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If you own a home that was built before 1978, there’s a high chance of walls being painted with the lead chemical. Lead poisoning is dangerous and potentially life threatening–however, it can be prevented. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in to help secure homes from the dangerous chemical, there are still some homes that could potentially have traces of it. The EPA suggests lead testing for newly purchased homes, and laws prevent the chemical in modern buildings. However, if you’re looking to replace your windows, you may come into contact with the chemical; therefore it’s important to follow these steps to ensure your health and safety are not at risk during the replacement procedure.

Preparation

The first steps to ensure that lead dust does not get all over your home is to prepare your home for the procedure. Remove as much furniture from your home as possible and cover the leftover items with polyethylene plastic. It is also important to cover the floors and walls in that room to make sure dust and particles don’t get trapped in small holes and pores. Be sure to also create a sealed exit made of plastic and tape to ensure that dust doesn’t fly into other areas of your home. When you will begin the sanding and removing of lead paint, be sure to wear a mask, eye goggles, and cover yourself in proper clothing from head to toe in order to keep dust from coming into contact with your body.

Paint Removal

After your room is covered and ready for the lead removal procedure, it’s time to start working. Begin by wetting down the paint contaminated area with a spray bottle or sponge. The moisture will help the paint lift off without chipping into tiny particles. Next, use a utility knife to cut corners and pry off the sides of the windows. Then use a scraper to take off the excess lead paint on the walls. This part may take extra time and concentration, but you must make sure to vacuum all chippings and particles as soon as you can. Once your scrapings are down to the minimum, use a sanding sponge to sand down the rest of the paint particles. Again, be sure to vacuum as soon as these scrapings and dust particles come off the wood.

Cleanup

The importance of cleaning up and vacuuming cannot be stressed enough. Be sure to vacuum every corner and opening of the room as well as walls, in and around the window, followed by walls. Next, removal the plastic coverings and be sure to properly dispose the material. Finally, be sure to wipe down the entire room with an all purpose cleaning, followed by a rinse. This will help ensure that you took the proper procedures to ensure safety within your home.