Lead Paint Abatement: Don't Be Fooled When Someone Tells You Paint Covers It

3 December 2018
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If you move into a new house or apartment that predates 1978, do your due diligence. The previous owner or landlord might have said that any lead paint that might be in the home is covered, but that may not be the case. Check with the state and county records to see if any lead paint abatement projects were completed on this house or apartment in the last two decades. The county and/or state records will reflect this work because it has to meet with EPA standards before the home/apartment can pass inspection for lead paint. Here is more on the subject and how to avoid being fooled about lead paint abatement.

RRP (NOT Lead Paint Abatement

Renovation, repair, and painting are just a band-aid for the presence of lead paint. You can paint over paint that has lead in it, but that does not prevent the lead from leaching through and causing health problems. Additionally, if you ever scrape the paint off of the wall by accident, you can be exposed to the lead in the paint layer that is under the current layer of paint. It is not worth the risk if you have children or pets in the home, and as an adult, it's certainly not something you want to be exposed to either. 

Lead Paint Abatement (the ACTUAL Process)

Real, actual abatement of lead paint involves emptying the apartment or home, covering the floors to protect them, and then having an abatement contractor don safety gear and scrape the walls down to the bare boards. It may also include the removal of the drywall, exposing the boards inside the walls, and then recovering the walls with fresh drywall, plaster, and all-new paint. This latter process, while considerably more expensive, is preferential because it leaves zero doubt that there is any lead paint left in the home/apartment that you should be concerned about.

When the Public Records Do Not Say Anything About Abatement

Now that you know the difference, you know why the public records must state "abatement" when abatement has been completed. An actual permit to conduct the abatement is required, as is a licensed abatement contractor. If public records do not state "abatement completed," be more to the point when you ask a landlord or former property owner about what was done to abate lead paint. If they say that the walls were painted and coated, then you know that lead may still be present in the residence.

If there is still lead paint in the residence, contact a lead paint abatement contractor like Colfax Corporation for help.