Our Home Tips and Advice Blog
Most people have heard of the warnings of lead paint in a home, but in what type of home is this a concern? And, if I have lead paint in my home, what do I do about it? These are precisely the two focus points for this article, how to deal with lead paint removal in Columbia SC. Genuine Property Solutions is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Abatement Company and will made sure your home is lead free.
Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978, though some states stopped its use prior to this date.
Lead can be found in these locations:
- In homes in the city, country, or suburbs.
- In apartments, single-family homes, and both private and public housing.
- Inside and outside of the house.
- In soil around a home. (Soil can pick up lead from exterior paint or other sources such as past use of leaded gas in cars.)
Lead-based paint is usually not a hazard if it is in good condition, and it is not on an impact or friction surface, like a window. It is defined by the federal government as paint with lead levels greater than or equal to 1.0 milligram per square centimeter, or more than 0.5% by weight.
Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking or damaged) is a hazard and needs immediate attention. It may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear, such as:
- Windows and window sills.
- Doors and door frames.
- Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.
Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is scraped, sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep, or walk through it.
Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes. The only way to find out if paint, dust and soil lead hazards exist is to test for them. Read more about lead evaluations from the EPA website.
Checking Your Home for Lead
Genuine Property Solutions can test your home tested for lead to make sure it is a safe living environment for your family. Home test kits for lead are available, but we advise against them for they may not always be accurate. Consumers should not rely on these kits before doing renovations or to assure safety.
If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, you can take some immediate steps to reduce your family’s risk:
- If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
- Clean up paint chips immediately.
- Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly. Use a mop or sponge with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead. REMEMBER: NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH PRODUCTS TOGETHER SINCE THEY CAN FORM A DANGEROUS GAS.
- Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
- Wash children’s hands often, especially before they eat and before nap time and bed time.
- Keep play areas clean. Wash bottles, pacifiers, toys, and stuffed animals regularly.
- Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
- Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.
- Make sure children eat nutritious, low-fat meals high in iron and calcium, such as spinach and dairy products. Children with good diets absorb less lead.
Checking Your Family for Lead
To reduce your child’s exposure to lead, get your child checked, have your home tested, especially if your home has paint in poor condition and was built before 1978, and fix any hazards you may have.
Children’s blood lead levels tend to increase rapidly from 6 to 12 months of age, and tend to peak at 18 to 24 months of age. Consult your doctor for advice on testing your children. A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead. Blood tests are usually recommended for:
- Children at ages 1 and 2.
- Children or other family members who have been exposed to high levels of lead.
- Children who should be tested under your state or local health screening plan. Your doctor can explain what the test results mean and if more testing will be needed.
Reducing Lead Hazards In The Home
In addition to day-to-day cleaning you can temporarily reduce lead hazards by taking actions such as repairing damaged painted surfaces and planting grass to cover soil with high lead levels. These actions are not permanent solutions though, and will need ongoing attention.
To permanently remove lead hazards, you need hire a certified lead abatement contractor like Genuine Property Solutions. Abatement (or permanent hazard elimination) methods include removing, sealing, or enclosing lead-based paint with special materials. Just painting over the hazard with regular paint is not permanent removal. We follow strict safety rules with all that we do.
Remodeling or Renovating a Home With Lead-Based Paint
- Have the area tested for lead-based paint.
- Do not use a belt-sander, propane torch, high temperature heat gun, dry scraper, or dry sandpaper to remove lead-based paint. These actions create large amounts of lead dust and fumes. Lead dust can remain in your home long after the work is done.
- Temporarily move your family (especially children and pregnant women) out of the apartment or house until the work is done and the area is properly cleaned. If you can’t move your family, at least completely seal off the work area.
Other Sources of Lead
Drinking water. Your home might have plumbing with lead or lead solder. Call your local health department or water supplier to find out about testing your water. You cannot see, smell, or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might have lead in it:
- Use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
- Run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
- Bringing it home from work. If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family’s clothes.
- Old painted toys and furniture.
- Food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain.
- Lead smelters or other industries that release lead into the air.
- Hobbies that use lead, such as making pottery or stained glass, or refinishing furniture.
Do not hesitate to contact Genuine Property Solutions with any questions on this topic. It is always better to be overly safe when it comes to lead paint removal in your Columbia home!
One might believe ones exterior wooden deck will be somewhat maintenance free for several years, but the intense amount of sunlight, water and traffic could cause the oasis to become a major annoyance in just one season thanks to our hot weather in Columbia South Carolina.
Decks are especially at risk to damage for various reasons. Rain water sits on the wood for a extended time frame and direct sunlight can be extremely harmful without overhead coverage. Pet traffic as well as foot traffic can wear the wood’s protection in only particular areas, leading to greying, cracking, and staining. Normal outside occurances can also wreak havoc on ones lovely Columbia SC deck. Dirt, bird droppings, dead leaves, and air pollution can accumulate between the boards resulting in breaks and warping and can discolor the wood’s finish.
Preventative Deck Maintenance for Columbia Homeowners
There are many things one can do for the deck to keep it looking its very best for as long as possible and protect against the worst from happening.
