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Lead Paint Abatement

When renovating or restoring areas that contain lead-based paint, there are certain regulations to follow to get the job done safely and effectively. One may choose lead-based paint encapsulation products to create a barrier between the lead paint and the environment, or follow certain lead paint abatement procedures to remove the hazards completely. While lead-based paint encapsulation is used in covering or painting over lead paint, it is not a permanent solution in guarding against lead hazards. Lead paint abatement procedures are needed to completely remove areas containing lead-based substances, and it’s important that these procedures are done by certified lead abatement contractors.

 

Before beginning any lead paint abatement procedure, evaluate whether or not the situation requires complete removal of the lead-based substance. If not done correctly, lead abatement can increase lead contamination levels since some substances, such as asbestos, are more dangerous when disturbed. Also, if the paint is in good condition on flat painted surfaces, like floors, baseboards, and ceilings, abatement is not necessary. If it’s determined that lead paint abatement is necessary, the following should be considered:

  • If possible, remove the architectural features from the building and proceed with lead paint abatement procedures in a controlled off-site environment.
  • Encapsulate lead-based painted flat plaster walls and ceilings with dry wall or sheetrock.
  • Seal lead-based painted floors with carpet that meets abatement criteria.
  • Replace lead-based painted features with replications.

Lead Paint Abatement in Historic Restorations

Great care needs to be taken in renovating and restoring historic buildings, especially when it comes to lead paint abatement. Architectural features and design can be compromised if the wrong paint removal method is used in restoration. Any on-site lead-based paint abatement project should follow certain guidelines:

  1. From prep to cleanup, the work area should be restricted to certified abatement contractors who wear appropriate clothing, preferably disposable, and use the proper safety equipment, such as a respirator.
  2. The type of material and building should be considered in order to determine the safest method for lead-based paint abatement.
  3. There should be no eating, drinking, or smoking within the work area.
  4. The entire area should be clear of all items other than the ones being treated, and plastic sheeting should be used to seal off the work area to contain lead dust and debris.
  5. Once the project is complete, workers need to clean the area with a high efficient particulate air (HEPA) vacuum, change their clothes, and wash their hands and face to ensure they don’t contaminate the outside environment.
  6. All toxic materials should be disposed of in a proper manner.
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