Protect Your Clild’s from Lead Poisoning

Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil

Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly.

Research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:
> deteriorating lead-based paint,
> lead contaminated dust, and
> lead contaminated residential soil.

EPA is playing a major role in addressing these residential lead hazards. In 1978, there were nearly three to four million children with elevated blood lead levels in the United States. In the 1990s, that number had dropped to 434,000 kids, and it continues to decline. While we still have a significant challenge, EPA is very proud of how federal, state, tribal, and private sector partners have coordinated efforts with the public to better protect our children.

Since the 1980’s, EPA and its federal partners have phased out lead in gasoline, reduced lead in drinking water, reduced lead in industrial air pollution, and banned or limited lead used in consumer products, including residential paint. States and municipalities have set up programs to identify and treat lead poisoned children and to rehabilitate deteriorated housing. Parents, too, have greatly helped to reduce lead exposures to their children by cleaning and maintaining homes, having their children’s blood lead levels checked, and promoting proper nutrition. The Agency’s Lead Awareness Program continues to work to protect human health and the environment against the dangers of lead by developing regulations, conducting research, and designing educational outreach efforts and materials.
More information call: (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

Turn those also-ran paint strips into conversation-starting art and accessories for your home

Loving Color: 5 Ways to Decorate With Paint Chips.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform a room. But deciding on which color to use is another story. Even if you have the shade and hue narrowed down, there are still dozens upon dozens of choices — all of which seem to look exactly the same after a few days. The samples can start to pile up as you debate over which color is just right.

After all is said and done, odds are you have more than a few remaining paint chips lying around. Don’t just recycle these colorful pieces of paper! The shape and gradation make these leftovers perfect fodder for several colorful DIYs around the house. These 5 bloggers came up with their own clever ways to use up the paint chips in their homes.

Procedure for Using a Caulk Gun

1. Use the cutting tool to snip off the end of (or open) a new tube of caulk.

2. Use the thin metal rod to puncture the seal inside a new cylinder of caulk.

3. Put the cylinder of caulk in the caulk gun and use the trigger to pump caulk onto the surface of the project where desired.

4. Applying caulk in this way is called laying a bead of caulk. When the bead is in place, use a damp rag to smooth out the surface of the caulk and bond it to the project

Power Supply Is Cut Off

Problem: Electrical power is cut off to home because of storms, tornadoes, floods, or other mechanical failures.

Background: Fortunately most power outages today are only temporary. If a storm knocks down a power line near your home, stay away from it. Call the fire or police department for help in keeping people away, and report the downed line to your electric utility immediately.

What to do: If the power goes off, unplug or turn off major appliances in use when power went out. This will help eliminate the need for a large surge of electric power when the service returns. Such a surge could damage your TV or appliances and the electric distribution system in addition to prolonging the outage. Leave at least one light switched on so you will know when the power is restored. When power returns, wait a few minutes before turning on lights and appliances, then turn them on one at a time. If the power goes off again right after it has been restored, check the fuses and circuit breakers to be sure they haven’t blown or tripped. To help keep food cold as long as possible, do not open freezer or refrigerator doors unless absolutely necessary. If outage cuts off heat in cold weather.
Special advice: As with most emergencies, it’s best to be prepared be forehand. Assemble emergency supplies, such as candles, matches, fresh batteries, a flashlight, and a battery-powered radio, in a special cabinet or drawer in your home.

Helpful hint: If lighting your home with candles or oil lamps during an outage, placing them near light- colored walls or mirrors at shoulder height can increase illumination. Be careful to keep open flames out of drafts, away from draperies and upholstery, and out of the reach of children.

Portable Humidifier Malfunctions

Problem: Portable, belt-type humidifier doesn’t run, or continues to run for extended periods.

Background: Portable humidifiers, which use wide belts of porous material partially submerged in a tank reservoir to evaporate moisture into the room, usually will have a variable speed control (controlling how fast the belt turns) as well as an automatic humidity control. Some units have colored pilot lights; one which signals when the cord is plugged in and the variable speed control is in the operational range, and another which signals when the unit has shut down automatically because the water level in the reservoir has gotten too low.

What to do: If the unit does not run, make sure it is plugged in to a live outlet. If it does not turn on, it may be because the humidistat is set below the relative humidity of the room, or because the humidistat has not had enough time to adjust to the conditions in the home (this may take several hours). If the home and furnishings are exceptionally dry, the humidifier may operate for an extended period of time. After proper humidity is reached, the operation time of the unit will be shorter. If the humidifier continues to run excessively, check for open doors or windows, as well as for an open fireplace damper. The air escaping up the chimney can cause 2 or more complete air changes in the home per hour; the more air changes, the greater the humidity requirements.

Special advice: For the most effective humidification, keep doors open to all rooms to be humidified. Do not place the unit with its back grille too near drapes or curtains. Air movement could pull drapes against the grille and cut off air flow, resulting in possible damage to the humidifier or the drapes. For maximum efficiency, the evaporator belt should be replaced at least once a season, or more often under severe conditions. The unit should be cleaned periodically, and emptied and cleaned at the end of the season. Also, once a season, put 2 to 4 drops of oil in any oiling tubes provided on the fan motor.

Helpful hint: All humidifiers containing water for extended periods will eventually develop odors. Periodic cleaning, and the use of water treatment tables, can help prevent this. For very persistent odors, use 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach diluted in 1 gallon of water to clean the tank and the evaporator belt.

Portable Dehumidifier Defective

Problem: Dehumidifier freezes up or does not seem to be working.

