Is there dangerous lead on your walls?
With autumn here and winter nearby, many home-and business-owners turn their attentions from the great outdoors to interior painting projects. That’s good and logical, but bear in mind that when concentrated indoors, dust from lead-based paints is even more dangerous to respiratory health—both yours and your family’s.
Of course, some Madison painting contractors might assure you that there’s no problem because they don’t intend to do any scraping (read: prep work) prior to applying new paint to your interior walls, which can be a recipe for disaster: peeling, flaking, fading, bubbling, blistering, checking, sagging, or wrinkling—take your pick.
Minimally, your walls need to be washed before applying paint, especially if you do a lot of cooking or have a wood-burning fireplace. If a prospective contractor doesn’t intend to do that, run the other way. Otherwise he or she is only painting the grease and dust on your walls, not the plaster or drywall itself: not good!
But what about that lead?
Lead paint and proper prep are two of the many reasons you don’t want to simply hire “some guy with a ladder and brushes” to start chipping away at the walls of your home and laying paint on them.
Since 1997 Genesis Painting has provided second-party education and training for our Career Painters and their Supervisors about the proper ways to manage lead paint—well over a decade in advance of the EPA scheduled mandate that all painting contractors do so.
And why is Lead Paint Certification important to you?
There is a very good chance that your house contains some lead paint if it were built before 1978. Lead was used as an additive to paints and primers to increase its durability, until its toxic effects were discovered and it was subsequently banned by the federal government.
The chipping, scraping, and sanding that necessarily precede the application of new paint will create toxic dust, chips, flakes, and wastewater that must be properly managed and contained not only for your health, but that of our painters.
For example, the work must be done by hand, without power tools, and the area must be properly contained to minimize the levels of dust created and dispersed.
Carpeting, furniture, and fixtures must be protected with poly protective covering; small items must be removed from the vicinity; warning signs must be posted at businesses; and there are specific cleanup procedures—just to name a few.
Left undisturbed, isn’t lead harmless?
There is a misconception that the hazards of lead paint are confined to children, and then only if they actually eat the flakes from deteriorating paint. This is a fallacy. Lead paint becomes most dangerous when it begins to deteriorate—and since the newest applications are over 30 years old, much of it already has. Odorless, tasteless, invisible, and highly toxic, lead dust begins to form and disperse into the air undetected.
Thus, the real danger is that you and your entire family are breathing this lead dust and absorbing it through your skin—apart from the commonly perceived scenario of kids eating paint flakes. In both cases, the health dangers are serious and lifelong.
It is easy to see, then, that the removal of lead paint calls for special procedures and precautions in advance of applying modern lead-free paints to the interior or exterior of your home or business, which is why your Madison painting company needs to be a Lead-Safe Certified Firm.
Did You Know?
Genesis Painting is also a longtime member the PDCA, a 3000-member nonprofit professional organization that develops and maintains industry standards for craftsmanship and working standards in the painting & decorating industry.
Genesis Painting employees are fulltime “careerist” painters who have undergone professional background checks. They are regularly availed of training & educational opportunities from vendors, government agencies, and other qualified second parties.
To attract and retain quality fulltime personnel, Genesis Painting offers premium salary and benefits, measured to be within the top 10 percent for the region. Painters are paid hourly rather than “by the job” to incent quality work for each project.