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Lead Paint Removal reviews in Portland
Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results
He was very professional. He explained how he was doing the testing, showed me the equipment, and explained what the readings meant. I felt like he did an excellent job, and that he communicated well.
- MARTHA S.
Having just experienced a false positive lead poisoning result with our infant, we were wary when we saw Provider name locked. & Son (actually Bell Paint Removal now, but despite not having a dba for Provider name locked. & Son, that was the name emblazoned on the supervisor's clothes, and that's what everyone still knows them by) removing paint with heat guns from the home next door to ours, literally just feet from our dining room windows. I flipped out when I saw workers carrying a propane torch into a tarped off area, under which we could not see (but the tarp was obviously designed for protection from prying eyes vs. to keep lead contaminated air or dust inside, since it had large holes - plus, one of the workers was doing paint removal with a heat gun outside the tarp, so it was unclear why the rest of the work needed to be covered if his didn't).
For detailed info on what removing lead paint with torches can do to little ones, check out mychildrenhaveleadpoisoning.com for a story of a local family whose children were severely poisoned by torch paint removal in 2005, the effects of which they are still suffering from today. Luckily I was aware of their story when I saw the propane disappearing under the tarp.
My husband heard the sound of a torch turning off and on under the tarp. I confronted the supervisor, Provider name locked. , who just kept repeating that they weren't using torch or open flame, just heat guns, which are legal (IF they are kept under a certain temperature, and the heat guns I saw didn't appear to have temperature gauges attached, which is not uncommon with heat guns). He ignored my questions about what the propane was for, which is apparently his MO. I just received the CCB's files on lead investigations on various companies Provider name locked. and Provider name locked. have been involved with, and several investigations mention Provider name locked. providing blatantly untrue responses to investigators' questioning, even when the investigators have incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. Several investigations mention the use of propane torches and/or power Provider name locked. without proper containment attached.
The CCB inspector found that four of the areas where paint had been removed were consistent with the use of heat guns, but one area, located where the tarp had been, and near where my husband heard the sound of a torch, was covered with scorch Provider name locked. , which is more consistent with use of open flame. (Several other contractors I've had working on my house voluntarily checked it out as well, and all offered the opinion that it was unlikely a heat gun could cause that degree of scorching, unless the person using the gun fell asleep with it next to the house.) Owner Provider name locked. 's response to the CCB is that they were only using the torch to heat the scrapers - an explanation every contractor I spoke with laughed at, since it's not a standard practice and would actually create quite a bit more work for the paint removers.
Disappointingly, they got away with just a warning letter in this case, despite the investigator's certainty that they used a propane torch on the house. But in reviewing the CCB files on the affiliated CCB licenses (you should too!), it's clear both of these guys have long been flouting lead safety laws. In at least one case documented by the CCB, a neighbor child tested with significantly elevated lead levels after an affiliated license performed work next door using propane torches and inadequate power Provider name locked. . The child happened to have been tested shortly before the work was conducted, and had normal levels at that time.
DO YOUR RESEARCH. HIRE THEM AT YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS' PERIL.
- Kelly F.
This is a classic example of you get what you pay for I guess. And the cost is not exactly too-good-to-be-true. However it was better than I had heard from others and Provider name locked. 's company came recommended from another contractor we wanted to use. I was wary of him to begin with due to numerous violations on the contractor licenses associated with his name. Check Provider name locked. 's CCB for examples. But I spoke to him and gave him the benefit of the doubt. He said he continued to use the heat methods that were outlawed beyond the point he should have and that he'd learned his lesson. But after this experience, I can see a pattern. He cuts corners and sure you, the customer, save a little with that but when you're dealing with lead paint it's not worth it.
First of all, the crew was atrocious with their containment and clean up. I do not think he trained them properly and I wouldn't be surprised if this was their first timing doing lead paint removal. I have a toddler but I contained my frustration after the first day, hoping they would clean it well when they finished. However, that was a serious violation already - containment is an important part of the process and I was finding fresh paint chips 25 feet out from the house. When I came back the second day and they claimed they were done, it took all I could to maintain calmness. They had turned my yard into an hazard. Small chips were everywhere and when I demanded they spend more time cleaning, picking up every speck they could find by hand Provider name locked. became clearly agitated. He even tried to blame me for some of it since I had removed the aluminum siding from my house. This is true, however, I used a lot of plastic myself and spent several hours with a rented Provider name locked. vacuum combing my yard, deck, and driveway prior to their job. I knew what shape it was in and this was all new. The flecks generated from removing the siding were few and far between and were generally large and easy to spot. They created thousand-fold more and smaller flecks across my property. I put myself under the same scrutiny I put on them before I even hired them.
Secondly, he does not use proper equipment in my estimation. I took a picture of his wet/dry vac and it's a Ridgid model WD1450. A WET/DRY vac, not a Provider name locked. vacuum. During clean up I was suspicious that they were not playing by all the rules so I snapped this picture and investigated. I can find no evidence that it is suitable for lead paint clean up. I questioned it and he said "oh, we buy Provider name locked. filters at Home Depot and put them in it" - I'm calling bull on this but to any prospective customer, that is the model he uses. Check it out for yourself - Ridgid sells a Provider name locked. vacuum but this isn't it.
He then vocalized his concern that I was trying to get out of paying him, which I was not, horrified as I was. After almost 2 more hours of them crawling around destroying the yard due to the mess they made I gave up and paid him. I probably should have pushed this and explored my options because of course then he was gone and unresponsive.
He calls it lead paint removal and if you look at the pictures on his site that vary in quality of that removal. There is one particularly impressive picture though that shows a streaky white wood next to what looks brand new. One is Provider name locked. to believe that's what he aims for. My house looked very white still and he told me it was just old primer stuck in the grooves of the wood and that the removal is complete and the exterior of the house is free of lead now. Turned out this was not true. I had another contractor blow insulation in and they had to remove a piece of siding to do this. They charged me $450 for lead-safe practices because when they ran a swab over it, it was still positive. I questioned them and they ran another swab to show me how blaringly positive it was. So this "old primer" was full of lead and oh by the way, Provider name locked. & Son left it flaking everywhere. In the time between removal and the house being painted (about a month) I noticed most days there would be new white Provider name locked. showing up on my front porch daily. It was especially bad after a windy or rainy day. I was Provider name locked. to believe the remaining material was harmless old primer, not lead-containing chips. I have numerous pictures from around the house, showing that especially on the undersides of siding this material was left hanging loosely when they finished. Weathering just sprung it free and spread it around our property. Fantastic.
When I tried to contact him to let him know that his job cost me an extra $450 because they hadn't actually done the job the advertised he was, perhaps not surprisingly, unresponsive.
I have been collecting evidence and exploring my options, the least of which is to report him to the CCB for unsafe practices - he can try to sell them on his shop vac being appropriate. But I feel cheated for a job that ended up costing me even more than the already steep price he charged and left me paranoid about the safety of letting my son crawl around our yard. I feel he owes me some money back and he refuses to respond to me. I saved pieces of the siding, soil before and after his visit, and documented everything with pictures. If you are considering hiring him, I suggest you plan to do the same. I had hoped I could include pictures in my review but it seems that's not a part of the Angie's List process.
In summary, he gets the best Provider name locked. for price which I can only give a C because at that price I still expect a complete job (no persistent flaking). The flaking and the fact that it was still lead-based material and his site shows pictures that lead you to believe it can go all the way to bare wood, earn him a D. I mean, he did do something. A for punctuality because I'm being on honest and that's the one thing he did well - show up on time and when he said he would. Everything else caused this to be a terrible experience.
- Brandon M.