I have tested the paint on our house and it contains lead. My issue is I want to replace the wood weather boards which are flaking badly with vinyl siding. Should I encapsulate the lead paint in the new vinyl siding or should I have a contractor remove the boards with the paint on them. What are the merits either way. I cannot get any sense out the the government website or by calling them.Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Lead Paint
Like asbestos, lead left encapsulated and undisturbed presents no hazard. Indeed, you would probably create more free lead in the process of trying to remove it!
Re: Lead Paint
In addition to what ordjen said, vinyl siding IS NOT waterproof, it only sheds water, which means that you want the existing siding intact and weather resistant if you're going to use a topical product like vinyl or aluminum siding.
The difference between water proof and shedding water is this. Water proof means that water cannot enter the structure, period! Most conventional sidings are considered waterproof because without extreme circumstances, it keeps water out. Vinyl and aluminum siding, on the other hand, are only designed to shed water that lands on the surface and drops off. If water hits from a side or upwards angle, it will easily penetrate behind the siding and caus damage to the substrate.
The last thing I'll say on the subject is that while vinyl siding might look relatively good when first installed, it doesn't stay that way for long, and if it's damaged in any way - a very common occurance - you'll have no recourse because there will be no replacement materials available due to the fact that the product style and dimension changes faster than you can write the check to pay for it. A vinyl sided home also has less value come resale time than a conventionally sided home. IMHO, you're much better off to deal with your existing siding than to cover it up with something that will only promote the degradation of your home.
Re: Lead Paint
Vinyl siding seems to be more accepted in some parts of the country than in others. Back in the Chicago area, it was used commonly, but here in the North-West it is not used much.
I would concur with Spruce that vinyl can be damaged, both by extreme cold and heat. My brother put holes in his vinyl siding when his snow blower sent rocks flying into the very cold and brittle siding.
I have seen documention of reflective heat from neighboring LOW-E windows actually caused the vinyl to permanently distort. Vinyl expands greatly when heated. It is imperative that the vinyl not be nailed down too hard and the nails put into the center of the nailing slot, otherwise it will buckle outward.
Given my choice between aluminum or vinyl, I would go with aluminum. Aluminum will dent, but will not break and expands less than vinyl.
When either vinyl or aluminum is installed, a rain-screen such as tyvek or fan-fold styropor sheeting is usually placed underneath.
If you go with either aluminum or vinyl, I would make sure to get an extra package of the siding just in case future repairs are needed.
I personally have Hardi-Plank on my house here in Portland. So far, after 11 years it is holding up great. It holds paint extremely well, does not burn, is dimensionally stable and termites don't like it.