Exposure to lead can cause anemia, harm the brain, and damage the nervous system.
Poisoning can affect the cardiovascular, renal, and reproductive systems.
Too high a concentration in the blood may even result in a decline in the intelligence quotient for children.
Infants and young children are the most vulnerable.
Should you be concerned about lead paint in your home?
Here are some quick tips on ways to minimize exposure to lead paint in New Haven, CT.
Test for Lead Paint
Most lead-paint poisoning results from exposure to lead paint dust. Even if you don’t see any peeling paint, lead paint dust might still be present.
Old doors and windows have painted parts that rub together and create dust, or there might be small amounts still present from a previous remodeling project.
Testing will determine if you have a lead paint hazard. Various types of test kits are available for about $10.
They’re all a little different, so read and follow the directions carefully.
What Can I Do If I Have Lead Paint in the House?
If tests show lead paint inside or outside your home, there are temporary measures you can take to reduce or control the hazard.
• Immediately clean up any paint chips you find.
• Keep play areas clean.
• Don’t let children chew on painted surfaces.
• Clean dust off of window sills and other surfaces regularly, using a sponge, mop, or paper towels with warm water. Be sure to rinse mop heads and sponges after cleaning thoroughly.
• Remove your shoes when you enter your home, so you don’t track in lead from the soil.
• If you rent, tell the landlord about the results of the test and the fact that there is peeling or chipping paint.
Don’t ignore the dangers of renovation.
If you’re renovating a pre-1978 home, follow approved procedures for conducting the work.
Both the EPA and your local health department provide guidelines, but essentially anything that disturbs a lead-painted surface — like drilling, nailing, wall demolition, making holes for pipes or electrical wire or cable, scraping or sanding, etc. — can create a major problem.
If you’re in a potential lead-paint hazard area, there are steps you must follow that cover everything -from sealing off work areas while the work’s being done (ideally, keeping kids out of the home while the work’s in progress) to covering furniture to cleaning up after it’s all over.
If the Lead paint is not flaking or peeling
If the lead paint is not flaking, sealing is the best option and probably the least expensive under the circumstances.
But what is sealing? It is simply a matter of covering the painting in its entirety to eliminate the exposure of the occupants of the house to lead.
To cover the paint, the following solutions are available:
• gypsum board;
• vinyl wallpaper;
• an acrylic coating;
• Ceramic (especially recommended for damp rooms).
If the Lead Paint Is Deteriorating
Removal of contaminated lead surfaces
If the lead paint is peeling, flaking, or chipping, the situation is slightly complicated.
If the budget allows, and you do not want to start additional work, you can simply remove some components such as doors, windows, or woodwork and replace them with new ones.
Other methods, such as stripping and sanding, might be used to remove the entire layer of lead paint and repaint the surfaces with new non-lead paint.
The Bottom Line
Lead paint is dangerous, especially for small children, who might eat crumbling lead paint chips or pick up lead dust on their hands, which they might stick in their mouth.
Each year, thousands of children test positive for dangerous levels of lead.
Don’t let your kids or house occupants become part of these statistics; hire a lead remediation expert like New Haven Painters to help eliminate this risk.
We offer affordable and reliable lead remediation and residential painting services in New Haven, Branford, Milford, Orange, North Haven, West Haven, East Haven, and the surrounding areas.
Book a FREE estimate below to get started, or call us (203) 606-2346 for more information.