We all know about the dangers of lead paint, but did you know it is still prevalent in many Northern Virginia homes? Many people think lead paint is an outdated issue but lead paint in older homes can still be toxic during a renovation or residential painting project. When interviewing potential contractors, be sure to ask if they are testing surfaces for lead paint and using lead-safe practices for homes that test positive.

At All American Painting Plus, we are all about protection – protecting your surfaces, your furniture, your safety, and your health – and lead paint is a big one that is often overlooked by customers and professional painters alike. As a painting company, we adhere strictly to the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) guidelines for home built prior to 1978.

Why Pre-1978?

In 1977, the U.S. passed a law that banned lead paint from being used in homes and other products. While this was a positive change, experts estimate that tens of millions of U.S. homes and buildings still contain some amount of lead paint to this day. Lead paint had been popular for thousands of years until it was banned – for its durability, bright finish, washability, and short dry times.

What’s the Big Deal?

Renovation and painting activities can create hazardous lead dust when surfaces with lead paint are disturbed. When ingested, lead particles can lead to serious mental and physical harm, including nervous system and kidney damage, as well as growth and development defects or delays in children.

What is the RRP? 

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a requirement known as the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP), which states that renovators and house painters must be RRP-certified if over six square feet of lead paint is contacted or disturbed during a job.

Our Lead Safe Work Practices 

As contractors, we follow three general procedures if your surfaces test positive for lead, in alignment with RRP guidelines.

  1. We tightly contain the work area with plastic and tape so that dust and debris cannot escape from that area. In exterior work environments, vertical containment is used.
  2. We avoid renovation methods that generate large amounts of dust, since dust is the biggest contamination risk. There is no way to completely eliminate dust, but some renovation methods make less dust than others.
  3. We clean up thoroughly using special cleaning methods before taking down any plastic that isolates the work area from the rest of the home. 

Keep Your Home Safe 

While lead paint is less prevalent today than it was in the past, homeowners must remain vigilant when it comes to the possibility of lead paint in their homes. Whenever it’s time to invest in a new paint job, see if your home painters are EPA-certified in lead safe work practices.

If not, make sure you have your home properly inspected beforehand, so you and your family remain safe before, during, and after the home painting or renovation project. All American Painting Plus can test your home for lead paint and use the proper procedures if lead is present. To learn more about all that we can do for our clients in Northern Virginia, including interior and exterior house painting services (link inserted), give us a call at (703) 620-5563!