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Whatis involved with de-leading a house?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:02 am
We are looking to purchase a new home. Quite likely buying one in which we will renovate. A contractor we spoke with suggested purchasing a home that was no built no earlier than 1978 as it could have lead paint. He said that if you begin renovating and lead paint is found, they would have to stop and bring in some one liscenced in removing lead paint and it could be costly.

Now where we live, there are many old homes so this would limit us dramatically. I've seen many older homes in great locations, that with the right renovations would be great homes. Most state on their fact sheets that lead paint is "unknown". I guess my question is what is really involved and how costly? Is it worth it, if we were to get a great deal on the home?
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Type: Question • Score: 12 • Views: 2,628 • Replies: 18
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:07 am
@Linkat,
I've lived in old houses literally my whole life -- I think even my dorm was pre-1978. I love old houses.

People renovate old houses all of the time. I think your contractor was being a little alarmist. I can't swear to that, though.

My house was built in 1929 and was extensively renovated before we moved in -- removal of walls, etc. It listed lead paint as "unknown," so presumably no lead paint was specifically found during the renovation/ no special measures were taken. It's likely that there is lead paint in the house, though. (People with old houses are advised to not even check because once you know, you have to list it if you sell the house. And "yes there is lead paint" is harder to sell than "unknown.")

Your kids are old enough that while you definitely, definitely want to be careful -- and airborne powder is a problem -- you likely won't have to worry about the main problem with lead paint, which is babies/ toddlers actually ingesting it. Gnawing on windowsills, that sort of thing.

Edit: lots of info here: http://www.epa.gov/lead/
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:12 am
@sozobe,
Yes - what he stated was the fact if you renovate then the lead gets airborne and why you have to remove the lead paint. I am not really 100% sure of the legality, but he said that legally a builder/contractor has to stop work and cannot start again until all the lead paint has been removed.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:15 am
@Linkat,
Good lord really? I've never heard of this. My house is 60 years old. I can guarantee it's full of lead paint. I've renovated too.
My understanding is, and I'm sure I'll be corrected, is that once peeling paint is removed and the walls are painted over very little lead leaches out. I would think most home built or renovated in that 33 year window, would have been painted more than a few times. I think the scare was children eating the paint chips, not breathing, as in dried paint has very little fumes.
Then again, who strips a wall bare during reno's? Are the walls covered with wallpaper? What do they mean remove the lead paint?
Most people wear masks during demo's, or they should. I'd check into this. It sounds like a scam or at the very least a little slick.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:18 am
@Linkat,
Well what do you think he meant by removing the lead paint?

Like, when the previous homeowners removed a wall in our house, I'm pretty sure they took a lot of precautions re: dust and removing the debris.

But they didn't then get the lead paint from the upstairs bathroom walls (far away from the wall that was taken out) removed, ya know?

We have looked into this before and what I seem to remember (I'm in off-the-cuff mode at this point, not careful research mode -- the EPA thing should help you there) that it just wasn't worth it in terms of safety. Basically, lead paint that is sealed behind fresh new paint is not a concern. "Removing" it in any meaningful way -- actually scraping it off and taking it out of the house -- actually disturbs it and is likely to cause more problems than letting it be.

It doesn't like leak fumes, it's just that the physical stuff shouldn't be ingested, whether via chips/ actually eating it, or inhaling it if it's in dust form.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:21 am
@Ceili,
I'm not referring to painting/wallpapering - I discussing major renovations like removing a wall and adding an addition. Major stuff.

One of my friends had the 2 story they owned de-leaded, but that was years ago - I am curious just how expensive it would be. It may or may not be necessary, but this contractor said, if there is lead discovered during the renovation process it could be costly. He is actually a dad of one of the girls on my daughter's team so he was simply providing us some advice.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:22 am
@Ceili,
CMHC re lead

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_007.cfm

Health Canada

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/paint-peinture-eng.php

I know you have to disclose it in your seller's package if you're aware of lead in your home. It's a fairly big deal in the older areas of Toronto in regard to the water pipes from the street to homes.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:24 am
@sozobe,
I don't know the specifics, but just what he told us. If they find lead, then you need to get a specialist to remove it. It sounded like just the area where you would be doing the renovations - they wouldn't necessarily check the whole house - only as they were working if they disturbed any lead paint - the dust would get in the air and have to be professionally removed before any more work could be done.

He brought this up, because he was looking for a new home in one of the towns we would like. He ended up buying elsewhere because of the expense unless you went with an older home.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:25 am
@Linkat,
http://www.costhelper.com/cost/home-garden/lead-paint-abatement.html

Quote:
Typical costs:

Lead-based paint removal costs an estimated $8 -$15 a square foot, which means removing all lead from a house of 1,200-2,000 square feet could run as much as $9,600 -$30,000, according to RealtyTimes.com;
the average removal project runs around $10,000 for a typical pre-1978 home.


