good if you also found out if your local authorities allow you to dispose of lead waste with other waste.
Use HEPA certified vacuum to wipe lead dust on the work surface. Avoid using a regular household vacuum, which can re-distribute lead dust in some rooms.
Use an all-purpose cleaning cleaner and water scrub, door frames, and all other areas that may have been exposed to lead dust. For best results, work in a small area with a disposable bed and wash it as you go along until you have polished the entire room. It is recommended to use different buckets – one for bathing and one for regular cleaning.
If you need to clean the walls, start from the top and go down. Remember to change the water regularly. Next, place your cleaning supplies in a trash can and cover it with duct tape.
Examine Your Work
Walk around your work area as you look around to make sure the room is spotless and free of lead dust or chips. Apply to a clean area with a baby wipe or disposable towel for signs of dust. You will need a do-over if you see chips or dust on the surface.
All in all, you are removing your exposure to a toxic substance by safely removing lead paint. By following the safety precautions, you can successfully complete your renovation project and give your space a new life. If you would like to hire a professional for this job, contact a reputable person in your area.