Do I have lead paint in my home?

If your home was built before 1978, when it’s use was banned, chances are you have lead-based paint throughout your home.  You can purchase a simple test at any hardware store to chemically check the layers of paint in your home.

Will lead paint hurt me?

The primary risk of lead paint is ingestion of paint chips by small children.  These sweet-tasting paint chips can cause nervous system damage, learning disabilities and stunted growth.  If you have children or grandchildren under the age of 6 in your home regularly and are planning a renovation project, you should test your walls and talk to your contractor about different methods of abatement.

During a renovation, when paint is sanded or scraped, a fine dust of lead-based paint is created.  Proper precautions must be taken to avoid breathing this dust.  Serious birth defects can result if a pregnant woman inhales lead-based dust.

How do I get rid of lead paint?

The least expensive and simplest solution is to purchase an elastomeric coating that is applied like paint over all lead paint surfaces.  During a renovation project, you may wish to take the opportunity to apply fresh drywall over the existing walls, or tear down and replace all drywall and trim.  This can be a messy and involved process so it depends on the scope of your renovation.  The final option is physical removal through scraping and sanding with a HEPA filtered vacuum.

Who is trained to remove lead paint?

If you own an older home, have small children, or are pregnant, I’d suggest not taking on a DIY renovation!  Recent laws enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency require contractors disturbing more than six square feet of lead paint in pre-1978 construction take precautions to reduce the potential exposure associated with disturbing lead-based paint.  These laws require contractors to take EPA-approved training and be certified to perform renovations in homes built before 1978.