Lead pipes and paint...

Hey everyone…I am about to rehab my first property and I would like to know what and how is a good approach to evaluating if a home has lead pipes and lead based paint that needs to be removed. That is my biggest concerns with rehabbing older homes and I’m sure many of you have ran into that situation and know what to look for. I appreciate all prompt responses! Thanks a lot.

Lead pipes are a problem…especially if they are being used as water supply (vis-à-vis waste disposal)…I would get someone familiar with lead pipe removal/abatement to give you a quote on that. As far as lead paint goes, just follow the guidelines and it’s not overly difficult…The EPA pamphlet that you get at every closing tells you what to do and how to do it. It’s basically “abate and encapsulate” – get rid of the loose, peeling, cracking paint (don’t sand it!) using the safety equipment noted and then prime it and paint it. You can buy cheap LBP tet kits at hardware and paint stores and homecenters.


Thanks Keith for your response. Although I will definitely take your advice for future deals, I think I may have confused my question. What I’m wanting to know is, is there a way to determine if a property has lead pipes and/or lead based paint on the walls if I’m unaware of the plumbing and paint before I take the deal? Is that included in the inspection when the inspector tours the property?

I think, as far as the inspection goes, lead pipes would be like aluminum wiring…they are relatively obvious to an inspector and I would think he would note that – I know mine would. This statement is predicated on the inspector having access to see the pipes.

Lead paint, less so. I would not let LBP make or break a deal. I go in with the mindset that most pre-1978 home probably do have some LBP and I work accordingly.


In some areas, homes built before 1978 are required to have the buyer sign a waiver about LBP even though the house may not have any LBP whatsoever.