In the early and mid-1900s, lead paint was widely used throughout homes and businesses—painted on walls, ceilings, windowsills, and more. It was advertised as a superior product to non-lead paints, and was even endorsed by state and local governments.
Lead-based paint was banned by the Consumer Products Safety Act in 1978, but many homes today still have at least some lead paint. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 87% of homes built before 1940 and 24% of homes built 1960–1978 have some lead-based paint.
Our professionals at Alpha Environmental have the experience and equipment to properly test and safely remove lead-based paint from your home or business. View our lead paint testing services or contact us today to schedule a free estimate from one of the most reliable lead paint removal companies in Portland.
You should have lead paint removed:
- Before a remodel, renovation or demolition. Any kind of remodel, renovation or demolition can disturb the lead paint. This caused the lead dust to become airborne and easy to inhale.
- If you live in or are buying/selling a home built before 1978. Lead paint was banned in 1978, so any homes built before (that haven’t gone through a lead paint removal) likely have lead paint. Many homes today still have lead paint present, but it’s hidden under layers of non-lead paint.
How to Tell If Your Home Has Lead Paint
Unfortunately, lead paint looks just like regular paint when it’s not chipping or cracking, and when it’s hidden underneath layers of non-lead paint.
When lead paint does start to chip, it will:
- Start “alligatoring”, which is when the paint cracks or wrinkles in a pattern that looks like reptile skin.
- Have a chalky residue when it’s rubbed off the surface it’s painted on.
Why You Should Have Lead Paint Removed
Inhaling dust from lead-based paint has been known to cause various short-term and long-term health problems.
Short-term exposure to lead-based paint can cause:
- Abdominal, joint, and muscle pain
- Trouble focusing
- Mood changes
Long-term exposure to lead-based paint can cause:
- Learning and behavioral problems in children
- High blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, and fertility problems in adults
Who Should Remove Lead-Based Paint from Your Home?
Only a professional should remove lead-based paint from your home. Lead paint removal requires following guidelines from
Professionals performing the lead paint removal must follow:
- EPA certification rules. Professionals removing lead paint must be certified by the EPA and must use certified renovators who have taken an EPA-approved training. They must also follow lead-safe practices.
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, which establish how hazardous waste needs to be transported, stored and disposed of.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, which outline lead-based paint removal best practices and technology designed to safely remove lead paint.
How Lead Paint Is Removed
During lead paint removal, a professional will:
- Test for lead paint. Since lead paint can be hidden and doesn’t look different from non-lead paint, a professional will need to test the paint to make sure it actually contains lead. If the paint doesn’t have lead, you don’t need to have it removed.
- Seal or tape off the affected area. Disturbing lead-based paint will kick up lead dust that can get into your HVAC system and carry the dust throughout your home. Doorways and vents should be sealed off with tape and plastic sheets. This isn’t so much of a problem if the paint is on the exterior of your home, but the area should still be taped off to prevent anybody from walking in the area.
- Cover all furniture. If the lead paint is inside your home, the professional will cover any furniture that can’t be moved from the room. This will help prevent dust from settling anywhere except on the plastic that will be disposed of.
- Remove the paint. Lead paint removal techniques may vary among professionals. They may opt to wet sand the paint, which would limit how much dust is created. However, they must use an electric sander that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuum to collect lead dust particles.
- Clean up. After ensuring all paint is completely removed, the professional will carefully remove materials contaminated with lead paint and dispose of them properly.
Contact Us for Lead-Based Paint Removal in Portland
At Alpha Environmental, we take lead-based paint removal seriously. Our professionals take care to follow regulations around lead paint removal, so every flake of the paint is safely removed.
Call us at (503) 292-5346 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate.