What To Do When You Discover Lead Paint In Your House

Thursday 6th July 2023

Ellen Warren

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Lead pant hazard tape in front of a painted house

CONTENTS

The last thing you expect when moving into a new home is discovering lead paint. Around 82% of homes in the UK may still have lead paint in them. You might be unsure of how to approach the situation, and you must tread carefully due to the health risks associated with lead.

If you discover lead paint on your property, you should contact the experts immediately for help. Our specialists at ICE Cleaning offer lead paint removal services and can effectively eradicate all traces of paint from any surface. They are available nationwide to help, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Read on to learn more about lead paint and what to do when you discover it.

What is lead paint?

Lead paint is a type of paint that contains various forms of lead, and it was widely used in the UK before being banned in 1992. However, because of its nationwide use before its ban, many homes may have the hidden hazard of lead paint present.

Historically, lead paints have been used since the 4th century and are present in many famous paintings. Artists such as Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, and Francisco Goya suffered from illnesses associated with lead poisoning.

Why was lead paint used?

Before we understood its toxicity, professionals regarded lead paint as an incredibly useful paint type due to its properties. Due to the lead in the paint, it dries quickly upon application and maintains its appearance for a long time.

It also resists moisture, which reduces the chances of corrosion and mould growth on the surface of a wall. A geochemist, Clair Patterson, eventually discovered that lead paint causes lethal toxicity in people exposed to it for long periods, suffering from:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle pains
  • High blood pressure
  • Reproductive issues
  • Miscarriage in pregnant people
  • Nervous system damage
  • Kidney damage

The dangers of lead in babies and children

Lead poisoning in children can have serious and long-lasting effects on their health and development. When children encounter high levels of lead, it can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, leading to:

  • Learning problems
  • Speech delays
  • Hearing damage
  • Behavioural issues
  • Developmental delays
  • Reduced IQ

Children exposed to lead may also be more likely to engage in risky behaviour and have problems with attention and impulse control. Lead poisoning can be fatal in severe cases, causing kidney damage and anaemia.

How to know if your wall has lead paint in it

If you have purchased a property built before 1992, then there is a chance that your home contains traces of lead paint. Without a test, there are only a few ways to identify lead paint just by looking at it.

Lead paints crack and wrinkle over time, producing a texture that appears scaly, known as “alligatoring”. These paint types can also create a chalky residue when it comes off. If you spot these signs in paintwork, you must hire a specialist immediately.

Why you should not remove lead paint yourself

Painting over the lead surface or attempting to take it off yourself endangers you and other people living in the house. Children are incredibly vulnerable to lead paint and could live with lifelong illnesses when exposed to levels of lead.

Trying to remove or paint over it could agitate the lead compounds, causing it to flake and release dust particles that can be easily inhaled. According to the World Health Organization, there is no safe level of exposure to lead paint – there are always negative effects when exposed to lead.

What to do when you discover lead paint

If you believe your home to contain lead paints, it is imperative that you do not interact with the surface at all. Touching the lead paint could agitate the compounds and expose you to dangerous amounts of lead.

You must get in touch with a professional paint removal company that specialises in both exterior and interior paint removal. A specialist can be on-site to test the lead paint, which will require personal protective equipment and protective respiratory equipment.

If lead paint is situated outdoors, the risks of damaging effects are reduced, but it is crucial to maintain a safe distance and refrain from making direct skin contact.

Brick paint removal services will be able to remove the traces of lead effectively with expert stripping methods like heat, chemical, or mechanical removal.

Get in touch

Our experts specialise in paint removal services and can remove all traces of lead from your property as well as older coats of paint. We use state-of-the-art stripping methods and utilise our protective gear to ensure our technicians and clients remain safe during the removal process.

If you want to learn more about our industrial cleaning services, get in touch with our friendly support team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We can be on-site at your earliest convenience and will provide guidance on how to keep yourself safe from lead poisoning.

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Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

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