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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the exterior season emerges here in Minnesota, I have something that I'd love to have more clarity about.

There are a lot of older houses near where I live (built from around 1910 to 1930). Hence, a lot of them come back as lead positive. I follow lead procedures to the best of my ability and knowledge.

Also, I would prefer to powerwash so that the surface is as clean as possible and ready for paint/primer.

But the two seem to be mutually exclusive to me, or at least I am leary about disturbing the surface of exteriors that are lead positive. In my lead saftey class, I asked this same question, but didn't get a satisfactory answer.

So, often the dirtiest, oldest houses are lead positive.

What do you do in these circumstances? What techniques do you recommend?
 

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I have push brooms...medium stiffness. Wet the area to be cleaned with a hose, spray with the cleaner and then use the push broom to agitate. Then rinse of with the hose. It takes longer, but very little of the paint comes off...especially compared to if it was done with a power washer. If the paint is in really rough shape you may want to scrape first then wash. Doing it backwards avoids having paint chips all over the yard.

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I don't do this kind of work because of your concerns and questions. But, when I have had a really bad peeler. We have scraped and sanded first, then soft washed. You are going to make a ton of mess with the scrape and sand, so might as well clean after. You will have grain raise, so your final sand will be after wash.
 

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Sorry, I only do interior work, but I still feel your pain.

I remember when I took the lead certification course and they showed a picture of a house with no bushes or trees around it and flat open ground. There was plastic down on the ground surrounding the house - designed to "capture" the water. from pressure washing. Immediately hands shot up - all of us thinking the same thing and wanting to ask the same question - basically;"WTF?"

The instructor looked out at us and never even chose anyone to ask their question, he just nodded and said, "Yeah, I know... just do the best you can." Well THAT was helpful. Bunch of fricken' idiots that make up these regulations/rules/practices but don't consider the real world implications when implementing them.
 

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We were actually told to dig a hole in the ground. Put a large trash can in the hole. Funnel the water to the trash can using plastic. Then, empty the water out of the trash can and dump it down the toilet since it can't go into storm drains. But, if the lead parts per million in the water is too high, it can't go into the waste water treatment system and then it needs to be hauled away as hazardous waste.

I wish I was kidding.

If it is a bad one, we scrape first to catch the chips and then wash. Only way I can think of to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks ya'll. I feel like I'm not crazy for not having had a great solution to this. Yeah, I wish there were more dialogue between actual painters and those who make and enforce the rules. But I can imagine a game of people doing things that are practical while doing their best to prevent lead and basically not wanting to dialogue for fear of paranoia with regulators in case everything they do isn't to a T. It would be so helpful if there were a dialogue so that standards are created with saftey (for all) and practicality (for the painter) in mind. That way more people could be learning and practicing in a good way without guessing. Or, if extreme expectations such as digging holes, straining water, paying (?) for hazardous disposal, tooons of paperwork, etc. are expected, then perhaps painters could be reimbursed for their efforts, possibly by the companies who were adding lead in paint. Okay, end of rant :)

And those are all good tips. Thanks for sharing!
 

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We were actually told to dig a hole in the ground. Put a large trash can in the hole. Funnel the water to the trash can using plastic. Then, empty the water out of the trash can and dump it down the toilet since it can't go into storm drains. But, if the lead parts per million in the water is too high, it can't go into the waste water treatment system and then it needs to be hauled away as hazardous waste.

I wish I was kidding.

If it is a bad one, we scrape first to catch the chips and then wash. Only way I can think of to do it.
Yes, I was told to dig a hole and put a pump with a filter in it that could catch lead molecules which are something really really small. Clearly not happening. I only soft wash, so I put landscape fabric down to catch the chips, which I was doing anyway with super peelers. Then do the plastic, etc. I've considered scraping then washing, but haven't had to yet.
 

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Thanks ya'll. I feel like I'm not crazy for not having had a great solution to this. Yeah, I wish there were more dialogue between actual painters and those who make and enforce the rules. But I can imagine a game of people doing things that are practical while doing their best to prevent lead and basically not wanting to dialogue for fear of paranoia with regulators in case everything they do isn't to a T. It would be so helpful if there were a dialogue so that standards are created with saftey (for all) and practicality (for the painter) in mind. That way more people could be learning and practicing in a good way without guessing. Or, if extreme expectations such as digging holes, straining water, paying (?) for hazardous disposal, tooons of paperwork, etc. are expected, then perhaps painters could be reimbursed for their efforts, possibly by the companies who were adding lead in paint. Okay, end of rant :)

And those are all good tips. Thanks for sharing!
When I went to my last class. I told the guy teaching the course that I hate wearing the Tyvex suits. Going up and down ladders with them on can be dangerous. And wearing them is temps over 70 is often unbearable. So I did some research and the EPA's website stated that it does not require them. Great! So, next job my guy and I just wore masks and gloves. Turns out you have to wear them under OSHA rules but the EPA will not tell you that.
I also, after taking 2 classes have found that the classes avoided or skips a lot of really important information. Top this all off with home owners that do not care and there is barely any enforcement, and regulations do not apply to home owners doing their own work (not sure why lead is less dangerous when home owners do the work) I have become totally frustrated with the entire lead safety process.

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