based paint on the plaster walls. My wife and I are buying this home and we know nothing about dealing with the lead paint problems…does anyone know what to do? Usually I figure these things out…but so far you guys on reiclub.com have never been wrong…so what do we do?
how do KNOW it has lead? I bet on the disclosure, the seller check “no knowledge of lead paint”. The fact is almost nobody test to actually see if it is there.(but it probably is).
Its not a big deal unless you have severe flaking (do not eat the flake, it does not taste like chicken ;D). You just need to excercise some care if you do work in the house not to grind or snad the paint (thus creat dust in the air that you can breathe in).
Otherwise, just paint over it (probably already buried under many layers of non-lead paint anyways).
Enjoy your new home!
We too bought a house from around 1880 and believed we had lead paint due to the extreme flaking. We did not test for it but we did scrape the walls and then patched the flaked areas. If you scrape it just be sure to clean it up right away. Do not allow it to come in contact with water because it will get into the city water supply and that is really all you need to worry about ( this is incase the paint is exterior as well ).
Go to the source, in this case the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), responsible for such matters:
If you look at the bottom right of the linked page, you will see “Basic Information”…the links in htat block will answer all (or most) of your questions definitively.
The big lead risk is more to children than adults…aak gives you good guidance, “do not eat the flake, it does not taste like chicken” although I’m not sure how he knows that (or maybe I do…)
How can you tell if a house has lead based paint. The house I am buying was built in 1949.
If you have a house built prior to 1978 it will almost always have lead based paint. But, as aak5454 mentioned, it’s probably buried under several layers of paint already.
Most paint stores/Home Depot/Lowes have a lead paint testing stick that you can buy…it’s cheap and realtively reliable…
Depending on the state laws, most people don’t bother to test for lead paint because once you know it’s lead paint, you’ve got to have it removed properly otherwise you’d get in trouble for illegal de-leading. On the other hand if you don’t know it’s lead paint, then you can do “renovations” and that’s completely legal.
Painting over lead paint doesn’t really cure the problem unless you use a lead paint sealant, but I’m told it’s a horrible paint as the woodwork doesn’t look right afterwards. Best to just remove the wood trim or sheetrock over the lead paint.
Some states have very restritive lead paint laws and others are pretty lax. Hopefully you’re in a state that’s easier about it.
As for the city water supply, not really sure if there’s any bearing on that. In the moderate risk deleading course I took, you’re normally supposed to spray the area you’re working with a mist bottle of water to keep the dust down. That’s to keep the lead dust out of the air where you can breath it in. Lead paint is really fine if it’s intact. When people work on removing it, that’s when it can get dangerous.