Testing for Lead-Based Paint
Lead paint is not an issue in newer homes. However, if your house was built before 1978, the chances are pretty good the paint contains lead. A home with lead-based paint is hard on the home owner's pocketbook.
The problem with having lead paint in older homes is if you need to do repairs, remove wallpaper, or repaint your home, lead paint is considered a toxin that is regulated by the federal government. Expensive precautions need to be taken to remove the lead paint before improvements are made to the home.
Homes Built Before 1978
When was lead paint banned?
Lead poisoning in paint is not an issue in newer homes because any home built before 1978 contains lead. Now, don’t freak out and think all is doomed, and you need to pay out $10,000 for a HAZMAT crew to clean up your poisoning paint.
My house built, in 1954, was in desperate need of a new coat of paint.
I asked two professional painters to take a look at my house and let me know how much it would cost to paint the house. The first painter said my house most likely had lead in its paint and needed the lead paint test. He had a company he used, and the cost was around $175. The next painter was even worse. The next painter's estimate was even worse. He scared me to death with a $10,000 clean-up bill before my house will ever see new paint. The painter left with the bad news, and my husband and I looked at each other and started arguing about money problems.
Pointing fingers at each other and finding fault that we’re not millionaires. We acted crazy, and I realized the painter's information is what upset my husband and me. I decided to look at the situation myself, which saved us thousands of dollars.
Lead Paint Testing Kit
So, I took a deep breath and thought to myself determinedly, “I am going to research this issue with lead paint in older homes. There has to be an alternative.”
I needed to know does my home have lead in its paint. I didn't have to spend a lot of money all the better for all of us. With that, I did my research and discovered a lead testing kit at Home Depot for only $10.00. It is called and comes in 2 swabs or 8 swabs packages. The kit is easy to use. If you are not sure how to use it when you bring it home, Home Depot has a video on their website on how to use the kit. The manufacturer of the test kit produced the video. 3M Instant Lead Check Test
I bought the two swabs kit for $10.00 because that is the only size Home Depot had available at the time of purchase. Besides, I figured if one or two areas are hot (lead in paint), no need to test other areas. I did the math. I am saving money if neither area comes up hot. Then, I will decide if I should test other areas.
How to Use a Testing Kit
"We still have children suffering from lead's effects, but at least kids no longer convulse and die. If the New York City Board of Health had not banned the sale of lead paint in 1959, we would have experienced more generations of children with lead-caused severe brain damage."— The Alantic "Why It Took Decades of Blaming Parents Before We Banned Lead Paint"
What Do You Think
Do you feel confident in using over the counter lead testing kits?
No Lead Paint
I picked to areas to test. The areas had chipped paint around the exterior. The test results were negative, no lead. I was happy - it put a smile on my face. But, I decided to get another test kit and check two other areas around the exterior of the house. If they proved negative like the first two spots, I know we are relatively safe to prep and paint our home.
I went to our neighborhood hardware store, Hollywood Hardware, and purchased a different lead testing kit, . Because the store is closer to my home, I thought it was a good idea to try a different test to make sure my house is lead-free. The kit offers four tests for $13.00. Not a bad price compared to the 3M test kit. First Alert Lead Testing Kit
Removed Poisoning Paint
I tested two separate areas and, again, no lead. After that, I felt like I didn't need to test any other exterior areas.
I find it hard to believe that there is no lead paint on the exterior of my home. One of the prior owners most likely removed the lead paint.
Test is a Lesson Learned
It was a great relief for my husband and me not to have lead paint in our 1954 home. I am sure if I hadn't investigated the matter on my own, the situation would have been more expensive.
I still cannot believe what the one painter tried to scam us for thousands of dollars. He could have told us about the over the counter tests. But, I know he had dollar signs in his eyes and wasn't thinking about helping us.
I hope this is helpful to you and anyone you know who needs to check for the lead around a house, car, or wherever. These tests are ideal and very helpful.
- Why It Took Decades of Blaming Parents Before We Banned Lead Paint - The Atlantic
As with soda, demanding that all mechanisms of harm be completely understood before regulations are put in place is frightening.
© 2016 Kenna McHugh