Lead-based paints were banned for use in homes in 1978. If your home was built before 1978, a certified inspector can tell you whether or not your home has lead paint and where. According to the federal government, “home test kits for lead are available, but may not always be accurate.” Other than paying an inspector or taking your chances with a home test kit, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to assume that your home contains lead-based paint if it was built before 1978.
ESP Painting will assume that your home’s original layers of paint—which we will be disturbing during our preparations—contain lead. We are certified and trained in lead renovations, repair, and painting, so we make sure to take all safety precautions outlined by OSHA and DHS to protect you, your home and our employees.
We are happy to provide you with a copy of our lead safety program before we begin painting your home.
Lead paint scraping preparation is based on a time and material budget. It is very difficult to know how far the scraping will go once we start on your project. During the initial estimate visit we will assign what we believe is an honest budget of time needed to scrape your house properly. On the first day of the job your Crew Leader will evaluate and plan to meet that budget. If at any time during the scraping our Crew Leader believes the preparation budget cannot be met, we will re-evaluate and set a new budget and/or discuss other options with you. When the budget is met we can always re-evaluate for additional preparation if desired.
Lead from paint and other sources can affect the health of your family and the development of your children. Usually, paint that is in good condition poses very little danger even if it contains lead. However, children may put pieces of peeling, chipping paint in their mouths. And disturbing lead-based paint during renovations releases lead dust into the air where you can either breathe it or ingest it by putting your hands in your mouth or handling food.
In children, lead can damage the kidneys and nervous system, decrease muscle and bone growth, and damage hearing. The nervous system damage means that the child can develop learning disabilities, ADD, decreased intelligence, and speech, language and behavior problems. High levels of exposure to lead can be fatal in children. In adults, lead exposure can decrease fertility, increase blood pressure, cause nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and memory, concentration, and digestive problems. Pregnant women are especially at risk, and lead can increase their chance of illness and harm the fetus.
For more information about lead paints and lead poisoning, visit the EPA’s website.