Here in Connecticut, many homes have been coated, inside and out, with lead paint. Due to the health problems we now know are caused by lead, this is a legitimate concern to homeowners (and renters). However, lead paint is not something to lose sleep over! As a lead-safe certified painting contractor, we are ready to answer your questions and help you out!
How Do I Know if I Have Lead in My Home?
Lead paint was used in homes very commonly in the early 1900's. If your home was built before 1940, you have almost a 90% likelihood of having lead paint. Homes built before 1960 have closer to 70% likelihood, and homes build before 1978 have about a 25% chance of containing lead paint. Homes built in or after 1978 should not contain lead paint, since that is the year it was outlawed.
If you want to be sure, you can have your home tested. There are do-it-yourself lead test kits at home improvement stores, or you could have a professional come to your home and test the walls for lead.
(The statistics above come from the Environmental Protection Agency)
Why Is Lead Paint Dangerous?
Lead becomes a health hazard when it is ingested into the digestive system. In the case of paint, this can happen when old lead paint begins to fail, and starts cracking, peeling or chalking. Children sometimes chew on these surfaces, or bits of paint get on the toys they play with and then onto their hands (and we all know that anything on a child's hand is likely to end up in his or her mouth).
Lead paint can even turn to dust in high-contact or high-movement areas, like doors, window frames, hallways walls, and so on. This lead paint dust can get on any interior surface and end up in mouths that way.
How Can I Deal With Lead Paint?
Many Connecticut homeowners wonder if they can paint over lead paint safely. If the previous paint coating is in good shape, you can absolutely paint over it! However, do NOT sand any surfaces that may contain lead paint. If the previous paint is visibly failing (cracking, peeling, flaking, etc.), then the situation is more serious, and we do not recommend this as a do-it-yourself job.
Painting contractors with lead-safe certification are educated and trained in the best ways to handle lead paint situations. We can remove it if necessary, but the more common solution is to encapsulate it. This keeps it safely encased behind new paint so that it can't expose your family to danger.
When working in a lead paint situation, there are certain precautions that a professional painter will follow, including breathing protection for employees, a dust barrier to prevent contamination of other rooms in your home, and an extremely thorough cleaning process when the job is done.
Lead-Safe Certified Painting Contractor in Connecticut
Southington Painting has received lead-safe certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We are a residential and commercial painting company, based in Central Connecticut. We also provide painting services in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Dutchess and Putnam Counties.