With prolonged exposure to this harmful substance, the impact on people’s physical health can be significant. We now offer a service here at Blakeney Leigh to tackle the issues surrounding this. But what is a lead paint survey and why do we offer it?
In the past, lead was added to paint in order to speed up the drying process and leave the coat looking fresher for longer. Not only that, it was able to apply a layer of water resistance to unprotected materials which prevents corrosion and other damage. However, we are now highly aware of the adverse health effects it can have on those occupying the property.
What Is A Lead Paint Survey?
It used to be that when you wanted shinier, brighter and more durable paint – factories would add lead. But now we tend to use titanium white which is a much safer, less toxic way to improve the quality. Despite this, there are still a large number of properties in which this toxic coating remains.
We want to ensure this is removed where possible and replaced with a modern coat that is not hazardous to your health. That is why we offer HSE compliant sampling services.
Using our handheld Niton xl2 100g analyser, we can take readings from small sections and determine whether or not a harmful level is present. As a result, our experts will be able to offer you professional advice and guidance on the risk associated and which steps you should be taking (if any) to mitigate that.
We will analyse the data we collect and use it to produce a detailed report on the lead content in and around areas you are working in.
What Are The Benefits Of This?
Firstly, the key advantage lies in the improvement or mitigation of health effects. Those that work in the vicinity could be greatly impacted by life-long issues having been exposed for extended periods of time.
Pregnant women and young people are at a particular risk which is why home surveys are so important. However, anyone living and working in a high-risk area can experience health problems as a result.
Also, a lot of people will wonder – what is a lead paint survey? But not many will consider the financial aspects of having one after finding out what we offer. It is recommended that you invest in this service before remodelling or demolishing a building. But whatever you need our professionals for – you could be saving money by leaving certain areas as they are.
Once you can be sure your property does not contain high-risk levels, you may not need to renovate or re-paint areas you initially thought. If it is in good condition and well maintained – you won’t need to take the time out to change it. This saves you from paying out for new paint, the labour fees if you decide to outsource and will save you the time it takes to complete the job.
Similarly, when remodelling or refurbishing buildings, there are certain plans put in place to ensure everything is done safely and for functionality purposes. If this is the case, recognising issues early on will save projects from being disrupted later down the line when substantial time and money has been wasted.
Do I Need One?
Once you’ve answered the question – what is a lead paint survey, you need to think about whether you actually need one. Typically, houses built after 1978 will not contain much lead-based material. However, older buildings could be hotbeds for this hazard. Especially at this age, it is likely some walls and woodwork will be unkept and flaking. This may result in general dust containing traces of the toxic substance that has come away from the paintwork. It is for this reason that we would recommend our services to those with older or listed properties.
As well as this, employers and building managers are at liberty to abide by certain regulations. These include:
- Making suitable assessments of the risks to the health of employees including the exposure to lead.
- Monitor lead-in-air concentrations.
- Identify and implement measures to prevent or adequately control the exposure.
- Record any significant findings as soon as possible after the assessment.
Because of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002, our service can help you cover all bases and ensure you are providing a safe environment for employees. The first step is to identify the levels and then decide what action needs to be taken in accordance. Our team will carry out this process and talk you through all of the findings cohesively.
These regulations and the risk of health, in any case, highlights the importance of answering the question ‘what is a lead paint survey’? We hope it also encourages people to make use of the service, no matter the age of your building.
How Can I Make Sure The Building Is Safe?
If you have utilised our services and are at risk from lead-based paint, our team will guide you on the most beneficial steps to take. These may include ways of removing it without creating dust or fumes or simply outsourcing the job to a professional company. Some things you could do include:
#1 Remove it with a chemical stripper –
This is the best and safest way to go about the issue. The stripper will not cause any dust to form, reducing the risk of inhaling toxic particles.
#2 Sealing it with modern, non-toxic coats –
If the wall or other material is in good condition, this method may be suitable for a quick fix. However, as the layer wears over time, it may reveal the original paint and so could be more effective to remove it entirely.
#3 Always wear protective clothing and a high-quality face mask when attempting to remove toxic paint –
It is important not to let the hazard spread further than it needs to. So by keeping yourself safe and shutting off the area while the job is done – you will be creating the least amount of risk to yourself and those around you.
#4 Contact the professionals –
If you are unable or unwilling to deal with the issue by yourself, the safest option will always be to hire expert tradesmen to carry out the removal for you. This way you are keeping away from the hazard and ensuring everything is completed properly.
This process is extremely important for mitigating health issues and creating a safer environment. Because of this, we recommend utilising the skills and experience of decorators and surveyors to ensure each step conforms to the latest standards and regulations.
How Does Blakeney Leigh Carry Out Screening?
Our team uses the latest technology in the form of XRF-I handheld instruments. These allow us to detect toxic traces beneath even several layers of new, safer paints. The device generates x-rays which are converted into electronic signals. This conversion allows the measurements to be analysed and recorded as part of any risk assessment.
These instruments match the accreditation standards required by specialist laboratories and so allow us to carry out accurate testing.
Furthermore, due to the simplicity of the device, we are able to take hundreds or thousands of readings per day which can be necessary for properties and buildings with large floor plans. As a result, this makes our service an extremely cost-effective way of evaluating the location and levels of lead-based hazards.
Choose Blakeney Leigh For Your Next Survey
Even though our technologies and understanding of risks have improved over the years, we are still living and working in older buildings that have not been properly assessed. As a result, we could be unknowingly putting ourselves at risk of health issues. Especially as it is not something you would be expected to consider or find out by yourself, a service like ours is vital in understanding problems and putting strategies in place to solve them.
Whether you decide to approach it yourself or not, only professionals will be able to tell you the level of risk and offer advice on how to tackle it. You may want to consider a survey if you have a historic or listed building or if you are looking to carry out extensive renovation work that will disturb paintwork.
Whatever the size of the project, we will be happy to help. Your safety and comfort are of great importance to us and our experience offers you the best opportunity to keep your home, office or other property in line with regulations.
With every project, we take into account the impact it will have on residents and the wider community. We pride ourselves on carrying out every build or service considerately and efficiently. Our highly-skilled, 18-strong team of experts really get to know our clients so that the entire process can be as gratifying as possible.
Are you looking to begin a home development project and want to work with a trusted, reputable construction consultancy? Contact us today by calling 020 8777 7700 or visiting our website and a member of our dedicated team will be more than happy to discuss your individual requirements.