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Question DetailsAsked on 7/15/2017

How much paint chip debris is normal after exterior paint job?

I recently had the wood trim of my stone house painted. Despite asking the crew three times about clean up and making them come back an additional day to clean up, there still seems to be paint chips all over my yard, driveway, and garden. I went on the roof today and discovered that part of the problem is that there are a fair amount of paint chips in the gutters so every time it rains it is washing more onto the property. I did not expect it to be perfectly clean and the company I hired seems to think they went above and beyond in the cleaning. How much paint chips should I expect and what level of cleaning is usually done after exterior painting? It is unreasonable for me to think that the gutters should be cleared? I live in a 1930s house so although we did not test, some of the paint chips likely contain lead.

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1 Answer


How to quantify - maybe 1-3 chips per square foot would be excessive to my mind. A quality painter spreads tarps to catch the bulk of the chips - though a few will flutter down against the house or far enough out to fall clear of the tarp - but a good contractor will tarp first, then walk around afterwards with a shop vac to clean up the chips enough that they are not objectionable.

How did paint chips get in the gutter - unless they were painting a dormer or such - in which case they should have washed the roof off and washed out the gutters, catching the bulk of the chips in a bucket or such at the downspout.

Basically, the amount of chips should not be visually objectionable.

The not testing for lead means his work was illegal on that age house as all potentially lead-containing paint has to be tested before any work which might distribute it around - which might give you some ammo to put more pressure on him to clean up properly, via an implied threat to report him to the state department of environmental protection (or similar name, depending on state) and/or to the state contractor licensing board for not having properly abated the lead hazard.

If he refuses, you have the option, if really that much of a mess, of contacting his bonding company about calling his bond to get the cleanup completed properly - and getting a lead abatement contractor in to clean it up if worried about that.

And of course, once all is said and done, an appropriate Review on Angies List might be in order.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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