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How does one safely do even the most basic of renovations in a house full of lead?

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mynewoldhouse

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i am overly-paranoid by nature (and have a 6-month old so) so yesterday as we were painting a small closet and my FIL sanded some old paint away it had (has) me worried.

with that worry comes questions. given that painting prep does include sanding, how is it possible to safely prep and paint over old lead paint?

furthermore, what types of precautions need to be taken when doing even basic things such as drilling into walls and such?

and, now that the "damage is done", how should i approach the clean up of the closet given there's debris (assuming containing lead) on the floor?

thanks!
 

Snoonyb

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Welcome.

Why would you arbitrarily assume lead paint, since it hasn't been marketed for several decades?
 

bud16415

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First off welcome to the forum.



With a little one your concerns are valid and you want to keep the kids away from chewing on trim like windowsills. That is the most likely way they would get into it and it’s not something most kid will do. Just being on the surfaces I don’t believe is much of a problem.



Years ago I removed a whole house of old paint using a heat gun and that was likely not a good idea, but back then we didn’t know what we know today. Athletes still advertised cigarettes back then.



IMO heating it or turning it into dust like sanding is likely the two ways I would use extra caution with. As to dust just use a good shop vac with a good filter wear a paper mask and clean up dust with a wet cloth.



I wouldn’t worry too much about living in the house. I have lived in these old homes my whole life and worked on them. Asbestos is another one that if you leave it alone and don’t get it airborne there isn’t much risk.

Watch for flaking paint and scrape it off clean it up and cover it with new paint.
 

bud16415

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@Snoonyb makes a great point.

It is easy to test for it and also I didn’t realize because your title said it was there to ask if you have tested or what year your home was built.
 

mynewoldhouse

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Welcome.

Why would you arbitrarily assume lead paint, since it hasn't been marketed for several decades?
house was built in 1923. the paint we're covering looks old. not sure if it's 40+ but definitely not recent.

assuming the worst i suppose.
 

Sparky617

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Best thing to do is encapsulate it with new paint. Use a liquid sanding product to degloss the paint surface instead of sanding. As long as the paint isn't flaking off and your child isn't chewing on it the paint isn't a problem if left undisturbed. As with asbestos, most applications left undisturbed aren't a problem. When you get into issues is doing major renovations where you are pulling down plaster painted with lead based paints and creating a lot of dust.

 

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