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Archive for Lead-Safe Painting

Containing Lead Debris During the Restoration of a Vintage 1889 Building in Chicago

Containing Lead Paint Chips

Scaffold Lead-Safe Containment

EPA’s RRP rules define the principles to follow to ensure a lead-safe painting project involving buildings built prior to 1978. Our paint restoration project on the façade of this 1889 vintage Chicago building surely fell into this category. Outlined below are the steps we followed to comply to the requirements of the RRP rules on this high visibility exterior painting project.

RRP rules layout the principles, but do not get into the specifics of how to comply to the rules. Their intent is to ensure containment of the dust and debris, so that the workers, the public and the environment are protected from the harmful effects of old lead paint. Consequently, depending on the specific conditions of each project, work practices must be devised that will ensure the containment of the dust and debris.

In the case of our Chicago historical restoration project, almost all our work took place above a busy sidewalk, on a canopy and four layers of scaffolding above it. One of the first measures we took was to build a 4-mil, plastic shield on both ends of the scaffold, from top to bottom in order to prevent debris from falling out of the scaffold area. We then sealed the floor of the canopy using heavy-duty blue taps. Contrary to plastic sheeting, blue tarps are not slippery, which is an important safety factor in selecting floor containment materials. Every work area was then sealed with 4-mil plastic sheeting to capture the debris, as it was generated by the carbide wet scraping and wet sanding. To protect our painters from the dust, we used full-body coveralls and P-100 respirators.

Following RRP rules on interior and exterior paint restoration projects is critical to ensure the safety of everyone involved. As a Lead-Safe Firm, we are committed to fulfill the intent of EPA rules on all our painting projects.

Students Follow Lead-Safe Practices when Doing Paint Restoration

Painting in Partnership, Inc. a Barrington area house painting contractor, taught lead-safe painting practices to five students from Barrington High School this weekend.

It is well known that disturbing old lead paint, when scraping or sanding surfaces prior to painting, generates lead dust that is toxic to both the people exposed to it and the environment. Moreover, through its RRP rules, EPA has mandated that the painting work on pre-1978 housing be executed by painting contractors who have been certified by EPA as a “Lead-Safe Firm” and that the work be supervised by a “Certified Renovator”. The reason for this regulation is to ensure the safety of young children when renovation work goes on in a house, inside or out.

Paint Restoration Team - One-Room School House

Paint Restoration Team - One-Room School House

This past weekend, the Barrington Area Historical Society arranged to have a group of high school students affiliated with the Junior Kiwanis Club to come and do paint restoration on the exterior of the Society’ s one-room school house. The students’ work was supervised by Mario Guertin of Painting in Partnership of Palatine, which is certified by EPA, along with three of its employees to do paint restoration on surfaces where lead paint is present.

At 1PM, on a bright October Sunday, five students showed up on the grounds of the Historical Society, ready for action. Guertin first gave them a five-minute intro on the history of lead paint. He then proceeded to tell them about the ground covering material we were going to use and the spikes that were to hold it down. We then went over the N-100 respirator, protective coveralls and gloves they were to use on the project. I must report that the big hit were the coveralls. The kids wanted to keep the suits for Halloween!

Lead-Safe Scraping Process

Lead-Safe Scraping Process

After the safety instruction, the technical training started, first with scraping tools and techniques. Each were given two scrapers and sand paper, and coached on proper scraping methods. Three students took the lead on scraping while two others followed with tinted primers angular brushes and wet rags. Each of them was coached on how to properly hold the brush and move it to produce a good result. Everybody learned something new that day and everyone had a good time!

Mario Guertin believes that properly trained and knowledgeable painters are needed to produce safe and craftsman-level work. We are happy to partner with the Barrington Area Historical Society on this community training endeavor and other preservation projects.