Lead-Safe Weatherization

May/June 2003
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2003 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Weatherization
May 01, 2003
With a little inventiveness and a little help from their friends, a weatherization agency in Denver has learned to provide energy efficiency measures - sawing a lot of holes in walls painted with lead paint - without endangering the lives of its workers.
              Housing in Denver, Colorado, like housing in most large cities, is a mix of leaded and lead-free homes. The good news is that there was less lead used here in the West than in the East— 15% of homes contaminated in the West, compared to 40% in the Northeast, according to a 1999 HUD housing survey.The bad news is that we’re not lead-free.The low-income homes that provide great opportunities for energy conservation also have lead paint contamination blocking the way for window replacement and reglazing; various ducting, venting, and other repairs;and—most critical and cost-effective of all— insulation. Sun Power, the company I work for, does few window replacements and usually subcontracts that work and other repairs to qualified contractors. But lead-safe insulation work is our challenge. And so is answering this question:         With nearly 1,000 homes to weatherize in the year ahead, how can we deliver a quality energy conservation service, protect staff and customers, and meet all of our production commitments at the same time? A Little History         As far back as 1884, ...

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