Lead safety concern raised from texture coat removal

Lead safety concern raised from texture coat removal

"My 2,200-square-foot house has a horrible texture coat all over its exterior with vertical strips of wood throughout as part of the design. I had planned on stuccoing over it; but the bids I've received are extremely high. Now I'm thinking about having the texture coat and wood strips removed, and then painting. However, I can't seem to find anyone to remove the texture coat. Help!"  - Susan Riess, Angie's List member

The first step, especially in older homes built before the 1977 ban on lead paints, is to test for lead, according to Ted Young, owner of highly rated South KC Painting in Kansas City, Mo.

"I would base all my subsequent decisions off that," he says.

If lead is found, removing the texture coat becomes more expensive and time-consuming as new EPA lead safety guidelines, such as isolating the site with plastic sheeting and equipping workers with protective suits and respirators, must be undertaken.

But removing the texture coat isn't the only option, says Mike Kelly, owner of highly rated Crestwood Painting in Kansas City, Mo.

"You could skim over it with a new coat of material," he says. "But good preparation of the existing surface would be critical to providing a stable structure for the new layer to adhere to - use a good bonding primer."

Young agrees, and adds another option.

"Removal could be expensive and potentially damaging. Adding another texture coat might solve the problem and be the least expensive way to do it," he says.

"You could also always go over it with a new material like new siding."


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