lead paint

This group might be cool. 1921 craftsman home. All original. Ten layers of paint, that tests positive for lead. Beautyful cedar bevel siding in great shape. Lots of soffets, overhangs, posts, etc. Two and a half storys above ground, half below. Any ideas on stripping down to bare wood, and starting all over with quality paint job?? thanxs, mick (ima joker) D.
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<< Any ideas on stripping down to bare wood, and starting all over with quality paint job?? >>
Such a project will be incredibly time consuming. Better do a cost estimate as best you can of strip/repaint vs. replace siding. No.1 red cedar is available (be sitting down when you get the price quote). There are mechanical paint strippers that will bag the residue, IIRC Porter-Cabler makes one. Beyond that you will need chemical strippers and heat guns or strip heaters like the www.silentpaintremover.com and scrapers on detail work. Plan on taking your next long vacation in about 4 years if you get really involved. Good luck.
Joe
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Don't let the EPA find out! Or OSHA!
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Christopher A. Young
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I own a vintage 1950 home. I am removing all the paint as the entire house has wallpaper as a base coat with several layers of paint over that. The wallpaper makes it easy to remove all the previous layers of paint off the plaster. I wear a respirator whener I am using the heat gun or sanding. Then again, I wear it when I am cutting wood or doing anything else that creates dust (even sweeping sometimes). But that's all I so. Anything more is overkill. I put lead paint dust in the same category as second hand smoke, except that lead paint probably isn't as harmful.
I didn't bother checking for lead paint either, as it's impossible to check every layer of every type of paint used on the house. I just assume that it all is and wear my respirator.
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unless you like the thought of lead poisoning (adult can get it as well as kids), make sure that you keep the surface you're sanding/grinding/scraping wet. The hazard is the dust - as long as you keep it wet, it won't get airborn and into your lungs. If you want to be up to code, you'll also need to trap all of the slurry/mud and dispose of it in a hazmat site.
If you're really seriouse about doing a complete job, plan on taking down all the lead painted wood (with lead precautions) and replacing it.
Now for the practical part: Lead poisoning just means that you've got a lot of lead in your blood stream. It plays hell with certain neural processes (competes with Calcium) and can also cause problems in bonce. The bone problems are long term - if you have high lead concentrations for along time, the lead will replace some of the calcium in your bones, then when you get older and your bones decalcify (happens to everyone - part of geting older) the lead is released again, and you get a recurrence of the lead poisoning. Treatment for lead poisoning (in adults) takes on of 3 paths, depending on the severity of the case: 1: stop the lead exposure and just wait for your system to get rid of it 2: stop the lead exposure, and take fairly high doses of iron. Causes conostipation or diarhea depending on individual and formulation 3: chelation. This pretty much sucks rocks. Check into a hospital, get pumped full of chemicals that chelate the lead, and spend a couple of weeks puking your guts out, eating througha tube, and being about as miserable as you can imagine. Follow up with #2.
Lead poisoning in little kids (under 5 is the federal limit now) causes problems becuase their nervouse systems (brain in particular) are still developing. The lead competes with Calcium and other metals, and screws up the developmental processes. Effects can be anything from none to pretty major retardation.
The most effective practical method I've used for lead abatement is to use a good chemical jelly paint stripper (I like 5F5). The surface is always wet (with stripper), and the paint comes off in a goopy sludge. It can be dumped into a bucket and dealt with pretty easily, with very little real exposure. The wood needs to be sealed after stripping (there's still lead int he wood, so don't sand it). For stuff like baseboards and door trim, I just replace it - its not worth the hassle of stripping unless its something really special.
Outside is tougher - the ground around the house is probably contaminated (don't plant a vegetable or herb garden close to the house), but that shouldn't matter unless you're planning to eat dirt..... If you're stripping the outside and the EPA or OSHA finds out, be prepared for some major grief. The town next to ours recently hada bit of fun. Some one hired a fly-by-night painter to scrape and paint his house. He used power sanders to do the stripping. The local code enforcement offixcer happened to notice, and somehow the EPA got involved. They ended up shutting down (evacuating) something like 5 blocks of residences and businesses while they went through the whole area and did lead cleanup (basically you need to damp mop all of the surfaces). I don't know who ended up footing the bill, but the painter (uninsured) and the homeowner both took major ($100K+) financial hits.
good luck
--JD

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