Lead paint presents dangers for Colorado households, especially for families with young children. With lead exposure being a serious health risk, how can you safely repaint your home when lead paint is present?
Here, we’ll break down the dangers of lead paint for Denver families, as well as provide safety tips for residential painting involving lead paint. You can avoid lead exposure and keep your family safe by staying careful, attentive, and informed.
The Dangers of Lead Paint
Lead ingestion is extremely dangerous. Even in small amounts, lead exposure can have serious health implications, namely for children.
Minimal exposure to lead can cause learning and behavioral impairments in children. Lead poisoning can cause damage to the brain, nervous system, and kidneys, as well as trigger anemia.
When Is Lead Paint Dangerous?
Lead-based paint contains enough lead to be dangerous when ingested. But, it generally isn’t dangerous unless it flakes, chips, or otherwise releases lead-containing dust into your home. When surfaces painted with lead-based paint start to experience wear-and-tear, it’s important to implement safety measures to prevent exposure.
Lead Paint in Homes
The U.S. government banned the use of lead paint by consumers in 1978 due to avoid health risks. But, lead-based paint was extremely common in homes built before that 1978 ruling, including those in Denver. If you own an older home, lead paint may still be found on your walls, though it’s likely beneath new layers of paint. In fact, lead paint is still present in millions of homes across the country.
If there’s lead paint in your home that’s damaged – whether it be chipping, cracking, chalking, peeling, or water damaged – it’s a major health risk. It’s important to act quickly to address lead paint deterioration in your home.
Safety Tips For Homes With Lead Paint
If you’re repainting or otherwise renovating a home with lead paint, it’s important to be safe and diligent. Here’s a list of important safety tips to heed while working with lead-based paint:
- Thoroughly prepare the area.
Before renovating an area with lead paint, diligently prepare your Colorado home to prevent the spread of lead fragments. Cover the work area (as well as the path to the work area) in plastic sheeting. If there’s any furniture that can’t be removed from the space, seal it in plastic sheeting using tape. Once the renovations are finished, you can simply seal and dispose of the plastic sheeting, leaving the floor underneath it clean.
- Keep all family members out of the house during renovations.
Keep all children, pets, and anyone without proper protective gear out of the house until the renovations have been completed and it’s safe to re-enter. When you’re working with lead paint, the risk for lead particles getting released into the air is always present. So, while not ideal, keeping family members out of the house during the renovations is the only sure way to prevent lead exposure.
- Prevent the spread of lead dust.
Preventing the spread of dust is important when you’re dealing with lead paint. You can do so by using a spray bottle to keep surfaces wet. This will contain dust, and you can simply wipe off the surfaces when the renovations are complete.
To keep lead dust from spreading throughout your home, also turn off air conditioning and heating systems and block off air vents. You can seal vents by securely taping plastic sheets over the top of the vent grills.
- Do a deep clean of your home after the renovations.
After any painting or renovating has been completed, wait for 24 hours for any residual dust to settle. Then, do a deep clean of your home to remove any lead-containing particles. Wipe down all surfaces and dispose of materials in sealed plastic bags.
- Contact a professional painting team.
When in doubt, enlisting the help of an experienced, professional residential painting team is a safe bet when lead paint is present. Expert Colorado painters have safety measures and protocols in place when working in homes with lead paint. Plus, professional painters will scope out your home beforehand to evaluate the area, providing you with more information about the risk for lead exposure before the renovations begin.