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Why It’s Important to be a Certified Lead-Safe Firm

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Levels of lead in paint are a significant source of lead exposure for children at a global level. Despite the recorded and known dangers of lead, it is alarming to know that almost 60 countries still use and sell lead paints around the world. Thankfully, the United States is not part of this list anymore. According to a study by the IPEN-affiliated NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations associated with the International Pollutants Elimination Network), many of the harmful solvent-based painting materials analyzed contained extremely high levels of lead. Popular tourist destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica, Thailand, and Vietnam continue to use lead paints in residential and commercial painting projects. The bottom line: Your family could be exposed during a holiday. 


Does this mean that US homeowners and business owners are safe from lead exposure? Lead paint is not sold anymore in the U.S., and it’s been fully banned for use in residential properties in 1978 due to health concerns. But the good news stops here. While you can’t buy or use lead paint, it can still be present in your building. As a rule of thumb, houses built and decorated before 1978 are likely to contain lead-based painting materials. Unfortunately, the older a property is, the higher the likelihood of lead gets. Almost 9 out of 10 homes built before 1940 contain some traces of lead paint. In other words, lead-related risks remain a reality for homeowners and commercial owners in the U.S. This begs the question of how to manage painting and repair projects with respect to the safety of the workers and the inhabitants. Lead safety is our top priority at Arch Painting. Here is how we make a difference in the handling of lead environments. 


The true health consequences of lead poisoning

Lead is a toxic metal that has been part of building structures for a very long time. As effects of its toxicity began to surface, builders and engineers gradually retired lead-based materials. However, federal bans on the use of lead materials don’t eliminate previously completed applications. We can, unfortunately, say for sure that no level of lead exposure has been shown to be without harmful health consequences. So, while US lead paints may not contain as much lead material as toxic paints sold in other countries, it doesn’t make them safer. 


Cumulative lead exposure will cause lead poisoning, which occurs when lead enters the body. Young children are particularly affected as they are more vulnerable to toxic lead effects. Lead can affect multiple systems in the body, as it can be distributed via the bloodstream to the brain, kidney, and liver. Over time, lead gets stored inside the skeletal and dental tissues. Lead stored in the bones can be released into the blood, circulating through the body. Pregnant women can also affect the fetus through the bloodstream. 


High levels of exposure can lead to targeted attacks on the brain and central nervous systems, which can translate into a coma, convulsions, and even death. Lower levels can leave children with behavioral disorders, a reduced IQ, slow or interrupted development, and increased attention and socialization handicaps. Neurological and behavioral effects are considered to be irreversible. 

On a biological level, children and adults can also experience hypertension, immunotoxicity, anemia, renal impairment, and toxicity to the reproductive organs. 


What are the risks of lead exposure in the US?

Even though lead paint was banned in 1978, lead exposure remains an everyday risk for countless families. Researchers at the Public Health Institute’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program report that over 1.2 million children may have lead poisoning in the U.S. The figures compiled cases between 1999 and 2010. Over ten years later, we can assume that the number of lead poisoning cases has continued increasing. Unfortunately, 70% of children are not tested for lead poisoning and don’t receive treatment. 


Lead poisoning can have 3 different origins for children:

  • Passed through the blood by their mother during pregnancy
  • Through inhaled lead particles (often the case with old and cracking lead paint)
  • Through swallowing, which can occur with leaded water, lead pipes, or via touching lead paint


It is a known fact that the majority of lead poisoning cases in children are linked to lead paint in homes built before or at the start of 1978. Unfortunately, most children who have been affected do not look ill, so neither parents nor doctors suspect poisoning. Development and behavioral issues can take time to appear, at which point the damage is irremediable. 


It is worth noting that lead dust is invisible to the naked eye, making it hard for parents to preemptively protect their children in a suspected lead environment. 

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Safety regulations for handling lead

Homeowners and commercial owners are more likely to face lead issues when planning a repair or painting job. As a result, in an effort to enhance protection levels, contractors and specialist companies are required to be EPA lead certified. The Environmental Protection Agency has a training program dedicated to lead management in renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) projects. The lead-based paint RRP rules are specifically designed to provide contractors with the skills and knowledge to handle potentially leaded environments for the safety of both residents and workers. 


