Q. What is Lead Paint Encapsulation and how does it work?
A. Lead paint encapsulation is a method of containing lead paint by covering the contaminated surfaces with a lead-safe liquid coating. And why not just paint over it? Unfortunately, regular paint isn’t enough because that too can peel or crack. Encapsulants are durable solutions serve as a long-lasting barrier over lead paint. Besides using the proper materials, the lead paint encapsulation process has strict guidelines and prerequisites. Surfaces must be in good condition (not peeling or worn) and not in areas where the surface will be under a significant amount of wear and tear (such as floors). Additionally, by Massachusetts law you must have the building checked by a certified lead inspector before using encapsulant.
Once this is verified, the surfaces must be properly prepped either by a licensed professional or the homeowner. Preparation includes washing down and deglossing or sanding the surfaces (if it is a glossy paint or stain). The prepped surfaces can then be carefully painted with a State-approved encapsulant, such as Fiberlock’s Lead Safe products. While this might sound pretty simple, and a deleaders license isn’t legally required in some cases, basic lead paint encapsulation training must be completed before carrying out the work. This consists of a training booklet and at-home test that must be returned to the Massachusetts Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
Once areas have been encapsulated, they should be monitored regularly to check for any chipping or wearing – this could expose the lead paint again and cause contamination. Overall, lead paint encapsulation is a safe and effective method of containing toxic lead, but it’s important to have a knowledgeable specialist to help you through the process. Our lead paint specialists at Alpine are happy to help, feel free to contact us with any questions!
To learn more about lead paint, click here.
For additional information and a list of approved encapsulants, click here.