First its near impossible to remove by sanding ALL lead based paint, it
not only absorbs in the wood but is in nooks and cranies that cant be
the environmental laws are there to protect EVERYONE and lead is a
major hazard to kids. I have a friend with a mentally impaired
daughter, slow would be a old time description. nice gal special ed.
lead was implicated in her troubles but they will never know for sure.
as far as I am concerned its better to live by the law than put
yourself or thers at risk and I hope anyone who breaks the law gets
heavily fined or goes to jail.
a local contractor was caught not following the rules when painting
bridges and water towers, he put so many at risk and is currently
serving his 15 year well deserved sentence in prison, he also lost his
family to divorce his business and all his money, once he is out of
prison he will be paying 50% of whatever salary he manages to earn till
he dies of old age...
he made extra $ by falsifying the reports.
all you need is some heavy duty fines and all contractors will follow
thats better than having adults with a mental abilty of 6 years old
thanks to lead in the environment.
if someone did sand all the paint off your home years ago the lead is
likely still in the soil, at home reasle time this may devalue your
home, or leave you at risk for a large lawsuit from a future owner,
since you are now aware of the risk and dont tell them..........
Thanks to Norminn, Pat, & everyone who responded for your helpful
I don't think we need to test our house (single-family, built in early
60s), because I contacted the previous owner last night after my
neighbor's comment and asked him about past paintings of the house
before we bought. He said that since 1978 (the year lead in paint was
banned under federal law) the house had been painted about 5 times, and
at least once he could recall it was completely sanded down. Which
means there would remain very little lead-based paint left on the
surface of the wood -- if indeed there was any ever at all....And I
also agree that local ordinances can be just ridiculous.....I mean if
you're not going to strictly enforce them, why bother? ...a lot of it
strikes me as politicking, local posturing by city councils pressured
by homeowners hysterical about one thing or another.....What I wish
they'd do something about is the constant pesticide-spraying that
almost all of my neighbors like to do, just for the sake of the lawn.
Oh, but to the upscales, the green lawn is a sacred item of
americana...politically untouchable....well, we have a very young
child, a toddler and we'd like to have more one day, and you better
believe it I am concerned about those trucks coming by and spraying all
those pesticides and herbicides....why can't they pass an ordinance
requiring advance notice to all neighbors when the trucks are going to
come by and spray?? I'd make sure the kids are inside. To me, this is
100x worse than small amounts of butyl acrylate (latex resin) and
colorant particulates getting airborne.
I'm not sure I would not use a contractor just because he didn't use a
vacuum as part of his painting service, especially if the contractor is
otherwise really good. That's the case with this one, he is without
question an excellent painter himself and his crew is great. They are
attentive to our questions and really goes out of his way to inform us
of the progress of the painting. We have been delighted so far with how
things are turning out. They just started the main body of the house
today, after finishing the trim & mouldings yesterday. It's really
starting to look good. I haven't seen hare nor hide of our neighbor so
I'll check my town codes to see what exactly the ordinance says
regarding this, but I don't really feel like it now :)
I feel like, here we are starting off the lovely Fall with a new paint
job on our recently-moved-in house, improving our property and the
neighborhood, and then we can't even have fun with it and the joy is
lessened because of what the next-door brought up......Ahhh, suburbia..
For houses without lead-based paint, who cares?
For houses WITH lbp, it's a real and valid concern. So the first
question is, does you house have lbp? If not, you should assume it
For lbp, there are various levels of work. Your contractor should be
using "safe work practices" as you are are seeking lead "control", NOT
An important part of lead control is stabilization. You need a good
surface for your new paint. If there is lead, sand is a no-no. You
can scrape it, you can remove it (but not with heat), you can remove
the wood, or you can wet-sand it. Regular sanding is bad.
At the end, you should seek "clearance" of the house. On Federally
funded projects, clearance is a requirement. Basically, the contractor
should clean up all remnants of lead, including particle on the ground.
They typically use a HEPA vacuum for this, but there are other ways,
too. But if the house has lead paint, you should check your drip-line
to see if the ground is already contaminated. If so, you have options
but you need to deal with that lead, too. Planting bushed is an
option, as is removal of the soil.
As for the town's ordinance, who knows. It would be understandable to
enforce lbp requirements on houses with lbp or who's status is not
know. For houses known to be lead free (from testing or age), it
wouldn't make much sense -- but who ever said laws make sense.
My suggestion is that you test the paint to figure out what's going on.
Even a do-it-yourself test kit from the hardware store is better than
not knowing. Test ALL layers, not just the top -- you can use a knife
to cut through them to the base wood.
Finally, a suggestions for you to make to your painter. Tell him that
there are lots of lead-training courses out there. Most are 1-day but
a supervisor's course is longer (3 days?). Most are free. If he takes
it and then uses the safe work practices, he can market that as just
another service of a great painting contractor. Upscale people love it
because it gives them a warm, cozy.
Good luck. Let us know what the testing shows.
Does not matter what I think, Only thing I do think is that your neighbor
should mind his own business. Sounds like he may be jealous of your new
paint job. Some people are just like that.
Go crack open a beer and admire your new paint job.
Ask your painter!!! I would be quite confident that your painter
knows the laws. He may have already tested for lead. It is a
very simple "wipe and look" type process available at any good
paint store. If there is lead based paint, there are procedures
to follow. I don't know all the procedures required for painters,
but using a negative air machine is one for asbestos work. They
just did a water tower here a few years ago and had to completely
shroud the thing till it was blasted and sealed.
The cautions, codes, and laws are there to prevent contaminating
other people or properties whether air born or ground
contamination from drainage water.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
You came here upset by your neighbors comments looking for approval on
your contractor choice and job. you wanted a rose colored glass
everything is fine response.
you know someone may turn in your home which could bring about a costly
clean up. heck yopu may be stuck paying the costs of soil removal
around your home. all trucked to a hazardous waste landfill.
yeah costs for jobs to meet codes can result in higer contractor
the day will come where when selling a home requires a lead test of
soil near home. your home may fail, thus being a hazard to kids,
cutting the final home price.
just like a old or leaking oil tank, bad gas line, bad roof etc cuts
the house price or makes it impossible to sell.
go ahead and enjoy your rose colored glasses but be aware someday this
may come back to bite you..............
just making him aware of the risks, and just for the record I quit
treating my lawn years ago, it has weeds but the birds bunnies and
wildlife can play safely on my lawn.
want to bet this contractor was the cheapest? may even be his brother
in law doing a side job.......
old owner wouldnt admit lead paint and really should of disclosed it at
time of sale.
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