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#1 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are about to buy a house that was built in 1910 and I'm fairly certain it has lead paint. We are going to re-drywall anyway, but it has the old window sills and I was thinking about removing the paint. Also, the kitchen cabinets may have lead paint underneath some layers, but eventually we will replace those as well. Anyone have experience with lead paint removal? It would cost $750 to get a risk assessment, as in they would tell me where in the house and on the grounds lead exists. Also, should I get my water checked? How do you do that? TIA for any help.

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#2 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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Get the lead assessment. It's worthwhile for your peace of mind. Similarly, I think it's worthwhile to get your child's blood lead level checked annually.

Call your municipal water authority and ask about water testing. Here, they will do it for free if you pick up the special bottles from them, collect the samples following their directions, and bring them back within two hours after collection. Ask the water authority for facts about the water's cleanliness (if these aren't on their Website) but remember that the pipes within your house contribute to water quality too.

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#3 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 01:54 AM
 
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In many cases it is far safer to just cover up the lead rather than try to remove it. If it is intact you may be OK just painting or papering over it and making sure it stays in excellent condition. On windowsill and doorways, though, it is almost impossible to keep it from flaking off b/c of the movement--so you will probably have to deal with this.

Do not scrape or sand it if you do remove it--that just makes dust and will cause a lot of problems. (You will have to use a chemical stripper--the slow kind that you peel off is what they usually recommend I think.) Don't have small children living there while you do it.

I would definitely get the assessment because then you know what you are dealing with. But make sure you do it with someone legitimate and who has good references. There are also different technologies they use to check--so do some research and find out which ones are most accurate. (I can't remember off hand.)

If you really want to be paranoid you can get your soil in the yard checked too. This may be an issue if you live in an urban area. I live in a big NE city and there was so much lead in my yard that it was considered hazardous waste. I got the top 5 or so inches replaced and it's fine now. That lead came largely from leaded gasoline exhaust before it was banned, as well as from exterior lead paint.

You can get your soil tested for lead (and plant-related stuff) through the University of Mass-Amherst Extension. Just google umass amherst soil testing and you'll get there. It's pretty inexpensive.
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#4 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 03:10 AM
 
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Our house is 1908, but we just replaced the sills and door casings. The walls we painted over. 3 coats of Kilz (previous owners smoked inside) and 2 coats of paint.

However we have a pretty good idea of what original and what's been added on, but our problem was more WHEN something was added on. For instance the kitchen was a given, as it's done in "brick" linoleum and avacado appliances. So we just redid all the window sills, and replaces the exterior door casings and painted the CRAP out of everything else.

Honestly we couldn't afford a lead assesment. But we do have DSes' blood checked annually, and so far it's been just fine. (Thankfully!)

Steph
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#5 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leylla View Post
Our house is 1908, but we just replaced the sills and door casings. The walls we painted over. 3 coats of Kilz (previous owners smoked inside) and 2 coats of paint.

However we have a pretty good idea of what original and what's been added on, but our problem was more WHEN something was added on. For instance the kitchen was a given, as it's done in "brick" linoleum and avacado appliances. So we just redid all the window sills, and replaces the exterior door casings and painted the CRAP out of everything else.

Honestly we couldn't afford a lead assesment. But we do have DSes' blood checked annually, and so far it's been just fine. (Thankfully!)

Steph
Ditto to most of this! The previous tenants smoked A LOT inside. Cigarette burns in carpet, brown walls, etc. And I don't know when stuff was added on either. But under the carpet is the "brick"linoleum. Yuck! And that is in the living room! So I'm pretty much going to do what you're doing. But I was thinking about stripping the window sills as they're original to the house. Obviously outside, with DS not around. Yeah, we can't really afforda lead assesment either. But I think I may take some samples myself and have them tested. for instance, the soil, because I want to have a garden. thanks for the info!

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#6 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leylla View Post
Our house is 1908, but we just replaced the sills and door casings. The walls we painted over. 3 coats of Kilz (previous owners smoked inside) and 2 coats of paint.

However we have a pretty good idea of what original and what's been added on, but our problem was more WHEN something was added on. For instance the kitchen was a given, as it's done in "brick" linoleum and avacado appliances. So we just redid all the window sills, and replaces the exterior door casings and painted the CRAP out of everything else.

Honestly we couldn't afford a lead assesment. But we do have DSes' blood checked annually, and so far it's been just fine. (Thankfully!)

Steph
Ditto to most of this! The previous tenants smoked A LOT inside. Cigarette burns in carpet, brown walls, etc. And I don't know when stuff was added on either. But under the carpet is the "brick"linoleum. Yuck! And that is in the living room! So I'm pretty much going to do what you're doing. But I was thinking about stripping the window sills as they're original to the house. Obviously outside, with DS not around. Yeah, we can't really afforda lead assesment either. But I think I may take some samples myself and have them tested. for instance, the soil, because I want to have a garden. thanks for the info!

