Precautions You Should Take When Removing Paint Layers in Your Home

Posted on: 5 February 2018

When you hire a residential painting crew to remove paint from several surfaces in your home, there are several precautions that have to be taken. If you were to do this job yourself, you could easily do something to endanger your life, or the lives of your family. This is serious business, and the painters take it very seriously. Here are the precautions they will take, and why. 

Close off the Room

There are multiple paint removal techniques. Each one creates odors or waste that you do not want to inhale, nor do you want the odors or waste to travel into other parts of your house. For example, if a sander is used to remove paint, you do not want the sanded paint layers to travel into adjoining hallways or rooms and then spread to other parts of the house. Some of this old paint may contain lead, which is highly toxic and deadly if you breath in too much of it.

For this reason, the pros close off a room as they begin removing paint. This includes taping tarps over doorways, and placing plastic over heating and cold air exchange vents. Any way that the paint or paint removers can propel into another area of the house is blocked off before paint removal begins.

Open Your Windows

When the temperatures are right, and the painters are using solvents to remove heavy layers of paint, they will open windows too. Ventilation is needed to prevent everyone from passing out. Rather than use your home's ventilation system (which is definitely not advisable!), the painters rely on circulating via any two windows in the room for a cross-draft. If they cannot create a natural cross-draft, they have fans that can help circulate odors and dust out of the sealed room safely. This is one of the biggest reasons why professional painters do not do jobs like this until it is warm enough out to open windows and doors.

Wear a Protective Painter's Suit

Old paint chips have a tendency to stick to moist skin. As your painters work hard to remove the old paint, they want to be sure that none of the paint chips or paint slivers stick to them. They don coveralls, gloves, and even disposable booties over their shoes to prevent this. The protective clothing also prevents the paint chips and splinters from traveling to other rooms of your house. The painters safely dispose of these suits after they have finished the job.

Wear a Respirator

Whether painting or removing paint, professional painters don respirators. In this manner, they cannot breathe in any of the dust created from sanding, chips from scraping, or fumes from solvents. Additionally, they do not use the basic papery respirators you can buy for a few dollars. They buy full rubber masks with filters that disallow fumes to get to the brain and cause brain damage. These more expensive professional respirators are approved of by OSHA for the type of work that painters do.

Cover and Tape Off Your Floors

Regardless of the type of flooring you have, be it carpet, wood, or tile, it needs to be covered entirely. The pros usually tape a giant tarp over the flooring by securing the edges of the tarp to the baseboards. All of the scrapings, sandings, and chips of paint removed fall onto this tarp. Then the tarp is later removed, balled up with the potentially dangerous old paint inside, and disposed of according to government regulations. Sure, you could have done all of the above too, but would you know how to dispose of the dangerous paint that was removed? Probably not, but the painters do.