Is it against the law to pressure wash exterior lead paint?


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Old 04-03-10, 01:37 PM
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Is it against the law to pressure wash exterior lead paint?

Hired someone to pressure wash badly peeling paint. Just tested it for lead, minutes ago. Tests heavy with lead.

If I were to call the city health dept.on this, of course they are going to say you have to hand scrape with a mask and space suit on, on a day that is not windy, and catch it all on a tarp and hermetically seal it and dispose of it properly. Even though other people who did not ask, would likely have at it, the most economical way, as if there were no lead. The gov't, I do not believe, even though they made certain rules, reimbusres a person for economic hardship, by having to do doing things the proper way.

But they invented pressure washes just for purposes like this, to cut down on the labor. How many people are going to do it the way I said? - or even think about the lead aspect, or play dumb, if asked.

Do you know what say a city ordinance says about this where you are?

If someone had to hand scrape off all that loose paint, it will cost a fortune. Very difficult also due to 105 siding that has that curve in each lap board. Also, some people like to try to get it perfect by featheredge sanding? Can you imagine the airborne lead dust if a person did that, and people nearby had their windows open?

Or, could it be that pressure washing with water is actually a good way?, since it causes the least amount of dust? As long as you make a reasonable attempt to gather up as much of the paint on the ground as possible afterwards(which could be quite the task though)?
 
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Old 04-04-10, 03:14 AM
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Lead abatement regulations [and enforcement] differ with the various locales. I'm sure there is a national code that would cover it but I'm not familiar with it

It's best not to sand lead based coatings and when scraping you are supposed to contain all the debris. I doubt that would be feasible if your using a PWer to remove loose paint. Generally it isn't a good idea to use a PWer to remove the paint off of siding as it's too easy to damage the wood. PWing should be used more for cleaning than for paint removal.

The 2 biggest dangers with lead paint are inhaling the dust [from sanding] and ingesting paint particles.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 11:55 AM
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As far as damaging the wood goes? I have seen where on old weathered wood it can etch into the wood? But that affect also has a good side in the sense that can help hold the paint, in the way rough-sawn cedar hold paint really well.

The gov't must also have an issue with the paint on the ground also - hence the tarp. After all 3 year old kid happening by might decide to take a seat and eat a handful. Or that it will leach into the ground/ground water.

For all I know, the guy already started pressure washing it. I will probably be the one going around on my hands and knees for 4 hours, trying top pick up every particle. The health inspector, who is assigned this job case is not easily amused.
 
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Old 04-04-10, 03:33 PM
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I haven't taken my lead course yet, but I think all you need to do is get some 4 mil plastic, stake it to the ground to catch most of the little bits, carefully fold the plastic up, double bag it and dispose of it.

If you have a big pile of paint chips where the water runs off the plastic, I'd just scoop the chips and dirt back onto the plastic and do as mentioned above.

But again, I'm not lead certified yet. From what I've heard, contractors have until April 31st to get it done.
 
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Old 04-05-10, 05:25 AM
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Siding that has been roughed up from pressure washing will hold paint better - it just doesn't look as good

I would think it would be difficult to contain the chips from PWing. The water pressure can send the chips a long way. I once had a job where we had to strip close to a 1000 new garage doors [installed] - the manufacture used a faulty primer. We use paint stripper and a PWer - very effective! But we also had to rake the yard to remove the majority of the stripped paint
 
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Old 04-10-10, 07:59 PM
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You should not pressure wash peeling paint that contains lead. The paint chips will be scattered all over the place and you will find it impossible to gather up all the derbis / paint chips.

Doing such could very likely create a "lead hazard". The paint chips can also go beyond your yard and wind up in the neighbors yard, which will leave you and the contractor with a liability problem, as well as cause potential health problems for you, your household and perhaps the neighbors.

If this job is going to be done after April 22 of this year(2010), the contactor is required to be certified and to use the lead safe practices prescribed by the EPA in the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule course used for renovator certification.

See EPA lead page for more info on renovations / painting projects involving pre-1978 housing. You will find information there on how exterior painting as in your situation - should be done too.
 
 

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