Lead paint is no longer widely used in America, but older homes may still have used it, which can break down and cause lead poisoning and toxicity in both adults and children. If you are interested in purchasing a home that was built before the 1970’s and you have reason to believe lead paint may be present, lead paint testing is an essential home inspection step.
Additionally, if you have a child or are going to have a child, you may also want to consider having lead paint testing performed. Lead paint exposure can be highly toxic in children.
How Do I Know If My Home Needs To Be Tested?
Primarily, your need for lead paint testing depends on the age of your home. The EPA estimates that 24% of homes built between 1960-1977 contain lead paint. 69% of homes built between 1940-1959 use lead paint, and more than 87% of homes built before 1940 contain lead paint.
You should test for lead if your home was built in these time periods, and if you have noticed deteriorating paint that is chipping, damaged, damp, peeling, or becoming “chalky.”
Lead testing should also be conducted before you repaint, renovate or remodel your home. While lead paint is relatively harmless when undisturbed, it can be dangerous when it is peeled or scraped away.