First, sweep the deck often and be sure to remove leaves right away, especially damp leaves. Additionally, keep the spaces between the boards clear and wash off spilled food, bird droppings, and dirt right away.
It is also important to keep bushes from growing within a couple of feet of the deck. Wood needs to breathe, so if there are potted flowers on the deck, heighten them or shift them about regularly to enable airflow.
In addition to the simple cleaning suggestions Handyman Columbia SC described above, the best way to keep decks or any other outside wooden surface attractive for longer is to apply a stain and/or sealer.
A detailed cleaning is essential prior to applying anything to the wood, however.
First, sweep the surface well and clean the cracks in between the boards. Repair any loose boards and sand everything with 100 grit sandpaper. Be sure to cover close by plants with plastic and remove quickly after treatment. Cleaner can be purchased from any home improvement retailer. However, be sure to read through the instructions. Some cleaners need a damp surface whereas others require the wood to be dry.
Applying a Stain or Sealer
Once the deck or other wooden surface is thoroughly cleaned, it is time to choose a stain. Choosing the suitable stain for ones lifestyle and wood is imperative. There are four different kinds of stains to choose from.
Clear Water Repellents
Toner or Tinted Water Repellants
All of these varieties of stains and sealers have benefits and drawbacks and it is essential to know what each does and is made for to choose the one that is right for you and your wood.
When applying stain, make certain to seal wood cracks with an all weather caulk. Never apply stain to wet or damp wood. Wood should also not be in direct sunlight during application. Shoot for an outdoor temperature ranging from 50-90 degrees Farenheight. Make sure to allow 24 hours, at least, for drying.
Check the deck or other outside wooden surfaces frequently for indications of aging. If water spilled on the wood’s surface does not bead, that is the main signal it is time for a touch up. Think about an outdoor deck the same as inside wooden floors.
Don’t hesitate to contact Genuine Property Solutions for any deck repairs or new decks Columbia SC installations you are thinking about building.
Pressure washing is an excellent visible improvement and statement one can make for the exterior appearance of a home or business. By having a Columbia Home Repair company perform a professional pressure washing for ones sidewalk, driveway, roof and exterior walls is practical, ensures that it will be performed the right way, and one does not have to worry about the safety of running any equipment and climbing ladders.
The health benefits of a pressure cleaning to one home aides in eliminating harmful mold that can cause allergic reactions and damage ones property. It also helps make ones home more energy efficient by allowing the roof and siding to better insulate the home by washing away any mold, algae and dirt.
Mold and dirt that accumulates in the mortar of bricks in a home’s siding, or in patio pavers will look like they have just been installed with a thorough cleaning.
If one is planing on repainting the exterior of the home this spring or summer, a deep pressure washing will be needed for removing old layers of paint, mildew, and any chemicals or oils that have adhered to the siding. In order to get the most out of the new painting, this is something that Genuine Property Solutions can’t stress enough.
Let the Home Repairs Columbia SC team of Genuine Property Solutions help spruce up the exterior of ones home this spring, giving the good feeling when arriving back home after a long days work of truly coming home – home to a clean and healthy home.
Check out all of our services here.
To help ease aggravations when one goes to do a small repair around the house and not have the appropriate tools for the task, here is Genuine Home Solutions list of must have tools for the home. Do not stress if they are brand new either.
Fundamental Home Repair Tools
Hammer – A 16-ounce hammer with a rounded claw for pulling nails. Wood handles are fine, however a fiberglass handle will assist in cushioning the shock of driving nails.
Tape measure – 25-foot measuring tape is fantastic. It’s still small enough to be easily held in one hand, but will allow you to measure nearly any space from wall to wall.
Screwdrivers – A single screwdriver with interchangeable bits is great for the majority of tasks, but for bigger tasks, one will wish to get a set of screwdrivers.
Level – A 9 inch one will work fine.
Pliers – Usually come in set of 3 – needle nose, wire cutting and a small slip joint.
Locking pliers or vise grips, the jaws are adjustable and actually lock on to anything that has to be kept stable.
Pry bar – Generally an 8 to 12 inch crowbar will be all that is required for drawing nails or eliminating moldings.
Utility knife with retractable and changeable blades. Safer to make use of than a normal knife and make sure to have some extra blades.
Handsaw – A 12 to 15 inch handsaw will cut wood quickly for those not wanting a circular saw.
Combination square – For measuring and marking on a 90 or 45 degree angle. Can likewise be utilized as a depth gauge, marking gauge and height gauge.
Power drill – A 3’8″ reversible power drill is essential. They are not just great for drilling holes; they can likewise be made use of as a power screwdriver. Corded drills never lack power and they’re lighter than a cordless design.
Safety glasses – Safety initially!
The following tools are nice to also have for any Home Repairs in Columbia SC
Chalk line – Really helps when cutting large sheets of plywood or laying flooring.
Stud finder – When hanging shelves, you want to make certain to mount them on studs.
Random orbital sander – If you’re going to be finishing (or refinishing) a woodworking task you’ll desire to buy a sander.
Circular saw – If you’re going to be handling an area job of any size you’ll discover a round saw is essentially a necessity.
Don’t hesitate to contact GPS in Columbia SC with any questions or assistance you may need!