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Old 10-27-2011, 10:50 PM
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Has anyone on here bought an old house and had to have lead paint and/or asbestos removed? I have heard the costs are out of this world for a removal company.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:45 AM
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Much depends on local oversight. In many communities there is essentially NO oversight and you can hire anybody you feel is capable of doing the work. The smarter guys that do this work care more about their own safety / health than any government busy bodies. If they work for themselves and charge $40/hr per person and work with a crew of 3 or 4 and take a week or less to "remediate" pretty much any size house you can do the math that this is NOT "out of this world" -- probably inline with what a quality painting company would charge for interior work.

Lead paint remediation is a little different because if it is interior trim and such it makes much more sense to just remove all the trim. If is nothing special you just buy new trim. If the trim is to be preserved than you need to track down a company that will strip the paint in a way that is not going to create a lead dust disaster.

In either case you throw in crazy "local inspection" and then the costs sky rocket, though even in the worst such nanny states a "friend of a friend" is often able to make these kinds of jobs move MUCH more smoothly...
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:34 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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The public panic of lead paint and especially asbestos is way overblown.

People got sick from asbestos by working in clouds of the dust for years and years with no mask or other protection. People did not get sick from it by removing some pipe insulation in a house. The potential risk is when you create clouds of asbestos dust and then breathe it into your lungs. It seems to take years of such exposure to create a problem, but there is not reason to take that risk. Don't create clouds of dust and breathe it into your lungs. We needed to remove some asbestos pipe insulation so I put on a mask took a razor knife and a garbage bag. Slice slice slice. Done in twenty minutes. Change the mask filters, throw clothes in the wash and take a shower. I called Waste Management to see if it was ok to put it in the trash. No problem. Just tie the bag shut please.

At a former house we had potential asbestos tile. It is a great product, lasts forever and it was really neat looking. After learning that the real danger is in creating dust by trying to remove it, we put a clear coating on it and enjoyed it. The best thing to do is encapsulate it. If it is not turned into dust in the air, it is not a problem. It is a really great material actually.

Or, you can pay people $2500 to make a big production, wear Darth Vader suits and do the same thing. Of course your house may end up with a neighborhood reputation for having some sort of unknown problem that required guys in Darth Vader suits to come.

Lead is a bit more of a realistic problem. It can lead to brain damage in small children if they chew or suck on radiators or window sills with lead paint in them. For older kids and adults whose brains are fully developed, it might make men sterile (Hooray!). It might be very bad for pregnant women (although the placenta may filter out lead. Here the danger is in ingesting lead. You do not want to eat it or breathe it in, especially if your brain is still developing or you are or might be pregnant. Thus you do not want to create lead dust all over your house by sanding it. You can just paint over it or otherwise cover it, but a child could chew through and ingest the lead paint. Inside the house we heat stripped the paint. Some theorize that this could lead to breathing in lead vapor, but I heat stripped lead paint for thousands of hours with no mask before I heard this. I ran into the DR and had me and the kids tested. No lead in us. Still probably should wear a mask if heat stripping and get kids out just to be safe. Chemical stripping contains the lead paint with the chemical glop that your remove. However it is harder and messier and the chemicals are bad to touch or breathe. If I had to do it again, I would heat strip again.

It does take a substantial amount of lead to cause harm. Lead is a naturally occurring substance and it is in food that we eat. Paint is 1/1000th of an inch thick. Lead pain contains some lead. It is not made of lead. Thus you really have to eat quite a lot of paint for it to cause harm. Outside the house, the painters stripped any loose areas with machines and putty knives and then vacuumed up the chips. they put them in a bag and just took them to the dump. I do not know if they had to specially dump the paint shavings. Theya re certified lead removal speciaists, so they know how to handle it. They were nto particularly concerned about the lead (they specialize in restoring/painting old houses, so they work with lead paint all the time). they charged a little more for the lead issue, but not a whole lot more (some companies tried to charge a huge amount more).

If you KNOW that there is lead paint or aesbestos in your house you must disclose it on sale. Due to the marketing hype by lawyers and removal companies who reap big profits from the panic, this could create a problem selling your house. Thus, you may want to remove it if you know for certain that it is lead and asbestos. Not all old insulation, tile, linoleum and paint contain asbestos or lead.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 10-28-2011 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:53 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,838 posts, read 51,286,023 times
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Exterior lead paint does have significant amounts of lead. Interior paints didn't have the same needs as exterior, but stuff got mixed. Anyway, just to put it in further perspective, all of us who even visited a city in the 1940s through 1960s got decent doses of the stuff from vehicle exhaust. THAT was a pollution problem that never should have been allowed to start and DID need cleaning up.

As for kids and lead paint... if a kid is sucking on a radiator or windowsill, then someone in the home is ALREADY brain damaged.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:30 AM
Location: Nesconset, NY
2,198 posts, read 3,287,706 times
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This is one of those issues that may seem like a big "to do" until one becomes educated about the risks and the 'proper, prescribed' vs 'practical' procedures for remediation.

There's a segment of professionals who're making a lot of money off homeowner ignorance. But, for the most part, most contractors seem to share the opinion that there's a chasm of difference between what is prescribed and what is practical.

When there is just one company that makes the government-approved lead tests, one that makes the government-approved vacuum filters, respirators, etc. one can't help but come to the conclusion these businesses had a hand in determining the scope and content of the legislation governing lead and asbestos abatement.

Lead Home | Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil | US EPA

Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule | Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil | US EPA

Lead Paint and EPA Authoritaahhhh
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