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To Remove Lead Paint Or Encapsulate Lead Paint?

Have you checked your home for lead paint? Do you see visible signs of cracking and peeling paint but can not confirm it’s lead? Buying or living in a home built in or before 1978, prior to the ban on the use of lead paint, can leave you wondering whether or not the house has lead paint. Even if you see visible signs of damage, you may not know for sure unless you have had your home checked for lead. If you confirmed your house has lead paint, you have three options to protect your family from lead poisoning. You can have a licensed contractor perform lead paint encapsulation or lead paint removal, or you can encapsulate it.

Lead Paint Encapsulation Is More Than Painting Over Lead Paint

Painting over lead paint, also known as encapsulation, is an effective remediation technique. “So, I can just paint over the lead paint?” Yes, but not with just any oil or water-based paint. Suppose the conditions are appropriate for painting over every lead layer. In that case, there are three types of encapsulation epoxy, polymer, and cement-type material.

Is Lead Paint Encapsulation Less Expensive Than Painting Lead Paint Removal?

However, as previously mentioned, the house must meet the criteria. It would help if you find a professional with lead paint experience before making a decision. Using new paint over the lead paint may be considered a less expensive option than lead paint removal and “safer” in the short term as lead dust and debris would not get released into the environment. Besides, the encapsulation must be monitored over time to stay up-to-date with exposure to lead chips and dust. Encapsulation should last upwards of ten years if done correctly. If by chance, it starts to peel, you should take action immediately.

Similarly, suppose the lead paint you are looking to encapsulate is peeling or flaking off. In that case, encapsulation is not a good recommendation. Once the paint starts to deteriorate, the risk of lead dust spreading increases drastically. You should no longer paint over the lead paint. This technique will cause the paint to flake and peel along with the application of the new paint. If the house starts to show paint failure signs, such as peeling and blistering, the paint may release lead dust, which you need to stop immediately.

Children Are At The Highest Risk

Lead-based paint is dangerous. It’s a toxic chemical that can damage the brain, organs, kidneys, nerves, and blood by being absorbed into the body by inhaling fumes, lead dust, or eating paint chips. Children have the highest risk of being lead-poisoned, as their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults. This is why it is of utmost importance; we take extreme precautions when working with lead paint, regardless of the current condition.

Working with lead paint is hazardous if you don’t take the right precautions. Precautions include, but are not limited to, our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); respiratory protection, eye protection, gloves, and coveralls. Proper lead paint containment is another important aspect we can not look over as lead dust particles are hazardous.

You Must Follow All EPA Guidelines

Another situation in which lead paint encapsulation is not a good recommendation is when surfaces are walked on, rubbed together, or badly deteriorated. If this is the case, you should hire an EPA Certified Renovator. Since you are dealing with a toxic chemical, following all EPA, RRP, and OSHA rules are necessary.

Painting over lead paint or encapsulation is only useful if the old finish of lead paint is still in excellent condition, not peeling or chipped. If you have questions, please contact or consult a professional before the lead dangers get worse.

RRP — Repair • Renovation • Painting

We train our SFW Painting crews correctly in lead paint activities including RRP (repair, renovation, and painting.) This process includes slightly disturbing the lead paint in conjunction with the renovation work. We perform RRP projects mainly for aesthetic reasons, stop-gap control, minor renovations, and stabilizing failing lead paint. RRP is not meant to eliminate all lead paint hazards, similar to lead paint encapsulation.

About SFW Painting

SFW Painting prides itself on offering a full range of Portland and Seattle house painting and renovation work. Our crews work to add or maintain your home’s value by using the highest quality paints and materials available. As a values-based company, we provide the utmost care when working on your home. We ensure that all work proceeds in the safest and most effective manner possible.

Contact us today for a FREE estimate.