Although lead paint used to be standard for homes, today the dangers of having lead paint are well-known. With a number of risks, especially in homes with small children, removing lead paint is recommended. However, there is not one single option to handle lead paint in the home. Here are a few options you can consider if you discover that your home has lead paint.
Although you may want to remove the paint entirely, painting over lead paint is another option. This may be a good option if the area is difficult to remove or you can’t afford removal at this time. Encapsulation simply means that you cover any surface of the home which is painted with a lead-based paint with a specific type of paint known as encapsulation paint. Although this paint is a little more expensive than standard paints, it’s usually a cost-effective method. The encapsulation paint will create a complete bond and seal in any lead. This is ideal for walls or trim although you won’t want to use it in areas where there is high traffic or any friction. Over time, this could cause the paint to rub off.
Enclosing the Paint
This is similar to encapsulation but it involves covering anything that has paint with a physical barrier. This means that if the interior walls of your house have lead paint, you’ll have them covered with new drywall. Similarly, any siding that contains lead paint will be covered with aluminum or a similar material. This doesn’t get rid of the paint, but it will prevent any harm. Keep in mind that if you choose this method, you will have to inform any future home buyers that the home has enclosed lead paint before selling.
Removing the Paint
If you have the time or finances to remove the paint, then you’ll want to consider this as an option. It’s recommended that you use a professional service, although it can be done by yourself. Removing lead paint involves using either wire brushing or wet-sanding the affected area. Obviously, this is time-consuming and tedious. You’ll also have to use an approved electric sander that has a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Cleanup is incredibly important so be cautious with this method.
Just as the name suggests, this is a method of removal where either yourself or a contractor will get rid of anything that contains lead paint and then will install new materials. Of all the options available, this is going to be the most expensive. However, it will provide greater peace of mind to some homeowners. If you’re getting ready to do some home renovations, then this may be a good option for you. Many home renovations can involve getting rid of lead paint areas so consider this if you can.
Although lead paint is a concern for homeowners, especially in older homes, it’s fairly easy to manage. Depending on your home and the areas painted, you may want to consider one of these options. Each option is available today and will provide adequate protection from exposure.