Lead in homes

Lead paint in homes

Because any renovating of a home that contains lead requires a licensed contractor in lead removal, and we are one of the only ones in Louisville, we get a lot of the same questions.  Here are the top five questions we hear?

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Will painting over lead paint with non-lead paint solve the problem?Lead paint

Yes and no. Yes if the paint is left undisturbed.  Absolutely not if any kind of sanding scraping or renovations are being done.  Chips and dust are VERY hazardous. Paint left intact and covered is generally safe. To be sure, dry wall installed over the paint or paint that contains encapsulants that seal the lead paint to the surface so it won’t chip off, are great options.

If I have lead-based paint, I can still safely remodel or renovate?

Yes. Very small projects can be done if plastic is used and a HEPA vacuum is used. Always assume that building materials in any older home contain lead, and take measures. Larger jobs should always be done by licensed professionals.

Can you can tell by looking if paint contains lead?

No. The only way is to have it tested, and kits are totally unreliable.  You can’t feel, smell or see lead in homes.

Besides totally removing lead paint, there are other ways to protect my family from the lead dust?

Yes, drywall or encapsulated paint.

Is removing lead paint always safer than leaving it?

No.  Lead pain that is in good condition and not cracking or peeling is not a safety hazard.  If the paint is disturbed in any way, that is when it becomes hazardous and a professional must be used.

One last question. Will a dust mask will protect me from breathing lead dust? No, a dust mask is not sufficient. You need to have a properly fitted respirator with special (HEPA) filters.  Also, throw your clothes away when the work is finished and do not eat, smoke or drink where you work.

E.P.A’s link to lead based paint

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