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#7 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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I did some limited paint stripping in my previous 1925 bungalow. Thankfully almost all of the walls and ceiling were wallpapered so the only place where I worried about lead paint was the doors and the trim. We discovered that it would cost about the same amount to buy new trim boards as it would to pay for the chemical stripper to remove the paint so we bought new.
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#8 of 13 Old 05-09-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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For smaller jobs, Peel Away 7 is good for lead paint removal. We used it at first, but then after Lucy got lead poisoning from my mom's 1950's era house, we decided not to take any chances with our circa 1885 Victorian--we removed most of the remaining moulding and window casings.

Anyway, not sure how I feel about spending $750 for a risk assessment unless they'll tell you where the lead paint is. The question isn't whether you have lead paint, because you do. We went under that assumption and just used a lot of those little test swabs from Home Depot to figure out where it was. We had a couple of surprises, actually, where we thought we had it and we didn't. (Oops. Just realized that you said they will tell you where it is...)

Remember that lead paint was used more often for glossy surfaces and exterior paints, so you're more likely to find it on mouldings than on wall surfaces. And, as a previous poster stated, the flaking and the vaporization is the problem, so you don't have to be as concerned in places where there isn't any friction (which is why windows are such a problem!).

There's a lot of really great information out there about lead paint removal. Do a google search, check with your county health department, and check out thisoldhouse.com, oldhousejournal.com, oldhouseweb.com and gardenweb.com for people who have been there/done that!

Good luck!

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#9 of 13 Old 05-09-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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If you plan to garden, have your soil tested before you lay out your gardens. Even with houses that were de-leaded or painted over years ago, soil runoff can stick around for a long time. Lead in soil can come from the exterior paint on your neighbor's houses, too.

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#10 of 13 Old 05-09-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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We're looking at an old house that has new vinyl windows (I don't love vinyl windows, but that's what it has). I assume we wouldn't have to worry as much about lead dust from the windows because the moving parts are new vinyl? Of course we would paint over the sills.
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#11 of 13 Old 05-10-2007, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
For smaller jobs, Peel Away 7 is good for lead paint removal. We used it at first, but then after Lucy got lead poisoning from my mom's 1950's era house, we decided not to take any chances with our circa 1885 Victorian--we removed most of the remaining moulding and window casings.

Anyway, not sure how I feel about spending $750 for a risk assessment unless they'll tell you where the lead paint is. The question isn't whether you have lead paint, because you do. We went under that assumption and just used a lot of those little test swabs from Home Depot to figure out where it was. We had a couple of surprises, actually, where we thought we had it and we didn't. (Oops. Just realized that you said they will tell you where it is...)

Remember that lead paint was used more often for glossy surfaces and exterior paints, so you're more likely to find it on mouldings than on wall surfaces. And, as a previous poster stated, the flaking and the vaporization is the problem, so you don't have to be as concerned in places where there isn't any friction (which is why windows are such a problem!).

Good luck!
So do those tests really work? I'd rather get a bunch of them then pay that much money. I'm planning on just painting the sills and baseboards until I have time/effort to redo. Or I guess I could just buy new ones, but I think they are original and would like to preserve them. The windows are aluminum so I don't need to worry about that. However the siding is vinyl over the original clapboard and that paint looks like it has been peeling. So I would really like to get the soil checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
You can get your soil tested for lead (and plant-related stuff) through the University of Mass-Amherst Extension. Just google umass amherst soil testing and you'll get there. It's pretty inexpensive.
Thanks for the link.

Well, at some point I would like to post before and after pics. Obviously the after will be quite awhile from now!

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#12 of 13 Old 05-10-2007, 02:21 AM
 
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I stumbled across this thread and thought I should add our family's experience with a beautiful and original 1908 Craftsman home and the subsequent lead and asbestos abatement that we contracted for in 1995.

Although lead paint was banned in Europe, early in the 20th century, it was not banned in the U.S. until the mid seventies and so any home built before then will have lead paint. Since some unused paint stock would have been hoarded and used after that time, even houses built after the seventies could still be at risk. A house that was built in 1908 like ours, could have been painted at least once a decade and so feasibly could have at least 8 coats of lead paint!

If you have an older home, I wouldn't bother paying for expensive testing. IMHO, it's a waste of money that could be better used for the abatement. You can buy swab test kits at the hardware store for a few dollars that will give you a good idea if there is lead paint present in the home. For a three bedroom, 2100 sq.ft. house, ours cost $35,000.00 to do the job and to dispose of the hazardous materials that were removed, and that doesn't include the rent on another home that we lived in for 5 months while the work was being done. For that price, a complete abatement was done to all the woodwork and cabinetry, all plaster was removed and replaced with drywall and the "brick linoleum" which actually contained asbestos, was removed as well. The peace of mind that we got from having it done was worth every penny. Every single window (around 40, total) and door in the house were removed and stripped bare of paint, off site and then repainted. Sadly, some were broken in the process and we lost a lot of the antique glass The mouldings were removed and replaced. After all the work was done, the house was then tested and given a clean bill of health!

Be sure, if you decide to hire a contractor to do the job, that you check the references and the state board to make sure that they are a reputable company and have the abatement experience. Some states will certify this. You can make the problem much worse if the removal is not done correctly.

Hope this is helpful- good luck with it.
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#13 of 13 Old 05-11-2007, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holy Smokes!!!! I could never afford that. I think I'll just either try to cover it up or take the baseboards/trim outside and remove the paint there. Thanks for the info!

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