Lead-Based Paint Testing
Alban’s full-time lead-based paint inspection division is fully accredited in numerous jurisdictions to perform both per-acquisition lead-based paint risk assessments and per-occupancy rental property inspections. Our inspectors are qualified to utilize our hand-held nuclear x-ray equipment to determine the presence of lead-based paint and/or send samples to a nationally accredited laboratory to determine the presence of lead-based paint health hazards.
I. Pre-Settlement Lead-Based Paint Assessments for Buyers
For home buyers, Federal law requires that for any home built prior to 1978, your sales agreement and attachments will contain lead-based paint information from the home seller.
(i) The EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards titled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
(ii) Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building. For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
(iii) An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.
(iv) A 10-day period to conduct an inspection to determine the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Home buyers may waive this inspection opportunity. If you have a concern about possible lead-based paint, then get a lead inspection from a certified inspector before buying.
II. Pre-occupancy Rental Property Inspections
Renters have important rights under Federal regulations to know about whether lead is present — before signing a lease. The documentation is similar to information received by a home buyer described above.
Maryland law requires all multi-family and single family rental dwellings built before 1978 to be tested for lead paint prior to occupancy and the tenant will receive a copy of the inspection report.
Alban Inspections takes care of all your lead-based paint inspection needs. When you contact our office, your request for service will be handled promptly and at a fair and competitive price. Alban is qualified to inspect properties in Maryland and District of Columbia. Our accredited lead inspectors use state-of-the-art equipment to provide:
- Lead Risk Assessments
- Visual Compliance Inspections
- Lead Free Certification
- Consultation Services
- Lead Dust Pre-Occupancy Testing
- Clearing House for Information
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Lead Paint Inspection and Risk Assessment Needs
III. Lead-Based Paint Information
Ninety-five percent of housing units built in Maryland before 1978 contain, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment. Is your new home one of the many? Lead cannot be seen or smelled. Despite this, it can create a range of serious health issues if left untreated in the home including lethargy, frequent headaches, delayed mental and physical developments, and abdominal pain.
Lead paint is most hazardous when it is deteriorating, such as chipping, flaking or chalking. It can also be dangerous when maintenance or remodeling causes lead dust or debris to surface.
Maryland law requires all multi-family and single-family rental dwellings built before 1978 to be tested for lead paint. In addition, federal law requires the disclosure of lead-based paint in all properties sold or leased.
Alban Inspections is lead-based paint inspection qualified, accredited in lead dust per-occupancy testing, visual compliance inspections and lead risk assessments.
Schedule an assessment today to learn more.
IV. How to Remove Lead Paint
Lead paint can be a serious health hazard for homeowners, especially those with children. It’s is the leading cause of lead poisoning in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic. Yet, many American homes are still covered in the poisonous material. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that more than 37 million houses have lead paint.
If you suspect that your home is one of them, you should take steps to reduce or eliminate the lead hazard it represents. To get started, review these important tips:
Alban’s X-ray Fluorescence Guns
Find Hidden Lead-Based Paint
V. Schedule Lead Paint Testing
Before you begin contacting contractors or gathering supplies for a do-it-yourself job, call up a local home inspection company and schedule lead paint testing. The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978. If your home was constructed prior to this embargo, there’s a good chance it will test positive. You can perform the assessment on your own with a store-bought kit sanctioned by the Environment Protection Agency. However, its better if you leave this duty to professionals, as simply performing such a test can be dangerous, Better Homes and Gardens reported.
VI. Try the Do-It-Yourself Method
When it comes to actually executing your lead paint-removal project, you have three options: encapsulation, enclosure or removal. The first method involves covering a preexisting lead-painted surface with water-tight sealant. This is by far the most cost-effective solution, as encapsulation mixes roll-on like paint and cost about $35 per gallon, the National Association of Realtors reported. Enclosure is a more elaborate process in which lead-laden walls are enclosed by brand new drywall or trim is covered with aluminum sheeting. With removal, you’ll be required to actually get rid of your lead paint and swap if for a healthy alternative. Though many consider this to be the ideal solution, removal is an involved process that requires planning and special equipment.
When securely attached to the wall, lead paint poses few problems. However, if disturbed, the stuff gives off toxic dust. If inhaled or ingested through hand-to-mouth activity, the dust can cause lead poisoning in adults and children. Obviously, if you plan to remove the lead paint from your walls on your own, you must prepare for the clouds
of harmful debris that will likely fill your home. Before beginning your lead paint-removal project, be sure to pick up the proper equipment.
First, remove everything in the vicinity of the painted area, including clothing, decorative fixtures, food and furniture. Anything you can’t remove should be securely wrapped in plastic. Basically, there can be no crevices in which toxic lead-paint dust can linger, according to the EPA. If you’re taking up a large amount of lead-based paint at one time, you might even need to build a makeshift airlock. Again, you can use plastic sheets to do this.
Next, you should acquire some key protective gear. A disposable respirator will be necessary. You want to purchase an N-100 model equipped with a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health-certified, high-efficiency particulate air filter. Goggles and gloves are also must-haves.
Of course, you’ll need tools for taking up the paint. Wet sanding is commonly used technique. You can use a heat gun or hand scraper as well. But no matter which method you choose, be sure to properly prepare your home. Removing lead paint is dangerous work. Actually, Alban does not recommend DIY for the average homeowner when it comes to dealing with lead-based paint.
Call a Contractor
If you live in a state that bans individuals without lead poisoning training from undertaking lead abatement projects or simply aren’t interested in doing the work yourself, calling in a contractor is your only other option. Most charge between $8 and $15 per square foot for lead paint removal. Just be sure that the contractor you ultimately hire has been certified through the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program. If you are hiring a contractor to work on your investment property, the contractor must be certified by the Maryland Department of the Environment, Lead Paint Division.