What Homes are Likely to Have Lead Paint and Asbestos?
If you have an older home, there is a chance that the building materials contain dangerous chemicals like lead and asbestos. Lead-based paint is common in homes built before 1978. Building materials like ceiling and floor tiles, insulation, flashing, roof shingles, and siding may contain asbestos, especially if the house was built before 1980.
Testing and Mitigation
If you are planning a remodeling project on an older home, hire a professional to test for lead paint and asbestos first. Both of these toxins contaminate the air when disturbed and cause serious health problems. If the contaminated materials can be left untouched and worked around during the remodel and they are in good condition, mitigation may not be necessary.
Follow the advice of an accredited professional on what action needs to be taken before remodeling. Mitigation may include sealing or covering asbestos-containing materials to prevent the release of toxic fibers. Lead paint can either be removed or covered before remodeling starts.
Here are some tips for remodeling around asbestos:
- If possible, leave asbestos-containing materials alone that are in good condition.
- Do not vacuum or sweep up any debris that contains asbestos.
- Keep children away from remodeling work around asbestos.
- Don’t sand or strip asbestos flooring; it is safer to cover it.
- Be careful not to track asbestos fibers through the house.
- Use an accredited asbestos testing and mitigation company.
Here are some tips for remodeling around lead paint:
- Remove everything from the home during the mitigation process or wrap furniture and floors with plastic sheeting.
- Turn off forced air systems. Cover vents with plastic sheeting.
- Airlock the area being worked on with plastic sheeting and close the windows.
- Use a certified lead abatement contractor.
You cannot be too careful when dealing with dangerous chemicals like lead and asbestos. However, there is no need to panic or cancel a remodeling project. By taking the right precautions and hiring experienced professionals, you can safely remodel around lead paint and asbestos.