Background: Smaller, portable de humidifiers are much like air conditioners in that they have a fan, a fan motor, and a refrigerant system. Like an air conditioner, regular care and maintenance can help prevent operational problems. Once a year the refrigerant coils should be cleaned with a rag, brush, or vacuum cleaner. If the unit does not have an oil-less fan motor it should be oiled once a year with a few drops of oil in each of the oil holes. (Note: It’s likely the cabinet will need to be removed to clean the coils or to oil the fan motor.)

What to do: Dehumidifiers rely on an automatic humidistat to turn the unit on and off to maintain the humidity level you select (usually 60% to 65% when set in the “normal” range). If the unit stops running, first check the power cord to see that it is plugged in properly and be sure that the outlet is receiving power: If not, check the main power panel for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Use a different outlet, if necessary, to avoid overloading a circuit. Dehumidifiers can become blocked with ice in temperatures below 65°. Most units are not de signed to operate below that temperature, and in most cases dehumidification is not needed below 70°; shut off the unit until the room temperature rises.

Special advice: Once the humidistat control is set, the unit will shut off when the relative humidity reaches that level. It will turn on again automatically when the humidity rises.
Note: The compressor may stop if you turn off the dehumidifier, and immediately turn it on again. This is normal. In about 2 minutes the compressor should start up again automatically and continue to run.

Helpful hint: If you use the unit on a sloping floor, make sure the drain hole is located on the downgrade slope. Also do not block either end of the unit, because it takes air from the front and exhausts it through the back. To clean the exterior cabinet parts, use warm sudsy water, rinse with clear water, and do not turn on the unit until the exterior is completely dry.

Poor Stain Resistance Interior Paint Solution

Poor Stain Resistance: Failure of the paint to resist absorption of dirt and stains.

Possible Causes:

Use of lower quality paint that is porous in nature.

Application of paint to unprimed substrate.


Higher quality latex paints contain more binder, which helps prevent stains from penetrating the painted surface, allowing for easy removal. Priming new surfaces provides maximum film thickness of a premium top coat, providing very good stain removability.

Choosing the Right Primer for the Job

What Does Primer Do?

Provides a uniform and attractive paint finish.

Blocks tannin, water, grease and smoke stains that can bleed through your topcoat.

Improves adhesion of the topcoat. Your paint will last longer and look better.

Before you use any primer, properly clean the surface.

New wood – If your wood isn’t seriously stained, use a high-quality latex primer or an oil-based primer. If you have wood that is stained or you are painting redwood or cedar, use a stain-blocking primer.

Painted wood – If your paint is in very good condition, a primer may not be needed. However, if you have exposed wood, chalking or chipped paint, use an oil-based primer. Before you prime, scrape away as much chipped paint as possible and wash off any chalk. (Just because you are using a primer doesn’t mean you get to skip surface preparation.)

Weathered wood – Use a high-quality latex or oil-based primer. Sand and scrape away as much paint as possible. When you start to see new wood fibers, start priming.

Masonry block – Fill a fresh surface with block filler before painting. If repainting, scrape off any loose or peeling paint and cover with latex paint. Use a block filler only if the paint has been completely scraped off.

Aluminum and galvanized steel – If your surface is rusty, remove the rust and apply a latex or oil-based, corrosion-resistant primer. If the surface is new and rust-free, you can apply a high-quality latex paint and no primer.

Drywall – Use a latex primer. Don’t use an oil-based primer unless you are putting up wallpaper or covering a stain. Oil-based primers raise the grain of the drywall and make the finish look uneven.

Stains – Crayons, water, smoke and grease can bleed through the topcoat. Prime these areas with a stain-blocking or stain-killing primer. Oil-based stain killers work the best on water stains and for spot priming. Latex stain-blocking primers work better on large areas and hold up better on exterior surfaces. Pigmented shellac primer works well to block smoke and soot damage as well as to block animal urine smells.

Shiny surfaces – Bonding primers will stick to glass, tile, Formica and previously painted surfaces. Use bonding primers for interior surfaces only. They tend to crack when exposed to the elements because they aren’t flexible.

Previously painted rooms

Step by Step Guide To Painting.

Step One: Surface preparation :

The very first thing you want to do is check the surfaces for imperfections. These surface imperfections are usually old nail holes, cracks, cuts or nicks, joint separations or just badly covered drywall tape. Be sure to mix the drywall compound thoroughly before you start.

Step Two: Spot prime surface where patches are:

Start to prime in any corner. Load the roller, place it about 2 feet from the floor and roll upward to the top then back down to the floor. Keep your motion consistent. Top to bottom, no part way up rolls. Be sure to feather out the paint. I usually roll 1 line then move over a half a roller with the dry roller. This spreads the paint out reasonably well. Try to roll as much as you can on the surface, leaving minimal brushwork. After all the rolling is complete, cut the surfaces in with a brush.

Step three: Surface preparation :

Now check to find any nail holes, nicks or cuts that might have been overlooked earlier. Use drywall compound to fill. Fill if necessary then sand complete surfaces. Dust off the surfaces and proceed to he next step.

Step Four: Applying first coat of paint :

Take a brush and cut in. As you finish brushing one surface wall at a time roll immediately. Move to the next surface wall and repeat procedure until all surfaces are completed. Proceed to he next step.

Step Five: Surface preparation :

Now check to find any imperfections that might have been overlooked earlier. Use drywall compound. Fill if necessary then lightly sand completed surfaces. Dust off the surfaces and proceed to he next step.

Step Six: Applying Second Coat Of Paint :

The final coat of paint. Take a brush and cut in. As you finish brushing one surface wall at a time roll immediately. Move to the next surface wall and repeat procedure until all surfaces are completed. Proceed to he next room or clean up.