If you suspect you have lead paint, you will need to contact an EPA lead-safe company. At Arch Painting, our team is fully trained and licensed to provide renovation and painting work with respect to lead safety regulations. The EPA certification for RRP is valid for 5 years. Our contractors also renew their certifications regularly, learning the latest standard procedures and safety regulations. 


Beware that RRP projects and lead abatement (removal) are two different services. As part of the renovation, repair, and painting license, our contractors are qualified to handle design projects that might disturb potentially leaded paint. However, lead abatement projects are typically ordered by the local government as a response to an identified lead poisoning case. 


How do I know if my paint contains lead?

We appreciate that there is no easy way to know whether your home contains lead paint. Lead paint looks at first sight like any other type of paint. However, some factors can help you assess the safety risks. 


First of all, if your property was built before the lead paint ban in 1978, it might contain toxic materials. Homeowners and tenants often refer to the year of construction for guidance. 

  • 87% of properties built before 1940 have some lead paint, 
  • 69% of properties built between 1940 and 1960 are likely to contain lead paint, 
  • 24% of properties built between 1960 and 1978 used lead paint.


The CDC believes that approximately 24 million homes are likely to contain lead paint. 


If you suspect that your home might contain lead paint, you can use a DIY lead paint test kit to confirm your suspicions. Bear in mind that a DIY test is unlikely to provide the same level of accuracy as a professional test done by a certified lab. However, it can be enough to evaluate the situation or decide to have your home professionally tested. 


The only visible indicator of lead paint is the reptilian scales that appear when the paint starts to wrinkle and crack. You might hear it described as an alligatoring effect. Alternatively, paint that leaves a chalky residue when rubbed off tends to contain lead. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to spot lead paint if it is under other layers of paint. 


What can a certified lead-safe firm do for you?

An EPA lead-safe certified firm is your renovating and painting partner at home. You do not need to test your home for lead paint to hire an RRP licensed company. Yet, for every property built before 1978, an RRP contractor will consider your safety and protection while improving your home. We appreciate that even small amounts of lead dust can be harmful to your family, which is why our expert team relies on training and best practice techniques to minimize lead contamination risks. 


Remember: If you wish to remove lead paint, you will need to reach abatement specialists. Lead removal doesn’t include decoration or repair activities. On the other hand, our renovation, repair, and painting services help you design a beautiful home and keep your family safe. 


Your safety is our priority

With years of experience handling potentially leaded environments, we know how to approach renovation and painting projects in older properties. Our crew at Arch Painting is committed to delivering high-quality services that exceed your expectations and meet all the lead protection standards. We are passionate about safety at every step of the RRP project. You can rest assured that our team knows how to manage lead hazards without affecting the completion of the renovation, painting, or repair job.

With almost 25 years of experience, we are renowned for our attention to small details and our competitive results. We take great pride in honoring our commitments and cultivating long-term relationships with our clients. As such, you can rely on our team to deliver the professional service you need for your home or commercial decor with extreme care for your safety. We never compromise between painting quality and lead protection. 


Concerned about a painting project in an old property? Get in touch with our team for a lead-safe service. 


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Exterior Painting and the Health of Your Home

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When it comes to improving the look of your house, you will undoubtedly spend much of your time working on the interior. For example, you might renovate each room and choose a decor or style that best meets your needs and tastes.

You may even spend some time improving the look of your backyard or front lawn. But have you thought much about painting your home’s exterior? It might have occurred to you that painting the outside of your house will raise its curb appeal.


The thing is, exterior painting offers a whole host of health benefits to your abode. Whether you paint your home’s exterior yourself or pay someone else to do it for you, here’s why it’s a good move other than for aesthetic reasons:

Protects Your House From the Weather

Arguably the most significant advantage of painting your home’s exterior is that you protect it from the elements. Rain, sunshine, wind, and snow can wreak havoc on a house’s exterior after a while, and you could end up paying hefty repair bills as a result.

If you want to make your house’s exterior more weather-proof, it makes sense to paint it. Exterior paints contain chemicals that, when dry, create a protective layer or coating against the weather. 

Exterior paints often last for several years, so you won’t need to add top-up coats each year.

weather on exterior paint of house

Blocks Mold From Forming Inside the House

Another reason you should put serious consideration into painting your home’s exterior is because you want to stop mold from forming inside of it. As you might know, mold can cause a whole host of health problems for people living in moldy homes.

