Reroofing an older home and lead based paint


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Old 08-03-10, 09:46 AM
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Reroofing an older home and lead based paint

Okay, we're in the process of buying an older home on which I plan to do a lot of work before we move in. Replacing the roof is a project I need to do early to keep rain from messing with anything else, later projects are more likely to disturb walls that probably have lead based paint since the house was built 1917.

I'd like to tear out all of the walls and put in new drywall to eliminate the lead based paint, but my wife doesn't want to go that far at this time. I'm going to be taking the EPA class next Monday to get my certification.

My question is this: If I'm doing the roofing first (tearing off 2 layers of shingles, new sheathing, new shingles, flashing, adding ventilation, etc.) Is there a likelihood that this work might disturb the lead based paint inside and create hazardous dust?

I had been trying to think of how my 4 year old boy can help because having me not able to help watch our kids is a problem for my wife with me doing projects, and we really need to save the money on labor to get everything done within our budget. If roofing work might create lead dust, then I'd have to deal with that before the roof (at least the removal)

I probably already know he answer to my question is yes, I will have a risk of creating dust, but I'd just like to hear what others with more experience than I have to say. Thanks in advance for your responses!
 
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Old 08-03-10, 10:14 AM
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I've been a painter my entire work life [now retired] but I've not taken the lead abatement certification class. That said, the 2 main dangers from lead paint is inhaling the dust [from sanding] and ingesting lead chips.

I don't think redoing the roof would cause any lead dust issues inside the house although I suppose the process could knock some paint chips loose.

It is good to be concerned about lead with a youngster around because they are more apt to be harmed by lead poisoning than adults. Both because their bodies are young/growing and they might lack the ability to protect themselves from it.
 
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Old 08-30-10, 01:57 PM
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You have to consider how much dust you'll be creating. If you've ever done any drywall work you know how that dust gets all through the house even if you seal off the area being worked on. That dust will be breathed in by anyone in the house but in particular by the youngster, who is most at risk from lead exposure.

Some friends tried to remove some asbestos containing tiles and ended up spreading asbestos all through the house. Current thinking is to encapsulate the asbestos by waxing over it or painting over it and only removing it if it's not readily encapsulated. I would think that painting over your lead painted walls would be far superior to removing them unless you're prepared to set up proper negative pressure rooms while knocking the wall out.

The EPA class is a great idea and your class instructor will have better info than I do. Let us know what you come up with.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 07:48 AM
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The general gist of the lead class, and to be more specific I took the certified renovator class which is distinct from lead abatement certification, is that if it is a home built before 1978, unless it is cleared by a certified lead abatement inspector as clear of lead-based paint, you have to treat it as if any dust is contaminated with lead paint - ultimately, it's about site preparation, containment during work and then cleanup.

Lead abatement is very different, and would not be remotely practical for the do-it-yourselfer to take on within the context of EPA certification. The certified renovator class I took cost me $150, and there are a lot of expenses that add up to follow the EPA procedures - the biggest of which is a hepa vacuum which will run $600 or more. The instructor I had was a certified lead abatement supervisor, and certification as lead abatement worker takes thousands of dollars in classes, x-ray equipment that costs over $10,000, and the license has to be renewed with classes every few years... Being a supervisor takes all of the above for at least 5 years, and any abatement job takes a worker and supervisor.

Now, the EPA rule that is in effect doesn't mandate actions for a homeowner working on his own house, but they recommend following the procedures. I followed most of the procedures, but frankly a $600 HEPA vacuum was out of reach for me, I did the best I could using a HEPA filter and a HEPA dust collection bag on my shop vac... Really, for the work I was doing the vacuum cleaner was not entirely essential anyway - my cleanup involved bagging large debris, scooping up large piles of dust with a dust pan (again into bags), vacuuming corners, mopping and then doing a final clean with a wet swiffer. The object of the game is to end with a wet towel of some sort where you wipe down a particular amount of area, and the cloth is no dirtier than a picture card. This has to be done with floor, walls and window sills.

I do also have the advantage that the heat is not needed at this time, and I have it shut off due to a gas leak. The EPA class stresses covering and taping off heating vents and windows to contain dust, and doorways are supposed to be taped with plastic sheet in 2 layers, and you're supposed to wear disposable things like shoe covers, coveralls, hat, gloves and these come off and go in bags when you exit the work area.

But as to the roofing, I had my lath and plaster ceilings pulled down and cleaned up before starting the roofing... This was necessary so I can eventually adress insulating and installing baffles, rewiring electrical, cleaning out birds nests and as well as rafter replacement I needed to do as part of the roofing. Overall, the condition of the interior ceilings wasn't something I was comfortable with just covering up - the fact is that covering it up is what was done before, and the result was that moisture was trapped. As much as I don't like drywall work, I'm happy with the choice I made to pull down the plaster.
 
 

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