Duct cleaning is often overlooked, but it can be an essential step in ensuring that any home is free of lead-based paint. Here are some things to keep in mind when testing for lead paint to ensure it is completely removed to make your living spaces safe:
Homes and apartments built before 1978 could potentially be contaminated with lead-based paint, which was used before the dangers of lead poisoning became common knowledge. Lead poisoning is a serious health risk, especially to young children.
Many people forget about duct cleaning when testing for and eliminating lead paint from their homes. Even breathing lead dust is a danger, which means that ducts have to be checked and cleaned in order for the purge to be complete. Ducts transport hot and cold air throughout homes. They work a bit like large pipes in the walls to carry air into every room. Air blows out through vents, but what goes out can also come in. Paint chips and paint dust may get inside those ducts, and that’s why cleaning them is so essential.
Testing for Lead Paint
Lead paint is not a serious danger when it’s intact. However, once it starts to peel and chip, it becomes a potential health hazard to everyone who is exposed to it. Many homes built prior to 1978 do not contain lead paint, but the risk is always there when it comes to older properties. The only way to be safe is to test thoroughly for lead paint and eliminate that danger if it is found to be present. Paint removal and full duct cleaning should follow any discovery of lead-based paint.
The safest and surest way to be certain that a home is free of lead paint is to have a professional inspection performed. Professional inspectors know where and how to check to find lead paint. They collect samples and use special equipment, such as X-ray machines and fluorescent lighting. Testing specialists will not provide duct cleaning; another professional company must complete this task.
Home inspections can be done by homeowners, but the EPA strongly advises a professional assessment. There are home testing kits that are available at hardware stores, but they don’t provide as much information as a professional inspection and will not provide a risk assessment. The EPA recommends LeadCheck, an affordable home testing kit, for those who choose this route.
After a professional inspection and risk assessment, talk to the inspector about your options for getting rid of lead paint in the home, and call a professional to have a thorough duct cleaning conducted. Remove and repaint as necessary. Lead paint is a serious health hazard, but with the proper precautions you can create a safe environment for a happy, healthy life.