The following statistics prove that painting your home’s exterior to keep your house healthy will also ensure good health for its inhabitants:

  • Mold causes 93% of people to suffer from chronic sinus infections;
  • 4.6 million cases of asthma are directly attributable to mold exposure in the home;
  • 40% of asthma attacks get caused by exposure to triggers such as mold;
  • Water damage from exposed exterior bricks or walls can accelerate mold growth.

Keeps Your Home’s Interior Cool

Another way to make the health of everyone living in your house a priority is by regulating the ambient temperature. Some homeowners opt for air conditioning systems, and they are good for interior climate control and filtering allergens in the air.

Unfortunately, running air conditioning systems can be expensive – especially during the summer months. One way to keep your home’s interior cool is by painting the exterior white or a similarly light color.

That’s because light colors like white reflect heat from the sun, helping to keep interior rooms cooler naturally (and cheaply).

Increases Siding Lifespan

Some houses have sidings affixed to the exterior walls. While it’s easy to assume that sidings are merely for decorative purposes, they also have a practical use. Sidings help protect the exterior walls from weathering.

Sidings can last for several decades, depending on the materials used. However, you still need to protect the sidings so they can efficiently protect the exterior of your home. Painting your sidings is, by far, the most effective way to achieve that goal.

Helps Prevent Wood From Rotting

If the exterior of your house partially or wholly contains wood, protecting that wood should be high on your list of maintenance priorities. There’s no denying that wood is a useful and durable building material and one used by builders for hundreds of years.

Yet, one major disadvantage of wood is that it can rot easily when exposed to the elements. Even if exterior wood gets treated before installation, the rotting process can still occur; it’ll just happen over a longer period.

Painting all exterior wood creates an instant protective layer on all exposed surfaces.

Helps Prevent Termite Damage

Lastly, if your house does have some exterior wood, rotting from the elements isn’t the only damage that it could have. Insects and bugs such as termites can inflict a lot of damage to exposed wood, irrespective of whether the wood is indoors or outdoors.

Naturally, the risk of damage to exterior wood from termites is significantly higher than wood inside your house. If you paint all exposed exterior wood with a protective coating, especially down to ground level, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of termite damage.

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch Painting

3 Reasons The Spring is Perfect for Painting Your House

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Painting the home’s exterior is one of the most beneficial upgrades you could ever make. Whether you’re preparing to sell the property, wanting to become the envy of your neighbors, or hoping to boost your love of the home, Arch Painting’s team of dedicated experts can deliver stunning results. However, timing is everything, and Spring is the perfect moment to finally get around to completing this much-needed project.


Here are just three key reasons why now is the time to paint your property with help from a professional residential painting contractor.


#1. It Will Be Ready For The Summer


A newly painted house will enhance the appearance and atmosphere throughout the year. Nonetheless, the benefits are most noticeable in the Summer season when you will spend long afternoons on the deck or enjoying backyard BBQs. A professional exterior paint job completed in the Spring will ensure that the new color and fresh vibes can be enjoyed from the first day of Summer to the last.


After spending the colder months locked inside, you deserve to enjoy the warmer months in style. Consequently, then, you do not want to waste the first days of glorious sunshine waiting for the work to be completed. Similarly, the demand for professional house painters will skyrocket in the warmer months. As such, you may be forced to wait until the Fall, which means you won’t see the full benefits of a newly painted house until next year!


By calling a professional contractor ASAP, you can arrange for your house to be painted within the next few weeks. Frankly, there is no greater sight than having your pristine-looking home sparkle in the Summer sun. it will put you in a happier mood each time you return from a hard day at work while simultaneously bringing any other backyard upgrades, whether it’s a newly installed deck or blooming flowers, to life. 


Given that we now spend more time at home than ever before, it could be the key to a happy Summer.


#2. It’s Cheaper


A newly painted home exterior won’t only add value to your daily life. It will add value to the property too. When you seek the very best financial solution, however, it’s equally important to consider the costs involved. In truth, the contrasts are minimal when taking on a DIY job or inferior contractor. Conversely, a reliable painting professional with years of experience under their belt will save you money in Spring.


The paints and painting equipment will remain the same regardless of when your house gets painted. However, there are a number of variables that will bump up the price. Trees and plants have not yet bloomed, meaning greater accessibility to all parts of the property. Likewise, there are fewer challenges relating to leaves, low lighting, or temperature fluctuations. All of these factors can reduce delays to boost productivity.


