Homeowners residing in houses that contain lead paint are often misinformed about the de-leading processes available to them. Lead paint is not something that is discussed often, so when a family is required to take action, they can make rash decisions without weighing their options.
A major part of hiring someone to remediate your home is making sure they are professionals with the correct licensure and certifications. What people don’t often know however, is that there are many different methods available depending on the type of remediation that best suits your circumstance. There are four main possibilities available for de-leading a home. You can choose between replacement, enclosure, encapsulation, or paint removal. All of these options are proactive in making sure no lead dust or paint chips are released into your home, affecting your family and especially your developing children.
Replacement involves removing the contaminated parts in your home that contain lead paint, and replacing them with new parts that are lead free. For example, door frames and windows can easily be replaced. This is a great option for people that want to update certain areas of their homes, because it is a permanent solution for ridding your home of lead. Although it makes sense, it does create a large amount of lead dust, so the proper steps must be taken by professionals to ensure a safe environment. Enclosure is also offered, where a professional covers the lead based paint with a solid barrier. Examples of enclosure would be vinyl siding, drywall, plywood, and tile. Wall paper is not considered an appropriate enclosure, unless it’s vinyl, because it is not dust-tight. Chipping paint will still exist in this instance, but proper protective covering has been applied so that no lead dust or paint chips can be released. The down side to enclosure is that you have not eliminated the lead paint; you have only created a temporary fix that will need to be monitored closely. Encapsulation is another method available, which involves coating the lead-based paint so that the lead is not accessible. Encapsulation is best used on areas that are intact and in good condition. If the encapsulate is applied poorly, it will not be effective in keeping lead dust sealed. Lastly, there is paint removal. Paint removal requires the removal of lead paint off of certain walls, baseboards, doorways, and window sills. The most common way to remove lead paint is by scraping or wet scraping the area. This process completely removes all traces of lead, which is extremely beneficial, but a large amount of labor and cleanup is involved.
Each type of lead remediation has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is important to do your research on the topic before jumping into a commitment. Selecting the proper professionals and being well-informed on the different options available to you will not only help your wallet, but also your loved ones.