Fire Escape Repairsand Repainting go hand in hand, as repairs are made, connections are separated on the fire escape system.
Rust weakens structural integrity – removal of interior and exterior rust is an important maintenance of a fire escape’s structural integrity. If a connection shows no sign of rust or rusty tears/streaks then separation of the connection is not needed so the connection can be sealed (Encapsulation Method),as is, with Sealant such as 35-50 year latex silicone or other approved sealant for metal.
If a connection shows rust then the connection must be “Safely separated by professional” and rust removed from interior and exterior surfaces by wire brushing the metal until smooth. The area is then spot primed and when connection is reassembled, sealed with sealant. Then the entire fire escape shall be spot primed before a full coat of paint is applied to meet the maintenance requirement of the Fire Escape Code. For better results the Fire Escape can be fully primed and have 2 top coats applied.
The EPA has as of 2010 presumed that all Fire Escape Systems older than 2007 have LEAD Paint. Unless you have evidence from a Lead Inspector that there is NO LEAD or Low LEAD, anyone scraping and painting the fire escape system must be a Licensed Renovator and the Firm must be registered with the EPA.
Lead Paint – EPA guidelines: All workers wear white cover alls and lead safety equipment. All work done by hand (no power tools) and chips are collected on plastic tarp. The entire fire escape system is painted by hand with rollers and paint brushes.
Some property owners want the fire escape fully wire brushed or sand blasted down to white metal before priming and painting. This can be done but the cost associated with the EPA Lead Guidelines enforced on most fire escapes, it is usually cheaper to replace the entire fire escape system.
To achieve a “Ten Year Warranty” all rust must be removed from fire escape and then sealed by encapsulation method.