A Quick Guide to Lead Paint Testing
How old is your home? Was it built before 1978? If so, there’s a chance that the paint in or on your home may have lead in it. Lead paint was banned by the U.S. federal government in 1978, and some states banned it before then, so there’s a chance that you’re safe. If you aren’t sure, however, it’s a good idea to have the paint in your home tested.
The Dangers of Lead Paint
While it certainly has its uses, lead can be incredibly dangerous, especially to young children. It doesn’t take much to start causing a problem either. Lead can cause behavior and learning problems, anemia, hearing problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, and slowed growth in children. If that’s not serious enough, it can cause seizures, coma, and even death if ingested. Think about how many things babies and toddlers put their mouths on. It’s really not that much of a stretch to think that they might ingest it if it’s in your paint.
The Testing Process
You can test your paint for lead by using DIY home kits, or you can call us to handle it for you. Kits are often available in hardware and paint stores, so you should be able to get your hands on one easily enough. Testing for lead paint usually involves cutting through all the layers of paint in the section you want to test and swabbing it. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions on the kit. The swab should change colors if your paint has lead in it. It’s important to note that some kits may give false positives for certain colors of paint. Make sure you have the right kit for the paint you intend to test, bearing in mind that the color of the paint underneath the uppermost layer can also impact the results.
If your test is negative, you should be good to go. It doesn’t hurt to double check your results, and you can always hire a professional to get a second opinion. We’re happy to help! If your test comes back positive, you’ll likely need to have the paint professionally removed. This isn’t something you should ever DIY. Scraping and sanding lead paint can release the lead into the air, threatening your health. Make sure the lead paint is addressed immediately, and especially before tackling any other home improvement projects.
Unless you’re entirely positive that your home’s paint doesn’t contain lead, it’s a good idea to have it tested if it was built prior to 1978. The risks of exposure to the lead in the paint just aren’t worth it. The test will give you a direction to go in, whether you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you don’t have lead paint or you need to take further steps.
Ready to have your home tested for lead paint? Contact us today to Get a Free Quote.