According to the EPA, only houses built BEFORE 1978 are considered target housing for Lead Based Paint. However, we do see older, salvaged or antique components used in newer homes as well as decorative pieces that contain lead-based paint.
While most homes built before 1978 do contain Lead Based Paint, the only way to know for sure is to have testing done.
There are test kits that you can buy to help indicate if there is lead present on a painted surface, but the only way to know how much lead is there (i.e. enough to be considered poisonous), is to have XRF testing done by a certified Risk Assessor.
Testing can range from $440 - $1400 dollars depending on the size of the house and scope of testing required.
The testing process can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 4 hours depending on the size of the house and the scope of the testing.
Please ensure any animals that might try to escape during testing or are aggressive to strangers are put in a secure place before the assessor’s arrival. And if there are any areas in particular that you wish to have tested, please make sure you have a clear path to those spaces and that you let the assessor know you'd like them tested.
You do not need to leave while testing is done. The testing can be educational, and homeowners are encouraged to be present and ask questions while the testing is done.
No. The testing is done with specialized equipment (an XRF device) that is simply pressed against the surface to be tested and a reading is taken. There is no surface disruption necessary and no paint chip samples taken.
An XRF or X-Ray Fluorescence device is a piece of equipment specially designed for the purpose of measuring and recording the levels of lead in a painted surface.
Extremely. This testing method is examined and approved by the federal government Housing & Urban Development authority for accuracy and reliability.
Of course. If a homeowner is present, they can receive verbal results as they come in. Everyone will get a copy of the report showing locations and results for all readings taken during the test. Dust wipe samples are delivered with the report as they must be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
That depends. Having lead in your paint doesn't mean you are necessarily in danger of being poisoned by it. In order for a surface with lead-based paint to be considered a hazard, it also has to be in "deteriorated" condition. This means that the paint covering the surface is peeling, chipping or in some way able to allow access to painted layers underneath it or to chips that can be ingested.
You can just address the areas that are positive and in deteriorated condition. This can be as simple as spot painting to cover areas that are chipped or to help areas with peeling paint stay attached to the surface.
Yes! You can do whatever you want in your own home. However, someone who has not had the training to work with lead-based paint and the methods used to clean it up, may run the risk of making an issue worse by spreading the dust around to other parts of the house by traditional cleaning methods.
You don't have to do anything if you don't want to. However, we do recommend having clearance testing done to ensure that lead dust has not been left behind from the work.
Lead dust can be found anywhere. It is caused by degrading lead-based paint and can be distributed throughout a home by foot traffic, pet paws and heating system ductwork, among other ways.
While lead in paint is the major concern for older housing, you can also find lead (mostly from chipping paint) in the soil around the house (dripline) and soil in areas of yards and gardens. Older homes with outdated water service can also have lead supply lines as well as lead in water supply fittings.
If you had a full house "survey" done, meaning that all rooms were tested, you don't have to do anything more. It is recommended that you have any components that are uncovered due to renovation tested if they weren't able to be tested the first time. It can also be beneficial to have documentation of any lead components that are removed from the home during renovation. This can be a great selling point to a future owner.