Blog entry

lead removal 101

song of the day: Strip Bars / Hindu Rodeo
"strip bars are like church
you think that's odd?
you're as apt to find sex
as you are to find God"
(joel sayles)
word of the day: secus (latin for "otherwise")
monk of the day: pappa Davis, my very cool rockin' pops...(thanks for all the help, dad!)

oh yeah, i got the lead out. i spent 14 hours yesterday extracting lead from the den in my house. this process is incredibly intensive. after finding out from the lead inspector that the levels were dangerously high in our den and porch, and upon reading what tiny, tiny amounts of lead dust can do to children, (my daughter is ten months old), i went right to home depot and got all the shit i need for the extraction process. of course i read up on it on the internet first, which is crucial. since it's not just lead paint chips, but tiny lead particulates that you're dealing with, you have to take amazing precautions. i went to home depot and got:
*two huge boxes of black, double heavy duty poly sheeting
*50 extra heavy duty (contractor-grade) black garbage bags
*big ass spray bottle
*a High Efficiency Particle Absorption mask (HEPA) made for lead removal
*a hat (i'm bald)
*leather gloves
*lots of duct tape
*we also had to rent a HEPA vacuum

step one: using the black poly sheeting, seal off the doorway to the room. this has to be double-sealed, one on the outer frame of the door, and another on the inner frame. must be air-tight, duct tape the entire circumference of the frame top to bottom, making sure there's no little openings which dust could get through.

step two: seal black poly sheeting over the entire floor and all walls creating an air-tight plastic room within the room, which will collapse inward when you're done, folding over onto itself. make sure you have all your supplies in the room before you begin, as anything that's in this room once work has started will literally have to be thrown away and sealed in bags before you leave the room again. choose your clothing and tools accordingly. leave one exterior window open to throw the bags out of. if there's any kids or moms who are pregnant, they should leave the house until the entire process is done.

step three: put on your HEPA mask, gloves, hat, goggles, and go to town with that hammer, bitch. in my case, the lead paint was on the surface of the old, old sheet rock which was behind my ceiling. previous owners had put in the lower, false ceiling, encapsulating the lead paint. but, water leaking in from the roof seaped through, rotted both layers of sheet rock, and the ceiling collapsed, including the lead-covered earlier ceiling, down onto the floor opening the room to the lead dust. so, i begin by tearing down both ceilings with my hammer, and sealing all debris into the heavy duty bags. there's lots of pokey-pointy boards and stuff, so i double bag them. when i open up the ceiling i realize the good news is that there's only lead paint on half of the room. once both layers of sheet rock and all the old insulation have been torn down, bagged up and taken outside (the dust is unbelievable, do not even imagine taking off your mask- this dust is from the fucking 1800's and shit, this house is 120 years old...), i

step four: wet down and wipe off the entire interior of the ceiling, removing all dust, debris, and making it as wet as possible to keep dust down. any surfaces with lead paint (there are a few boards and shingles that have it too) are removed, double-bagged, then surfaces wiped down. after i've sprayed the entire ceiling and cleared the room of all bags, i wipe down the plastic room-within-a-room sheeting wall to wall, corner to corner, always using down swipes to pull dust down to the floor sheeting. this in itself takes several hours. when all surfaces are wiped clean, rags bagged up, dust down to almost none in the room, i take latex paint, and paint over any remaining lead paint surfaces (there are a few boards that cannot be removed. these will later be encapsulated again behind drywall and abated that way, but in the mean time to keep the risk of any dust or particles escaping as low as possible, i put two coats of paint over those surfaces and any contiguous surfaces. i wipe down the entire room again, all surfaces, dispose of all rags and tools, take off my clothes (now i'm naked), throw them away in sealed bags as well, then carefully begin pulling down the plastic sheeting. remember that it's not VISIBLE dust that is the concern at this point, it's particulates, so the process has to be extra slow and double careful.

step five: folding the plastic sheets inward and downward as i remove them, i gather them into a self-enclosed ball, and put that inside another sealed / double bagged enclosure- EXCEPT the double-sealed door sheets, those will remain in place until all remodeling of the room is complete.

step six: wipe down again, all walls top to bottom, using only downward motion, covering the entire interior of the room with wet rags. do this TWICE. dispose of all towels in same manner as before.

step seven: use the HEPA vacuum on the floor, very slowly, very carefully. go over surface of the entire floor three or four times, slowly. before leaving the room, make sure every item that was in the room has been disposed of, double check that every surface has been wiped off multiple times, that appropriate barriers are left in place, then exit (you are completely naked). outside, spray yourself off with a hose (away from the house) thoroughly, then go immediately to the show, soaping every square inch of your body multiple times (behind the ears, baby)

make sure no dust has escaped the seal on the exterior of the room, if any has, remove with rags and water thoroughly. leave room sealed till remaining work is complete.

of course these are not "official" instructions, i am just the dude who did the web research and this is how i did it. it took 14 hours to do an 10 x 13 room. at every step of the process, it's important to err on the side of caution, and repeat steps and practice an extra degree of assiduousness...

no, i will not come to your house and remove lead. it's something you must enjoy for your self...

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