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An inside look at rehabbing a house with lead

There are two options homeowners have when rehabbing a house. Abatement or encapsulate.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Steve Burgett owns EverNu Home Improvement and 50 percent of the work he does is rehabbing houses with positive lead levels.

"We do them from start to finish," said Burgett.

There are two options homeowners have when rehabbing a house. Abatement or encapsulate. Abatement completely takes the lead out of the house while encapsulating is basically painting over the lead paint in the home. No matter what option is chosen, certified lead abatement contractors, like Burgett, must keep everything clean and contained.

"Every day you put new plastic down and clean it up, get rid of it," said Burgett. "You should wear a face mask and some tight-fitting clothes. Then when you get done working you need to get all that stuff off you."

The most common places to find lead dust is near doors, windows and trim.

"Every time someone opens or closes a door or window, the dust comes down. It gets on the floor, and that’s the main problem," said Burgett.

Although lead is a huge problem, numbers of professionals certified to rid houses are low. Luckily, the companies that are certified follow protocol closely. As the job concludes, there’s only one more step.

"Once the jobs all done we come back and they retest to make sure there’s no lead left in the house," said Burgett. "So we have a nice, clean, lead free house."

If you or someone you know needs to ride their house of lead click here for a list of certified lead abatement contractors in Michigan.

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