Lead Abatement Techniques: Safe Removal And Mitigation Strategies

In the 1880s, a phrase was coined in the American lexicon: ‘lead pipe cinch.’ Its colloquial meaning translated as something deemed an absolute certainty because a ‘cinch’ was a solid strap used to hold a horse saddle firmly in place. The sheer abundance of a greyish metal, known as lead, became a low-cost building material used for many years in America. The abundance and low cost of lead may have made America feel secure; however, such security changed in the 20th century, specifically in the 1970s. Science determined a significant correlation between lead exposure and a range of illnesses such as headaches, stomach pains, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, irritability, and more severe health issues such as high blood pressure, brain, kidney, and reproductive health issues in adults and developmental delays in children. It would not be inappropriate to state that these illnesses and lead exposure could be diagnosed with a ‘lead pipe cinch’ understanding of lead poisoning — a diagnosis of absolute medical certainty. With such new awareness and understanding of the illnesses that come from lead poisoning, lead abatement laws began to be written, and lead abatement techniques to evolve, and the reason for today’s blog topic by Exit Mold, home restoration experts serving NYC and the five boroughs for 25+ years!

Lead Abatement Techniques: Safe Removal And Mitigation Strategies

Table of Contents

Lead Abatement Methods

The lead abatement laws, described by the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Act of 1992, defined ‘lead abatement’ as the permanent procedure to remove lead-based paint hazards. The Housing and Urban Development Agency, or HUD, describes permanent as lasting at least twenty years.  

The four primary methods of lead abatement include:

  •   Replacement: Removal of the building segment containing lead-based paint and replacing the segment.
  •   Enclosure: The covering of the lead-based paint with a solid barrier such as drywall.
  •   Encapsulation: Coating the painted lead surface so it is not accessible. Lead paint encapsulation is an approved method of lead mitigation and remediation of a lead paint hazard by the EPA; however, the usual store-bought paint is insufficient to encapsulate the lead-painted surface safely. Three types of encapsulant paint provide a protective barrier from lead dust or paint chips: polymers, epoxy, and cement-like materials with thick coating polymers.
  •   Lead Paint Removal: To abate means to reduce the intensity of what is considered threatening. While the method of enclosure and encapsulation is a permanent solution, they only serve to abate a lead paint hazard. These procedures do not remove lead-based paint. The detection of lead in paint on a wall surface is not easily discovered. Detection of lead in paint requires a skilled lead abatement contractor, as found at Exit Mold, using such
    EPA-approved lead-safe work practices as XRF testing technology, dust wipe testing, paint chip sampling, and clearance testing procedures that ensure it is safe to re-occupy a home or business after lead paint abatement or lead paint removal. Exit Mold technicians have been serving the home restoration needs of NYC and the five boroughs for 25+ years. Their lead abatement training and best system practices ensure a lead-safe renovation work project.
Lead Abatement Cost For NYC

Lead Abatement Cost For NYC

The EPA estimates that approximately 73% of houses in the USA still contain lead-based paint, and the removal costs range from roughly $8 to $15 per square foot. The lead abatement technique known as encapsulation, using encapsulation specialty paint, is approximately $800 to $1400 for a 1200 to 1400 square foot home, not including labor costs. Encapsulation is the most cost-efficient means of lead abatement. Enclosure, using a protective barrier known as drywall, can cost approximately $15 to $30 per square foot. The most expensive lead removal technique is replacement. Replacement involves removing and replacing the entire affected surface. Replacement cost depends on materials needed for replacement, labor, and area size. Paint that shows surface deterioration of chipping, peeling, cracking, or holes that can bring lead dust or fumes must be removed and requires wire brushing and wet hand scraping using liquid paint removers. Deteriorating floors and stairs that are walked on require paint removal, along with the window frames and hinges on doors and windows where such surfaces are prone to high friction.

An essential criterion for lead abatement or lead paint removal in NYC apartments and condos is employing a New York licensed lead abatement contractor with lead abatement certification by the EPA.

Lead Replacement, Enclosure, Encapsulation or Removal

Lead Replacement, Enclosure, Encapsulation, or Removal

As a reminder, the Local Law 31 compliance deadline for landlords, building owners, and homeowners to have lead testing performed in any residential dwelling built between 1960 and 1978 is August 9, 2025. If you need clarification on whether to use a lead abatement technique of replacement, enclosure or encapsulation, or lead paint removal, feel free to contact the friendly professionals of Exit Mold. We are the guide to the best and most cost-effective solutions!
Exit Mold — New York’s one-stop hub for all home restoration services! Employing the lead services of Exit Mold certified technicians is a ‘lead-pipe cinch’ for securing a healthy, safe, lead-free residential or work environment!

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