Similarly, any preparations like replacing wood can be completed without a struggle. The pleasant and steady temperatures of Spring are ideal while still providing quick drying times for each coat of paint. Meanwhile, laborers don’t need to protect themselves from the beating sun as they would later in the year. Spring finds the sweet spot that promotes a quick turnaround, which ultimately translates to financial savings.


On a side note, quality painters like Arch Painting will be fully booked for the year by the time June arrives. So, if you want a professional job at a competitive price. You must act now.

shaker siding painting cape cod

#3. You Are Guaranteed A Perfect Finish

When completing the home painting project, it is essential that you receive the very best results. Otherwise, an inferior finish will leave you needing to repeat the process again in just a few short months. Choosing a reputable professional to conduct the work will ensure that the right paints and equipment are used. Sadly, even the best workers will face problems when trying to complete the work in the colder months. Spring is perfect.


The home won’t be impacted by ice, leaves, or other adverse issues that can surface at different times of the year. Likewise, you won’t experience streaks or faded coats when completing the new paint works. The Spring project will leave you with a pristine finish, potentially with a coat fewer. Thanks to the increased access to all parts of the property, all brickwork and woodwork will be left looking beautiful.


Exposure to the elements is an issue that needs respecting, which is why now is the right time of the year for the work to be completed. Aside from the ease of completing the work itself, the walls will be protected from the marks that could be left by falling debris in the Fall. Similarly, there will be no expanding or contracting caused by extreme temperatures. So, the looks will be built to last.


A quality finish won’t just leave you smiling today. It will provide years of happiness. Quite frankly, that’s the least you deserve.


The Final Word


If your property could benefit from a new coat of paint, completing the work in Spring will deliver the best results for your home and bank balance. To learn more about the benefits or arrange a free quote, get in touch with Arch Painting today!

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Paint On a Vinyl House? The Dos and Don’ts

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Vinyl siding is an incredibly popular option for home exteriors. There’s no real question why. It tends to retain color for long periods of time, it’s durable and can withstand a variety of conditions, and it’s low maintenance. 

But, that doesn’t mean you want to keep the same color of your siding forever. 

Maybe you just moved into a home and you love the siding but not the color. Or, maybe you’ve been living somewhere for years and know it’s time for a change. 

Whatever the case, you might be asking yourself if it’s okay to paint on a vinyl house? What should you expect? 

The simple answer is yes, you can paint on a vinyl house. But, there are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you get started. Taking care to do the right things and avoid the wrong ones will make for a much easier project and better end result. 

Do: Choose the Right Weather

No one wants to paint when it’s raining or extremely cold. But, it’s a good idea to check the forecast beyond those extremes when you’re considering painting. 

Even days when it’s hot, humid, or windy should be avoided when it comes to painting vinyl. Not only will it be miserable for you, but it will make it harder for the paint to adequately adhere to the surface. 

It’s also smart to check the forecast a few days before you plan to paint as heavy rain on paint that has not fully cured (dried) can impact the finished appearance.

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch PaintingDon’t: Use Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Tools

It’s important to make sure your siding is clean before you start painting. The last thing you want is to paint over layers of dirt and dust. 

But, using tools that are designed to “scrape” away paint will damage your siding. Cleaning products that use harsh chemicals can also damage the texture, which may cause the paint to have a negative reaction, or not adhere to the siding properly. That can impact your final result. 

Soap and water and a little elbow grease are the best ways to clean vinyl siding. If there is a lot of dirt built up, you may consider a pressure washer. 

Do: Choose the Right Paint

It’s incredibly important to pick out the right paint (and be picky about it!) when you’re painting vinyl siding. Remember, vinyl is a different material from wood or drywall. You shouldn’t be using the same paint you used to redo your bedroom on your home’s exterior. 

Instead, you should be looking for paint that is specifically meant for exteriors & vinyl. Look for options that advertise vinyl, and long-lasting color. In fact, you should inform the paint store that you are painting vinyl and you require a vinyl safe formula.

If you don’t choose the right paint, the end results could be patchy and you might have areas that don’t dry properly. 

The color itself is also important. Try to avoid extremely dark colors as they can absorb more heat from the sun, which could damage the vinyl underneath. 

Don’t: Use the Wrong Tools

Painting the vinyl exterior of your home is going to require more than a standard roller and paint brush. In fact, these traditional tools might not get into all the grooves and gaps in the siding. One option is to use a paint sprayer to ensure an even application everywhere. 

