3 MIN READ

Test Your House For Lead Paint

Has your house been tested for lead paint? Do you live in a home built in or before 1978, when the use of lead paint was banned? If so, now is an excellent time to get your home tested!

Options To Protect Your Family From Lead Poisoning

After the results are determined, you will be able to come up with an action plan. A negative test result means lead was not found on the surface, and you can continue with any other repair plans. A positive test leaves you with three options a licensed contractor can perform lead paint removal, lead paint abatement, or encapsulate it.

What is Lead Paint Encapsulation?

Lead paint encapsulation, or painting over the lead paint, is an effective way to protect your family from lead paint poisoning if done right. “So, can I just paint over the lead paint?” Not entirely; the conditions must be appropriate for every lead layer. If the conditions are met, there are three types of encapsulation epoxy, polymer, and cement-type material if the needs are met.

Is Lead Paint Encapsulation The Less Expensive Option?

Using new paint over the lead paint to encapsulate it may be considered a less expensive option than lead paint removal. It may also be considered “safer” in the short term as lead dust and debris would not get released into the environment. However, as mentioned before, the house must meet all the criteria, and you must find a professional who is experienced in working with lead paint. 

Besides meeting the criteria, the encapsulation must be repeatedly monitored to stay up-to-date with lead chips and dust exposure. If done correctly, encapsulation should last upwards of ten years. If, by chance, the paint starts to peel, you should take action immediately. 

Lead Paint Is Peeling And Flaking

Similarly, if the lead you are looking to encapsulate is peeling or flaking off, encapsulation is not a good recommendation. We do not recommend it because once the paint starts to deteriorate, the risk of lead dust spreading increases drastically. So if the paint is deteriorating, you should no longer paint over the lead paint because it will flake and peel along with the new paint’s application. If signs of paint failure signs start to show, such as peeling or blistering, the paint may release lead dust, which can cause damage to the body. 

The Highest Risk Category Is Children

Children are at the highest risk category of being lead-poisoned because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults. So, it is of utmost importance we take extreme precautions when disturbing lead paint, regardless of the current condition. If lead paint is involved, proper lead paint containment is essential and can not be looked over as lead dust particles, and lead chips are hazardous. 

Lead-based paint is dangerous and can be described as 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. So, we have to take all the right precautions. Precautions include, but are not limited to, our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); respiratory protection, eye protection, gloves, and coveralls.

EPA Guidelines

Hiring an EPA Certified Renovator is necessary since you are dealing with a toxic chemical. In fact, following all EPA, RRP, and OSHA rules are necessary too when not encapsulating the lead paint. Especially if the surfaces are walked on, rubbed together, or badly deteriorated. 

Encapsulation is only a viable option 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 damage gets worse. 

Our crews are trained in RRP (repair, renovation, and painting.) The process includes disturbing the lead paint in parallel with renovation work. More often than not, these projects are performed for aesthetic reasons, stop-gap control, minor renovations, and stabilizing failing lead paint. RRP is not designed to eliminate lead paint hazards.

About SFW Construction

SFW Construction is a dry rot and siding repair contractor in The Pacific Northwest. We have all the necessary skills and certifications from the EPA to remove, encapsulate, and abate lead paint. Over the years, we’ve developed a solid reputation for lead paint stabilization abilities in The Pacific Northwest. We work to “get the lead out” with a level of quality and service you can depend on.

(503) 885-0236