One option is encapsulation (applying a liquid coating that forms a watertight jacket over lead paint) which on average costs less than 50 cents a square foot, or $600 -$1,000 for 1,200-2,000 square feet, according to BobVilla.com.

0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:26 am
@sozobe,
Quote:
People renovate old houses all of the time. I think your contractor was being a little alarmist. I can't swear to that, though.
You Linkat should check whether this is law or if it is rather a demand of the insurance companies which cover contractors. Either way if the work is done by the owner there should be no problem. If a lead paint removal team needs to be brought in then yes, it would get pricey fast.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:28 am
@ehBeth,
This was from your link and I'd assume where they concern is:

"Lead dust may be created during renovations. "
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 11:29 am
Huh.

We've done almost all the demolition on our house ourselves so it's never been an issue. Some house parts have been taken to the stripper and they have never once asked the age of the part or asked about lead.

On the other hand -- my neighbor had to have the exterior of his house scraped before they painted it. It had to be done by a haz-mat crew and it cost $15,000 just for the scraping.

Also, we looked at having some pipes moved in our basement but learned that because of asbestos that it would have to be done by a haz-mat crew for $$$$. We ended up leaving the pipes where they were.

So yeah... it can get really expensive.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 02:47 pm
How to Strip Years of Paint Off a House

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,386353,00.html

Quote:
Dealing With Lead
Stripping paint from any house built before 1978 raises the question of lead. Given the number of coats on the Winchester house, Clark had no doubt about the presence of the heavy metal. In the past, getting rid of lead required hiring a licensed—and costly—abatement contractor to remove and dispose of the lead-laced paint. But changed in Massachusetts in 2001, according to Jim Roberts, an environmental analyst with the state's Department of Environmental Protection: "Massachusetts adopted federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that reclassify lead paint residue from a residence as household waste. The idea is that if it is easier for homeowners to dispose of lead, they will be more likely to remove it from their homes." For Clark and crew, it meant that they could do the work—if they took the mandated safety precautions—and that all the paint they removed from the house could simply be bagged up and chucked into the trash.


How to Remove and Contain Lead Paint
with Lead paint abatement specialist Ron Pelk, This Old House television


Click the link for a 3 minute video.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20468430,00.html

8 to 12 hours for an average-size room
$500 to $2,000 for an average-size room

Difficulty: Hard requires special tools and equipment; this job is best left to a licensed pro

In this video, Lead paint abatement specialist Ron Pelk shows the safe, proper way to dispose of lead paint.

Steps:
1. Use a paint scraper to remove the paint from the outside corners of baseboard.
2. Collect the lead-paint dust using a special HEPA vacuum.
3. Install new drywall over walls that contain lead.
4. Remove doors and mantelpieces and bring to a commercial refinisher who has a dip tank for chemically stripping off the old paint.
5. Use a hammer and pry bar to remove all moldings that will be replaced by new wood.
6. After removing the moldings, use a HEPA vacuum to collect lead-paint dust.
7. Insulate the voids around the windows and exterior doors prior to replacing the interior trim.
8. Once all the lead paint has been removed, wash all surfaces in the entire room with a TSP solution.
0 Replies
 
remodelingdan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 02:48 pm
In the US the EPA finalized new regulations this year about lead paint.

On a kitchen remodeling job with an addition priced at $60,000, the new regulations — which require wrapping the work area in plastic, outfitting workers in specially made suits and vacuuming with special filters — could increase the price by $1,000 to $2,000, Hanbury estimates.

Even as the effective date approaches, the rule is still mired in controversy. Remodelers argue that the date should be pushed back, saying not enough contractors have been certified, and there hasn't been an adequate public-awareness campaign.

The rule still would apply to all multifamily housing, even apartment buildings. The year 1978 was chosen because that was the year lead-based paint was banned.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it has conducted studies showing that for most jobs the costs for sealing off the area, vacuuming up the dust and record-keeping should range from $8 to $167. One exception is large exterior projects that require containment of more than one story, the EPA says.

Those costs aren't excessive, the EPA says, and worth it, given the protection it will provide.

While remodelers say cleaning up lead-paint particles is a good idea, some say the rules are too rigid and don't allow for job-by-job evaluation.

So estimating several thousand dollars extra for dealing with the potential lead paint is a good idea. Also order a lead paint tester and test the walls you are removing/moving. Maybe for somereason there is not lead! problem solved. Also the website Edit (Moderator): Link removed has online calculators to estimate the cost of kitchen revovate, etc.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 03:15 pm
@sozobe,
Totally agree with Soz's post.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 03:49 pm
@ossobuco,
Me too.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 05:42 pm
Oh. Thought this was the De-Heading a Louse thread. Excuse me. Go on with your discussion.
0 Replies
 
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 10:30 pm
@Linkat,
I've lived in houses which may come as some surprise.

Don't disturb the lead by sanding.

What are you going to do about lead in the atmosphere?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2011 10:41 pm
@laughoutlood,
Well, I'm not surprised you lived in a house at one time or another.
0 Replies
 
 

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