exterior lead paint & encapsulation question

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Old 11-03-10, 12:24 PM
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exterior lead paint & encapsulation question

Hello,

I have an older home with peeling paint. I worked on scraping this myself over the summer and managed to scrape about half of the house.

As fall draws near, I'd like to complete the job, but don't seem to have the time. I've been talking to a painting contractor.

He alerted me to the new EPA regulations regarding lead paint. He suggested, instead of scraping the paint (very expensive due to the new regulations) that he encapsulate the paint - essentially glue it to the surface with a primer like Glidden's Gripper primer.

I'm concerned that what I'll end up with is a very lumpy surface, where the loose paint isn't really glued to the surface, but is just painted over. I'm also concerned about the quality of this primer over my wood siding - the siding is cedar, and while I don't seem to have any problems with tannin, I'm not sure this is the right option.

I'm willing to have him do the Gripper primer on the areas I've already scraped, and finish the job myself next summer, but would much rather just get the whole thing done this year.

Can someone tell me the reality of "encapsulating" the peeling paint?
 
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Old 11-03-10, 02:14 PM
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The new lead laws and certification came after I retired so I can't speak much for the new methods and regulations

IMO encapsulation is only effective if the lead paint is adhered well to the substrate. Priming/painting over failing paint will give the failing paint a little more life but sooner or later it will peel.

If I were you, I'd research the new lead regs to see what you can and can't do. I know the regs are stricter for contractors and home owners have more leeway. You need to know what you can or can't legally do. The biggest dangers from lead are from breathing the dust [from sanding] and ingestion [think little kids] Legality aside, it's best to capture and safely dispose of all lead based paint chips!
 
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Old 11-03-10, 02:31 PM
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Yes, this is what I was thinking too. As a home owner, I can do whatever I please, but obviously, it's best to be safe with the lead paint. I don't like the idea of trying to "glue" loose paint to the wall - I feel I'll just end up with lumpy paint that will fail sooner rather than later. I suppose I could have him do the work, and plan on scraping over it again next summer, it might reduce the amount I have to scrape, then I'll plan on repainting the worst areas.
 
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Old 11-03-10, 09:09 PM
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Trance:

No one says it's healthy to get lead in your body, but ingestion of lead is of less danger to adults than it is to young children. The reason is because young childrens bodies are still growing quickly, and so much more of what a child ingests gets incorporated into their growing bodies. So, if they breathe in lead dust, more of it stays in their bodies than if an adult ingests lead dust.

My personal feeling is that the jury on lead is still out. And I think I can convince you to think the same way. Read on...

Since the early-1950's when copper water supply piping replaced threaded iron pipe as the piping of choice in new construction, we've had the largest clinical trial in history happen without anyone knowing it. During those 40 years before lead was banned in the solder used on water supply plumbing, millions of stay-at-home moms spent almost all of their day at home with their young children before those kids started going to school. And over the course of 40 years, no one ever noticed any difference in the general health of those stay-at-home moms that lived in the newer "suburbs" in houses with modern copper piping (with lead solder joints) and those stay-at-home moms that lived in the older parts of the city in houses with the older threaded iron piping. This is something that you wouldn't think would go unnoticed because women living in the suburbs would normally go to hospitals located close to them and that would also be true of women living in the older parts of the city. Doctors working in different hospitals would be seeing different health issues if lead were affecting the women.

It wasn't until some kids in California tested the lead content in their school's drinking fountains that anyone was even aware that lead atoms could leach out of the solder joints and into the tap water that people were drinking, using for cooking and bathing in.

So, is the lead in solder joints a health risk. On the one hand, the government says "maybe". On the other hand, there's 40 years of evidence involving millions of guinea pigs showing that in adult stay-at-home moms, the affect on a person's health is literally imperceptable.

Well, maybe the lead atoms you drink have no affect on the stomach, but maybe the lead particles you INHALE may be harmful. (?) But, the story is much the same there as well...

In coal miners, there's a disease called the "Black Lung" that affects people who inhale coal dust. For people who worked in asbestos mines and processing plants, there is a similar disease called Mesothelioma, which is a form of lung cancer. But, there is no "Lead Lung" disease that affects plumbers. You see, during the 40 years that lead was approved for use in water supply plumbing, plumbers would regularily sand down lead soldered joints with sand cloth in order to get a new fitting to fit over a pipe. In doing that work myself, I know that the lead dust that comes off can be very fine and hang in the air, and inhaling it can only be avoided by wearing a dust mask. And yet plumbers in North America would regularily sand down lead solder without that protection.

By the same token, why is there no "Painter's Lung" disease? Lead carbonate had been used for decades as the hiding white pigment in both water and oil based paints for decades prior to the mid-1970's when lead based pigments were banned in architectural paints. Weren't painters is the 1940's, 50's and 60's sanding down lead based paints to "feather edge" the surface prior to repainting houses? Of course there were. Why is there no "Painter's Lung" disease that doctors have recognized as affecting painters who repaint the exterior of houses?

So, if inhaling lead dust were as dangerous as we've been led to believe, why are their old and retired plumbers and painters still living amongst us like Marksr who prove their continuing good health by posting on forums like this? Why isn't there a recognized disease plumbers and painters get from sanding down lead solder joints and lead paint?

Put lead into the same bag as crop circles, the Burmuda Triangle and the lights in the sky. Really, we just don't know enough to say anything with certainty. Most likely, it all boils down to the fact that each of us are individuals, and so some of us are more susceptible to lead than others, some of us are more susceptible to asbestos than others, and some of use are more susceptible to becoming addicted to gambling than others. And, no one knows how to tell who's susceptible and who isn't before they get sick. So, your government and mine have decided to err on the side of covering their behinds by telling everyone to avoid both like the plague. That way, and most importantly, we can't sue our government for downplaying the potential risk if we do get sick from the stuff. And to our governments, that's really what counts.

But, there's plenty of evidence to indicate that the general health of people that were exposed to lead atoms in the water they drank and lead particles in the air they breathed on a regular basis for extended periods of time never deviated significantly from that of the general population. If it had, there would be recognized "Lead Lung" disease doctors would be aware of that affects plumbers and (presumably) painters.

I'm not saying it's safe to inhale lead dust. I'm just saying that based on real world evidence, it's not nearly as dangerous for the vast majority of us as we've been led to believe. My feeling is that our own governments are creating all the hype to prevent themselves from being sued for not warning us about the potential health risk. If the risk was as great as suggested, there would be no retired plumbers or painters... they'd all have died of lead related health problems prior to retiring.

I would just leave your scraping as is for this year, and contrinue scraping the paint off next year. Then paint the whole house, either yourself, or hire a painter to do it. Painting over lifting paint is just burying the problem and making it all the more difficult and expensive to correct. And, bear in mind that while you might consider this "encapsulation" a reasonable alternative, it'll significantly affect the market value of your house should you ever decide to sell, and your house is probably your largest asset.
 

Last edited by Nestor; 11-03-10 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 11-04-10, 06:09 AM
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"I would just leave your scraping as is for this year, and contrinue scraping the paint off next year. Then paint the whole house, either yourself, or hire a painter to do it. Painting over lifting paint is just burying the problem and making it all the more difficult and expensive to correct. And, bear in mind that while you might consider this "encapsulation" a reasonable alternative, it'll significantly affect the market value of your house should you ever decide to sell, and your house is probably your largest asset. "

This is exactly what I was thinking - and thanks for the explanation about lead - I've decided to get the part I've already scraped painted, then do the rest myself next year. The parts that are not scraped are not acceptable to me if it's just painted over, and I don't really think that'll be a workable alternative.
 
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