Brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems, hearing problems, constant headaches, and slowed growth—these are the dangers of having a high level of lead inside the body, especially in children. Worse, your home, instead of giving shelter, could be the culprit of that high lead level. Paints used for painting houses before 1978 in the USA are lead-based. If your child got contact with that lead-based paint, then he will be at high risk of having higher level of lead in the body.
You can protect your family from the ugly scenario, though. You can get rid of lead paint and enjoy a safer home. There are two things you can do to get rid of lead paint—paint it over or remodel.
Paint It Over
Do this only if the original lead is perfectly in-tacked and not chipping. You should use lead encapsulants, which you can buy from your nearest paint stores. These encapsulants will seal the lead content of the paint inside. And so, you can paint a topcoat on the old paint. This can be your best choice if you want the fastest way to get rid of the lead paint. However, there is a tendency that the coated paint will be removed or will form chips after some years. But for faster remedy, this should already do the trick.
This is a more tedious job but this sure is the safer and surer way to get rid of the lead. The main goal of remodeling is to release the lead from the paint. That is why this technique is more dangerous, too. You should only do this when no children or pregnant women are around the house. You should properly protect yourself, too, if you are planning to do this. Wear a respirator as much as possible. The common paper mask cannot protect you well.
Do not use heat gun, propane torch, belt sander, and dry scraper when removing the lead paint. These things will only make a lot of lead dust around the house. That means you will have to wait longer before all the lead dusts are out of the house.
To remodel, you’ll have to scrape off the paint until all is removed from the house. Use a mop or a piece of cloth damped in warm water to wipe off the paint sand. The moisture will also prevent the lead from flying all over the house.
Expect lead dust to roam around while you do this. The respirator should protect you well. You will have to wait some days before the lead is completely gone. After the lead is gone, you can already start repainting the house. It’s best to ask a professional to test the house’s lead content to be sure that the lead is at its acceptable level, or better yet, your house is no lead anymore.
There is another way to get rid of lead paint—hire someone to do that for you. Make sure that the professional you will hire is experienced enough to safely and completely remove the lead from your house. This can be your most expensive option but this sure is the safest.