If your house was built before 1978 and you are doing renovations, you must work with a licensed contractor to test for lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes before it was banned by the EPA in 1978. If your home was built before 1978, you may have lead-based paint buried under layers of paint, siding or shingles.
Children are at greater risk if exposed to lead. It’s highly toxic and can affect major organs and in very high levels and rare circumstances lead to death. Children are exposed to lead by eating paint chips or through dust of disturbed paint.
I want to share the top 5 questions I receive about lead-based paint.
Does this mean you should forget about your project altogether for fear of disturbing lead-based paint?
The good news is many pre-1978 homes don’t have any lead-based paint so this should not be a consideration in whether to move forward with desired remodeling plans.
Does this mean your renovation cost will go up significantly to test according to and comply with EPA standards?
There is a fee for testing by a certified inspector and there is a removal cost if lead-based paint is found. The financial ramifications can be between a couple hundred and a couple thousand dollars. However, this should not keep you from renovating or disturbing paint inside or outside your home. I recently worked with a family in Overland Park. After performing testing, there was no lead-based paint and we were able to continue building as planned.
Can any builder test my home for lead-based paint?
No. You will need to work with a builder or contractor that’s trained and certified to work with lead-based paint. That’s why it’s best to choose a lead-based paint certified contractor when doing renovations on a pre-1978 home.
If I have lead-based paint inside my home, is it a guarantee that I have it outside my home as well?
The good news is that having interior lead-based paint does not mean you have exterior lead-based paint.
What’s involved in removing lead-based paint if it’s found?
The certified contractor must follow a specific regiment including area containment, protective clothing and face covering, proper clean up, proper disposal and re-testing. If your building contractor is certified to work with lead-based paint, then you don’t need to hire a second professional for this.