Does My House Have Lead-Based Paint?

orange county real estate lead based paint disclosure risk assessment what to do with lead based paint

Date: May 25, 2017

posted by Jaleesa / Comments: No Comments / Tags: , , , ,

You’ve fallen in love with a gorgeous older home built before 1978. You’re in escrow and realize your dream house may have lead-based paint. Now what?

All Orange County homes have the potential for lead contamination. Lead is in the air, falls to the ground, accumulates, and can be carried into the house on clothing, tools, shoes, pets, and the like. Although not a part of a home’s structure, many people are exposed to lead in food that comes from lead glazes on ceramics, pottery and china, or liquids stored in crystal decanters. However, the greatest danger of exposure to lead in most homes comes from the following:

• Lead paint problems in houses constructed prior to 1978
• Lead in the potable water supply
• Lead in the air which falls onto a property
• Lead in products brought into the house

Because of the serious effects of lead on health, all states have created tough lead laws based on federal legislation mandated by Congress. California requires the sellers or landlord of a home to provide disclosures and booklets including:

• A lead based paint disclosure or any known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazard in any home built prior to 1978.
• A federally approved lead-based paint hazard and information pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home”.

Before you finalize your purchase or lease you will be able to find out whether or not your new home is at risk.

Are you worried about whether your home has lead or lead-based paint? The only way you’ll be able to know is with an inspection. There are three types of inspection:

• Lead-based paint inspection
• Risk Assessment (The assessment locates and tests deteriorating paint in your home, household dust, and soil in outside play areas. A risk assessment report will tell you where lead hazards exist in your house and indicate ways to correct them. Because not all surfaces are tested, a negative report doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no lead-based paint in the house. Some homeowners choose to have a paint inspection and a risk assessment.)
• A hazard screen is similar to a risk assessment, but not as extensive. It’s usually done for homes with a lower risk of lead hazard.

If tests show lead paint inside or outside your home, there are temporary measures you can take to reduce or control the hazard.

For smaller areas

• Scrape or sand painted surfaces to remove the lead-based paint that is deteriorating.
• Keep play areas clean and clean up paint chips instantly.
• Don’t let children chew on painted surfaces.
• Clean dust off of window sills and other surfaces on a regular basis, using a sponge, mop, or paper towels with warm water. Be sure to thoroughly rinse mop heads and sponges after cleaning.
• Remove your shoes when you enter your home so you don’t track in lead from the soil.
• If you rent, tell the landlord about the results of the test and the fact that there is peeling or chipping paint.

For larger areas

The following are recommended options for correcting lead-based paint problems on large areas:

• Replacement of the entire surface
• Enclosure or Encapsulation
• Off-site chemical stripping
• Paint removal on-site
• If concentrations of lead are found to exist in a home’s potable water supply system, replacement of the entire system is usually unnecessary and too costly. A simple and often effective solution is to let the water run for about a minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking. This will remove
water from the system that has been in the system long enough for it to absorb lead. Since hot water is
more likely to pick up lead from the solder than cold water, never use water from the hot water tap
for drinking or cooking.

To completely remove lead paint hazards and protect your family’s health, you need to hire a certified lead abatement contractor. Permanently removing lead’s hazards then requires either removing the paint or sealing or enclosing it with special materials. A certified contractor will take precautions to keep the dust and lead paint chips contained until all surfaces can be cleaned and the lead removed. You can contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD for help in locating certified lead professionals. For more information visit the EPA website on Lead.

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About Jaleesa Peluso, Orange County Realtor & Certified International Property Specialist
Between the Orange County Canyons to the Coast, Jaleesa and her team successfully connect buyers and sellers & landlords and tenants. Thinking of leasing, buying or selling your home? Call us now at (949)395-0960!

While the information provided may be reliable it cannot be guaranteed. Rules and Regulations may change without notice. We recommend getting your home tested by a professional and contacting a certified lead abatement contractor if you think your home contains lead contamination.