Owning an older home can carry a full set of advantages of charm and uniqueness, but it can bring disadvantages, too.
Old construction projects can contain dangerous materials that have since been found to carry adverse health risks. Asbestos is a grave example, but that might not be the only potential hazard lurking within the confines of your walls. Lead can possibly be covering your walls, fixtures, frames and doors.
Lead paint has been banned for more than four decades now, but many homes featured it before that time, especially before 1940. No matter how much it gets covered up, it can pose a threat to you and your family. If you’re concerned about potential exposure, we have some tips and advice for conducting your lead paint test.
Why Is Having Lead Paint a Risk?
Lead can act as a cumulative toxicant, building up in the brain, kidneys, liver and bones with prolonged exposure. Lead poisoning can cause severe symptoms, like convulsions and coma, due to how it attacks the nervous system.
These problems can be especially devastating to children and pregnant women. Children can’t handle nearly as much as adults, and the aftereffects can include a series of mental disorders — operational and behavioral — and hypertension. Lead can also affect a woman’s unborn fetus, potentially leading to developmental problems and even miscarriage.
You cannot mess around with lead paint if you suspect that your home might have it somewhere.
What Do You Need to Look for When Conducting a Lead Paint Test?
While it’s more challenging to detect lead paint through fresh layers of new paint, exposed layers will offer distinct clues. Namely, lead paint will crack into scaly, geometric patterns that can break off in fractured chunks. If you notice anything that looks like that, you should test it immediately. Lead paint also rubs off with a chalky substance that’s atypical of other paint types.
Luckily, you can choose between several at-home testing kits from reputable manufacturers, like 3M and Klean Strip. These color-changing kits will often show results within a minute, and the EPA rates them both to have up to 95 percent accuracy.
If any of the at-home tests are positive or if you suspect you will need a more comprehensive analysis, there are environmental assessors and labs that will take samples and test them for you. At Haven Property Solutions, we are EPA-certified and work closely with these professionals and their findings to help combat your issues.
How Can You Fix It?
If you do indeed test positive for lead, keep calm. You’ll need to assess your situation by noting the scope and intensity carefully. If you have young children under the age of six, it won’t hurt to have their levels tested.
You can handle this kind of project on your own, but it will require high-quality equipment and a thorough understanding of your local area’s lead-removal laws. You’ll need full body coverage, including goggles and a respirator, and you’ll need to cover as much of the surrounding area as you can. You’ll also need a wet sander to contain dust, as well as a HEPA vacuum to safely suck up stray paint chips and debris.
Contact Haven Property Solutions to Ensure Proper Lead Paint Abatement
If you’d feel more comfortable with professionals handling this task, Haven is the company for you. Our trained, certified technicians will handle lead paint removal for residential and professional clients throughout New York’s Hudson Valley. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!