Do: Take Good Care of Your Siding

Some people might tell you to avoid painting on your vinyl siding. But, if you do it the right way, there is no reason it can’t look great and last a long time. With proper care, a vinyl siding paint job can last up to ten years. Keep it as clean as possible, and maintain certain areas as necessary. 

So, should you paint your vinyl house? If you keep these tips in mind and avoid making careless mistakes, painting on vinyl can look great, and depending on the color you choose you might even be able to convince people you got completely new siding. 

But, painting on a vinyl house can be tricky. If you want to change the look of your home but you’re worried you won’t be able to get the job done by yourself, it’s always best to contact a professional. When you do, you’ll know everything from the right tools to the right types of paint are being used, and you can have peace of mind in knowing your house will look new in no time. 

Download our free app now to receive a quote within two days!

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Choosing the Right Paint Sheen

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You’re standing in your local hardware store or paint shop. You’re looking at row after row of paint options for your home. Even if you’ve already decided on the perfect color, you’re faced with another decision to make: Which sheen is the right one for your project? 

Of course, you can always ask the person working at the store. But, even they might have limited knowledge about which sheen would look best or what each one is made for. 

The best thing you can do is to inform yourself about the different sheens for painting projects. So, whether you’re hiring a professional or tackling a paint job yourself, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right sheen to fit your needs. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few common finishes and which one(s) you should be going after. 

What Are the Types of Sheens?

Before you know which sheen will work best for you, it’s important to know the different kinds and where they tend to work. The most common are: 

  • Flat: A flat base has almost no sheen to it at all. It won’t leave a reflective finish, and tends to be better for covering up existing imperfections. 
  • Matte: Matte has a subtle sheen, but it is low-luster and easy to clean. Because of that, it’s great for places like bedrooms or hallways. If you’re just looking for a bit of reflection in your walls, matte is the way to go. 
  • Eggshell: Eggshell, also referred to as eggshell enamel, works great in common areas like living rooms. It has a soft look and feel to it and can be incredibly comforting. 
  • Satin: Satin sheens are best used in areas that tend to receive a lot of moisture, like the kitchen or bath. While it isn’t super shiny, it gives off a sort of “pearl” like quality that can be comfortable and elegant all at once. 
  • Semi-gloss: Most people have at least heard of semi-gloss enamel, but you may not know what it really is. Semi-gloss looks sleek and sharp, especially when you’re able to apply multiple thin coats. As the name suggests, it is a bit glossy and reflective. Typically, a semi-gloss is applied to woodwork. 
  • Hi-Gloss: If shiny and reflective is what you’re looking for, a hi-gloss base is absolutely for you. Hi-gloss can make almost any surface look just like glass, and it is often used in areas that see a lot of use. 

Many times, the sheen you choose will be a matter of preference. But, knowing where each one “belongs” and what you can expect from them can make it easier to feel confident in your decision. 

How to Know the Right Paint for Your Project

So, now that you know a bit more about the different types of sheens, which one best fits your needs? It depends on which room in the house you’re thinking of painting, and how that room is going to be used. 

For example, if you have texture problems on the walls or ceilings that you want to hide, a matte or flat sheen might work better. If you have kids or rooms in your home that get a lot of traffic, a semi-gloss or hi-gloss might be better, as they are much easier to clean up. Unfortunately, hi-gloss paints also show cracks and imperfections in the walls and ceiling more clearly, too. 

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch PaintingWhich Paint Sheen is the Best?

There is no clear “winner” when it comes to choosing a paint sheen. Again, it depends on where you’re painting. Eggshell and satin tend to be the two most popular bases for home interiors. If you’re painting your home’s exterior, you might want to consider things like weather, the material of your home, and how certain types will handle wear and tear. For example, shinier sheens are easier to clean but can show any damage your house might have. 

Keep this knowledge about different sheens in your arsenal the next time you’re considering a painting project. Different sheens will work best for different rooms and purposes. When you know exactly which room(s) you’re painting, you can choose your sheen based on that. Having knowledge when you’re buying paint is extremely important for a successful project!

If you’re still not sure about which paint sheen to get, or you’re confused by the differences, feel free to contact us for more information, and consider hiring a professional for your paint job to make sure it looks fantastic when all is said and done. Download our free app now to receive a quote within two days!

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