There’s nothing quite like getting your first home. It’s where you’ll make memories, form long-lasting bonds, and recharge after stressful situations. But did you know that your beautiful, tranquil home may actually be making you sick?
A surprisingly high number of homes still contain at least trace amounts of lead. Thought it was barred from sale in 1978, there are tons of older homes still on the market. If your home contains even trace amounts of lead paint, removal or basic reconstruction may be needed.
If your home has lead paint, the best thing you can do is call a professional to conduct a lead paint inspection. Read on to learn more about lead paint and whether a lead paint inspection is needed for your home.
If Lead Is Dangerous, Why Was It Used?
This is a fair question. After all, we now know that there are tons of harmful effects lead paint can have on our bodies. So why was it so prevalent before it was banned? Believe it or not, our answer takes us back to the days of the Romans.
Lead paint was used in everything from makeup to food. In general, it’s assumed that they used lead for similar reasons we did. That is to say, they used lead paint because it creates a beautiful, glossy effect.
Once more homes began popping up, builders needed to complete jobs faster and cheaper. And since lead paint dries faster than other types of paint, it became a way to increase productivity. It also proved to be more durable and was capable of withstanding weather damage, too. Between durability, low overhead cost, and a glossy look synonymous with the American Dream, lead paint became standard.
Lead paint was added to everything from cars to children’s toys, even to furniture and plumbing materials! It was nearly impossible to avoid. Of course, this was before anyone knew of the harmful effects lead paint could have on the human body.
The Dangers of Lead
Things took a turn for the worse, and quite suddenly. Children began getting sick. Some experienced fainting spells, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. While lead paint had its benefits, it was ultimately too harmful to continue using.
And it’s surprisingly easy to ingest lead, too. Since lead paint tends to peel off in “scales,” the dust and debris from the lead gets ingested into the human body. All it takes is a small amount of dust from a paint chip to feel the effects.
Here are just a few of the risks associated with lead ingestion in children:
- Mental problems
- Behavioral issues
- Kidney damage
- Decreased IQ
- Stunted physical and mental growth
- Abdominal pain
- Kidney pain
When you look at all of the effects, it’s astounding that the dangers of lead paint weren’t caught sooner. But the damage doesn’t stop there. Adults aren’t entirely safe from the harmful chemicals, either.
Here are some of the symptoms adults may experience after lead exposure:
- Trouble paying attention
- Fertility issues and sexual problems
- Joint pain
- Elevated blood pressure
- Nerve damage
As you can see, a lead paint inspection may be well worth it for your home and family. You may not even know your home has lead paint!
How to Tell If Your Home Needs a Lead Paint Inspection
It’s understandable at this point if you feel a bit concerned. How can you know if your home contains this harmful paint?
There are a few ways, actually. First, it’s worth noting that the sale of lead paint wasn’t banned until 1978. With hundreds of homes on the market every year, chances are you may end up purchasing an older home. This means your home may actually contain a fair bit of lead paint. It isn’t all bad news, however. Discovering whether you’ll need a lead paint inspection is quite simple.
All states are required by federal law to provide a disclaimer during the closing process. This disclosure is a simple document to let the new owners know whether their home contains lead. If you can’t remember, or purchased your home a while ago, try consulting the agency that helped with closing your home. They likely have the information on file. You can also call the Lead Hotline for the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD  for help.
This means that you’ll need this information if you’re selling your home, too. Upon reading this article, you may be concerned that your home may not sell if it has lead paint. On the contrary, it seems that most buyers feel indifferent to it.
How to Tell If Your Home Has Lead Paint
Luckily, determining whether or not your home has lead paint is quite easy. Aside from acquiring the aforementioned documents, lead paint has a few key visible differences. For instance, you may notice certain corners where your home isn’t painted. This is usually a giveaway that lead paint was used during the building and painting process.
You may also notice a specific type of deterioration. Lead paint tends to crack and peel in a way that other paints don’t. Known as “scaling” or “alligatoring” by some, this is the most telltale way of knowing whether a home has lead paint. You’ll notice small cracks in your paint as the paint begins to deteriorate.
Finally, you can always procure a home lead test kit for yourself. These tests are affordable and easy. All you have to do is dab a solution onto the test and place a bit on your wall. If the solution turns pink, your home contains lead.
Hiring a Professional for Lead Paint Inspection
If your test came back positive for lead, it may be necessary to call in a professional lead removal team. Professionals can handle and remove lead paint in a safe, easy way that won’t disturb your life.
These pros have equipment that isn’t easily accessible to the public, such as X-rays. Your technician will shine the X-ray onto a portion of your wall. If the X-ray doesn’t pass through, your home likely has lead paint.
If you’re concerned about your home and want to schedule a lead paint inspection, don’t wait! Contact us today and enjoy the satisfaction of a safe living environment.