Reducing Lead Hazards During a Home Renovation or Remodel

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Lead Paint Poisoning Published on October 30, 2019 and updated on March 6, 2022.

removing old paint with a scraperLead poisoning is a serious risk to families living in an older home. If you are planning to renovate or remodel a home that has lead in it, it is important that you take steps to reduce possible lead hazards.

If you are concerned about lead in your home, contact an experienced Maryland lead paint poisoning lawyer at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices. We can discuss ways that you can minimize lead exposure during a free legal consultation.

What Homeowners Should Know About Lead Hazards

Homes that were built before 1978 commonly contain lead paint. Lead paint poses a danger to everyone, but it can be particularly dangerous to children and pregnant women. When lead paint is heated or sanded, lead becomes airborne and can be ingested by those nearby.

Once lead is absorbed into the body, it moves to the bones. Small amounts may be released into the bloodstream. This can affect various organs of the body. Lead damage can result in damage to the brain and nervous system. Some of the potential consequences associated with lead poisoning include:

  • Lowered I.Q.
  • Development of learning disabilities
  • Behavioral problems
  • Damage to hearing
  • Stomach problems

In the most severe cases, lead poisoning can cause seizures, coma and death. High levels of lead in adults can cause nervous system problems, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

When homes with lead paint are renovated, children, adults and pets can become ill if these renovations are not carefully carried out. In some situations, children can become critically ill when they were exposed to large amounts of lead during home renovations.

Steps to Keep Your Home Lead Safe

If your home was built before 1978, you should have it professionally tested for lead. A paint inspection can be performed that will tell you the lead content of each type of painted surface tested in your home.

You can also have a lead risk assessment performed, which provides more extensive information on the sources of serious lead exposure and what actions you can take to address lead hazards.

When you perform renovations, hire qualified professionals to do the work. They must abide by standards when completing the work to minimize lead exposure. Also, be sure that all lead dust is thoroughly cleaned up after performing any work that disturbs lead.

How to Make Renovation or Remodeling Repairs Last

Once you have completed renovation work, it is important to make these repairs last for a long time  to keep you safe from lead. Some effective methods to make your remodeling repairs last include:

  • Create a durable barrier – Cover the surface with a new surface or enclosure. Cover walls with new drywall and cover windowsills with vinyl or aluminum. However, this option will not remove the lead paint. You will need to create a dust-tight seal at the edges, joints and seams of windows, doors and walls. If you later remove this new barrier, you will still have to deal with the lead paint issue.
  • Use a coating – One way to protect against lead exposure is to use the process of encapsulation. This process pours an adhesive coating over the area that may have lead paint on it. This creates a strong and lasting bond so that the lead paint is not disturbed.
  • Replace old materials – This option removes building components and replaces them with new components that do not contain lead, such as windows, doors, railings, trim and cabinets.
  • Remove lead paint – This option is the most extensive and focuses on removing lead paint from underlying surfaces. There are several options to remove lead paint, including wet scraping, power sanding with a HEPA filter vacuum, open flame burning or heat removal.

Contact Our Team for More Information

If you are concerned about possible lead poisoning, we recommend that you discuss this information with a trusted lawyer from Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices.

We can discuss possible sources of exposure and your legal rights. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options. There are no upfront costs for our services. You only pays us if you obtain compensation.

We look forward to helping you. Call 410-244-7005 now.