Lead painting siding -- abatement, replacement, or patch painting

locust8December 4, 2012

We purchased a house built in 1925. Had lead testing conducted and as expected all painted trim and siding were positive. The house went through a couple flippers and various painting techniques have caused large, large patches (think 3"x2'in some places) of paint all over the house to lift from the actual wood. I'm very familiar with EPA guidelines and would be comfortable attempting the abatement myself--BUT I'm pregnant and we have a 3 year old. Our plan at the moment is to have my husband carefully (following all precautions/guidelines) lift those peeling areas during the rainy season, then paint the patches during summer.

The greater issue is do we paint the entire house, knowing that subsequent layers will probably lift again or do we hire lead abatement specialists to deal with the paint or potentially reside the house? Can anyone share siding lead abatement quotes for siding? Or the cost of removing the siding and replacing?

We love our house. Any input would be appreciated.

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Your major problem is to find out just why the peeling is happening, and correct that first. Flippers have no concerns for doing a job right--just fast and cheap--so I'd say they used the wrong primers and paint combinations--and I'd bet with almost no prep.

Most people recommend an oil-based primer over old wood, then you can top it with either latex or oil paint, latex being the common choice--but you HAVE to prep properly first.

And as for lead paint--I believe it only needs to be removed entirely where a child can reach it--say within four feet of sills and wall height. A lot of people are praising steam removal of it as it causes no dust.

Residing is the last thing I'd do--you will never match the quality of the old siding with newer. Only replace it where it is too rotted to save.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:23AM
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I know why the paint's peeling. Exactly what you mentioned, plus they didn't pay attention to temperature and moisture changes. And the problem is so widespread that we have to do something. I'm talking huge swathes of paint peeling off of second fl exterior as well as lower areas. It's sort of shocking in person. In order to correct it we have to commit to one of the three options I mentioned.

There's no simple remedy, everything's going to be costly and a potential health hazard regardless of who does the work. I've seen local supposed EPA certified idiots fine sanding w/o HEPA vacuuming exterior lead-sided houses. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

What I'm hoping for are costs from people who've been through this scenario.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:57PM
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You don't need to remove all the paint, just the peeling parts. Then prime the bare parts with a good primer and match the existing paint color for now, or leave it in primer until Spring. Your husband can tackle this part with no extra costs than materials.

In Spring, see how the untouched parts are doing, and if sound, prime the entire house with an appropriate primer--perhaps add some bonding agent...and paint any color you wish. Encapsulation is the safest method for the lead paint...anything else has the chance of raising dust which then requires expensive options.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:00PM
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