Living with Lead Based Paint
(Part 2 of Our Lead Series)
If your home was built before 1978, it is likely that you are living with lead based paint. Most homes of that era or earlier have some form of lead based paint contamination. Lead based paint becomes dangerous if it enters the body. Not planning on eating paint chips? in fact, as old paint chips and flakes in produced dust. This dust can be accidentally introduced to body by consumption or just breathing it in.
This lead dust is not only the result of deteriorating interior paint. It can come form exterior sources as well. Exterior paint deterioration may not be the only culprit. Pollution and industrial contamination can cause high lead amounts in soil. We can track this soil into our homes and accidentally contaminate our living space.
So how do you prevent contamination?
- Make sure your paint is good shape. Keeping up maintenance can ensure that your old paint does not chip, crack, or peel. This maintenance not only includes painting, but also refers to keeping caulk fresh and preventing moisture from affecting the building.
- Wipe down flat surfaces like window sills weekly with a damp paper towel and then throw that towel way..
- Vacuum carpet and hard surfaces to help remove dust.
- Use Vacuums with HEPA filters.
- Mop hard surfaced floors using a damp moth weekly to control dust.
- Avoid using scouring pads or abrasive cleaners and walls, ceilings, or floors. These can create more dust issues.
- Avoid dry sweeping dust and debris or the shaking and beating of rugs.
- Young children may put anything into their mouths. So surfaces that children have access to and get a lot of wear and tear need to be a focus of prevention. Areas such as windows and window sills, baseboards, doors, and door frames, as well as stairs, railings, and banisters must be checked regularly for chipping and peeling paint and managed accordingly.
- Older homes may have exposure in their plumbing, since homes had service lines and solder that was made of lead. These items were commonly used before 1986. To find local contact information for testing you water for lead you can call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.
- If you are having any renovations or repairs done make sure that the firm you use is an EPA Lead Safe Certified Firm.
Leasing and Selling
Remember if selling or leasing a home that was built before 1978 federal law requires that you provide the future occupants with a standard EPA approved document on lead paint hazards. In addition, landlords most provide any known information concerning lead-based paint pertaining to that particular building and a lead disclosure must be attached or inserted into the lease.
Agents are required to inform the sellers of their obligations to disclose. Agents are responsible if their seller does not comply unless specific information was not disclosed to the agent. A Lead Warning Statement must be attached or included in the contract. In addition, the seller must provide a 10-day assessment period to inspect and ascertain and risks of lead-based paint. The buyer can waive this inspection period.
Peerless Can Help
Peerless is proud to be a Lead Safe Certified Firm. You can rest assured that any work that Peerless performs on your property will conform to the standards of lead-safe work practices.