How can you tell if you've got breathable pait/lead paint etc in Victorian house?

15 Jun 2016
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

Trying to sort out an old Victorian property, whereby trying to make it breathable again to help with damp etc.

Things like concrete walls are obvious to spot, but a lot of the property (upstairs) have original lime plaster walls, with only new bts (like window openings/sockets etc) annoyingly having gypsum plaster repairs.... anyhow, there is lots of paint everywhere, but how can I tell if its original and breathable or whether or not (more likely) the walls have lead in the paint?

I'm going to apply the 100% rule to the doors and skirtings etc, but have no idea about walls, what do people suggest to help identify if paint is breathable or not?

If its not, What is a safe way to remove internal painted walls, so we can then repaint in a breathable paint, without resorting to hacking off all the original 100 year old lime plaster?

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Possibly... but sounds like there is more to the story. You're talking about internal walls which don't normally need breathability, so what damp problem do you actually have?
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Hi Gerry, just looking for general advise to be honest.
We've got a project house, which when we bought it had the original brickwork externally painted over/sealed and also covered in render etc, including the bathstone bay window etc.
We've have stone masons in to strip the outside back to the original brick faces and repointed with lime mortar.
From this point if we've made the outside breathable, we want to make sure that if an moisture gets in in, then it can get back out again (internally and externally)

There are areas of specific damp in the property, but they are being address and also I will put those questions/concerns etc in a different part of the forum :)
I wouldn't go disturbing lead paint unless you need to. You'll die horribly.


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