How to Deal with Lead in Your Home
Lead is used in all types of industry, but the days of lead-based paints have been over for decades. Though the lead-based paint is no longer manufactured in the US, there are still plenty of buildings and homes still dealing with it on their walls and in other components. Let’s learn why lead in the home is risky, how you deal with lead with the Renovation, Repair, and Paint (RPR) rule, and how testing for lead works in a home with help from the experts at ServPro.
Dealing with Lead in the Home
Why Lead in the Home is a Big Deal
Though lead was used in paint for several decades, its effects on people and pets cannot be understated. Lead is harmful to the human brain, especially the developing brain, which means children are much more susceptible to the risks of lead poisoning which include behavioral problems, anemia, and possible mental retardation. Lead in your home is no good for children and must be eliminated.
The RRP Rule
In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the RRP rule which stands for “Renovation, Repair, and Paint.” This issue says that any renovation, repair, or painting projects that deal with lead-based paint or probable lead-based paint must be dealt with my lead experts. General contractors are not lead experts! If it’s time for a project in your home that deals with lead-laced items in the home, you must have a lead expert in to test and mitigate the issues.
A lead mitigation expert may use a variety of methods to test your lead levels, but the most common are Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) which samples elements of your home and sends them off for detailed testing and the XFR method, which uses x-rays to register lead levels.
Once you know what you’re up against, you can begin the mitigation process. For most lead experts this process consists of three Cs: Containment, control, and cleanliness.
Containment refers to quarantining the lead-based areas before mitigation begins, controlling any dust and debris from the mitigation, so it remains isolated, and keeping clean. Clean refers not to leave your home clean, but for the mitigation team to properly clean themselves and equipment of any remaining lead dust to avoid tracking it into your home.
Lead in your home is no good, but it, fortunately, can be dealt with by local lead mitigation experts. Typically lead materials are tested, a plan is drawn up, and the plan is followed through with mitigation steps like containment and control. A home removed of its lead is a happy, healthy home for both you and any developing minds.