Removing Lead Paint Through Sandblasting: Five Points To Consider Before You Start

If you have lead paint on your home's exterior and you want it removed, you may be able to hire a contractor to perform lead abatement services for you. The fastest way to remove lead paint is through sandblasting and painting, but unfortunately, this technique also carries risks. Before you start the process, here are five points to consider:

1. You need a certified professional or a professional extremely experienced in lead abatement

Lead is a toxin that can lead to neurological disorders if inhaled or ingested. For this reason, you need someone who understands how to work with lead paint and how to remove it without poisoning the people in the area. Before hiring someone, make sure they understand the risks and know how to protect you and your family. Do not attempt to sandblast lead paint on your own.

2. You need to contain the particles

When you sandblast lead paint, it is broken down into very tiny little particles, much smaller than the particles generated through scraping. So these particles do not float off into the air, you may need to contain the area. Containment could involve covering the entire house with a ventilated tent, and anyone who enters that tent needs to be properly covered and wearing a face mask.

For example, when sandblasting is used to remove lead paint in industrial applications such as off the sides of old boats, the work is done inside a large ventilated garage. If you cannot cover your home, you may need to consider a less aggressive method of removing the lead paint, such as scraping.

3. Your entire family should be tested for elevated lead levels

Before you begin the lead abatement process, consider having your whole family tested for elevated lead levels. Also, remember to do an additional test once the work is done. That way if anyone is experiencing health issues, you can work with your doctor to mitigate those effects right away.

4. You should take soil samples

In addition to testing your family for lead, remember to check your soil as well. As you will be investing a great deal of time and money into the process, you want to ensure you have fully removed the lead. If it is lurking in your soil, you will need to work with a specialist to mitigate that issue as well.

5. You may be able to paint over the lead

As sandblasting lead paint is both time consuming and carries health risks, you may also want to explore other options. Talk with your lead abatement expert about the possibility of painting over the lead. In many cases, you may be able to contain old lead paint just by sealing it in with a new coat of paint. In some cases, you can sandblast areas here the paint is flaking but paint over areas where the paint is adhering firmly.