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Renovation work underway at New Point Light

A crew was at New Point Comfort Lighthouse on Friday testing patches of the paint for lead to determine which chemicals will work best for paint removal. Mathews County Planning and Zoning Director Thomas Jenkins paid a visit to the site to interview workers for labor compliance, and the Gazette-Journal rode along.

Project superintendent David Mayhew with First Class Contracting said that, while not all of the paint that remains on the structure contains lead, his company is treating it all as if it did contain the toxic substance.“We err on the side of caution,” he said.

Mayhew said the team had determined that dry ice blasting will be the best technique for removing the paint. With the technique, he explained, small pellets of dry ice, frozen to 107 degrees below zero, will be shot at the painted surface, creating a thermal reaction that releases the adhesion between the paint and the surface of the sandstone. Because dry ice is carbon dioxide, the pellets will vaporize afterw...

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