Stripping wall paint is not as simple as it looks. Due to the fact that most kinds of paint contain a significant amount of lead, it’s important that you take some safety measures before you start removing the paint. First of all, let’s look at the harmful effects of lead. Lead poisoning is a serious problem, especially amongst children. Most homes that were built before 1978 were painted with lead-based paint. Afterward, lead was banned from being used in all kinds of residential paints. Lead generally spreads through dust particles. As the paint begins to peel, chalk, or flake, it can cause a severe lead poisoning.
However, if you are thinking about the renovation and your house was painted using lead-based paint, it doesn’t have to cause a major problem. The main thing that you need to keep in mind when removing lead-based paint from the walls is that effective dust control is very necessary. Here are some basic safety steps that you can perform before stripping off paint from the walls.
Cover the Floors
Using a single layer of polyethylene plastic and some duct tape for covering the floors is a great idea. As you strip the paint off the walls, the flakes and particles are going to fall on the floor and disintegrate into dust. However, if you have covered the floor carefully, you will be able to save a great deal of time during the subsequent clean-up. Once you spread the plastic cover over the floor, it’s important that you use duct tape to tie down the plastic along the edges. Otherwise, the dust particles might seep under. If you are working on a section of the wall that’s located close to a door, it’s recommended that you seal the door off first using duct tape as well.
You might have heard specialists talking about “working wet.” Wet hand scraping or wire brushing is a great way to remove lead-based paint with the help of an abrasive compound. You can also purchase HEPA filters and use them with a power sanding machine. Dry hand sanding is strictly not advised and should be avoided at all costs.
Contact a Professional
If you are unsure of how to contain lead-based paint in the house, it may not be a wise move to try cleaning up everything on your own. Instead, you should let a professional handle the job for you. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the last resort. Most specialists can remove the paint for you from different rooms for a nominal fee.
There’s no need to try and strip the walls down unless you know how to properly clean up afterward. Your house will be much more dangerous after the work has been completed if you don’t clean up the debris. Remember that all of the debris should be double bagged and then disposed along with the household waste.