Signs To Look For If Your Home Has Lead Paint And How To Prevent It From Causing Serious Problems

Signs To Look For If Your Home Has Lead Paint And How To Prevent It From Causing Serious Problems

As a homeowner, one of the things that you should pay attention to is the paint, especially if you are staying in an older home. Lead paint was used as an ingredient for many homes before scientists discovered that lead could cause a serious number of health problems.

How Lead May Enter Your Home

Older Homes

Lead paint is present in millions of homes. It may be hidden under a new set of paint. If the paint starts to deteriorate, it can cause problems. Pay attention to any peeling or chipping on windows, stairs, and door frames.


Lead may be present in household dust. Lead can infiltrate dust through the process of you doing common home repair activities around the home. Lead dust can form when the paint is sanded, scraped, or heated during home repair activities. Lead dust can re-enter the air as the home is swept or vacuumed.

Your Yard

If the paint gets into the soil outside your home, it can contaminate it. Check your fence and your porch to see if there is any lead based paint in the area that someone can track into the home. Make sure that you have doormats inside and outside your home, so that you can take your shoes off instead of walking around in them. Make sure that you wash your hands whenever you come inside from the outdoors.


Lead may be found in painted toys or jewelry. Food that is stored in crystal or porcelain items may become contaminated. Pay attention to your plumbing products, as materials like fixtures and pipes that contain lead may erode over time.


The corrosion of plumbing materials can cause lead to contaminate your drinking water. Water that has low mineral content or high acidity is especially at risk. To help prevent the water from becoming contaminated, The Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to further reduce the allowed amount of lead content in pipes and plumbing fittings. The Lead and Copper Rule requires corrosion control treatment to help stop lead from contaminating drinking water. The rule is designed to help make water less corrosive to the materials that it comes into contact with.

Testing For Lead Paint

You can purchase a paint testing kit from your local hardware store. To start the test, you can simply rub a solution on the wall. If the solution turns pink, the wall may contain lead. You may need to contact an inspector to properly perform the test. An inspector can use an X-ray to look through the paint layers. If the X-ray can’t pass through to the base wood of the wall, then lead may be present.

How To Prevent A Lead Outbreak In Your Home

Check your home for any chipping or peeling. Check all of the pointed areas that rub together or may get worn out over time, including doors and windows. Be sure to wipe down flat surfaces with a damp paper towel. Mop the floors every week to help control dust around the home.

Test Your Home’s Drinking Water

Testing your home’s drinking water is the only way to see if lead is present in the home. You can purchase a testing kit at a home improvement store. Once you have collected samples, you can send them to a laboratory so that they can be analyzed. In the event that your water becomes contaminated with lead, flush your pipes before you drink by running the water until it becomes cold. Make sure that you are primarily using cold water when you cook meals.

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