Dealing With Lead Paint In Historic Windows
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hobolenny



Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: Dealing With Lead Paint In Historic Windows Reply with quote

Recently, our local historic district commission allowed the replacement of historic windows due to concerns about lead paint. In my opinion, this was a horrible decision and clearly goes against The Secretary of the Interior's standards in Preservation Brief 37.

http://www.nps.gov/hps/tps/briefs/brief37.htm#Appropriate%20Methods%20for%20Controlling%20Lead%20Hazards

Preservation Brief 37 does tell what to do in situations like this, including stripping of sashes and replacing the window stops. This seemed like a good solution, but again didn't convince the members of the historic district commission. Does anybody know of anywhere that I could find statistics or information comparing the lead safety of stripping of windows vs. the replacement of windows? I just haven't found any numbers out there on the web that might help. Thanks!
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even when replacing windows the hired person doing the work must follow RRP. There still lead chips that can contaminated the interior environment as well as the exterior. What their worried about is the ongoing contamination from the sashes sliding up and down against the jamb. The theroy is, and really isn't a theory that no matter how much paint is removed, there is still lead from the old paint still embedded in the wood of the jamb itself.
Although this is true its very minimal and once the jambs are painted this decreases the lead exposure even more, but still doesn't eliminate it altogether.
There are ways to eliminate the possible rubbing altogether, or at least reduce the friction of the two pieces of wood rubbinb together to almost nill, is with the use of a bronze or zinc kerf style weather stripping that seperates the two the stiles from touching the jamb completely with the exception that its usually only applied the length of the bottom sash, so its not visible when the window is closed. But one could apply it almost the full length of the the sash channel from the bottom to just below the pulley. That once solution. The other would be to use a full jamb liner that would of course cover the whole of the jamb. So far there really no good liner that one can use that doesn't require the alteration to the size of the sashes. I suspect there someone engineering a better liner for this application. Although I wouldn't like to see jamb liners in historical windows it would be a viable compromise. Those of us that are advocate to keep historical windows need to consider such ideas.
Another option that will help would be to make the top sash inoperable or stationary, which eliminates say 1/3 of the problem of stiles rubbing against the jamb and possibly causing contamination. 1/3 because the top sash is not used as much as the bottom sash.

I think we're going to see (at least for a while) preservation groups pannicking and making unreasonable compromises, but we need to voice our concerns to them consistantly. I think once the initial panic calms a bit most will realize there are viable options to just give up and allow replacements.

Problems like this are still a great concern to me since I'm exclusively a window restorer and will never allow my company to replace a historical set of sashes let alon allow them to be retrofitted with IGUs'.

I have little faith in either local preservation groups or state wide groups to be vigilante on keeping to their original valuse. At least for a while. EPA is a giant monster and if we let them continue uncecked they'll cause more and even insurmountable problems.

So it's up to us as citizens to make our concerns known to our local, regional and national elected individuals. From there if we get no results than we can think about demonstrations. After all all of us baby boomers cut our eye teeth on deomonstrating back in the 60's and even the early 70's. Some of us our approaching retirement time and what do you think we're going to be doing with all that extra spare time we'll have. I think we may see ourselves as one large mother of a group of free thinkers wanting this country to return to some better values.

Meanwhile, anger must grow some more and we must figure out how to educate local preservation groups so they don't sell out the farm (windows) in a panic.

Sorry for this lengthy attempt at an answer. Your local preservation group needs some additional education. Replacing historical windows is not the answer!!
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hobolenny



Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! These ideas are very helpful!
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