Lead is a naturally-occurring element that has been used in industrial applications for decades. In some ways, it’s helpful. But overexposure to lead can be toxic to animals and humans – especially small children. This is why lead renovation is essential in any property containing lead-based materials.
Where is Lead?
Lead naturally occurs in small amounts in soil, air, and water. Normally, these natural amounts of lead aren’t problematic. It’s when lead is used in more concentrated quantities that it becomes problematic.
Lead has been used over the years in ceramics, pipes, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and even cosmetics. Its most common household application before 1978 was in lead paint. In fact, many homes built before this time still have lead paint – often buried under layers of more modern paint, and sometimes well-preserved in window trim and other areas.
When is Lead Dangerous?
Lead exposure happens most often in two cases: when lead paint is wearing out, and during renovation and remodeling.
In good condition, lead-painted surfaces are not risky at all. As long as lead paint isn’t chipping or wearing into dust, it’s not problematic. In fact, many historical homes still have lead-painted surfaces that are in excellent condition.
If, however, you’re replacing or refinishing lead-painted surfaces, exposure risk runs high. When renovating one section of the house, lead dust can get into other areas of the house, where kids are at especially high risk for exposure.
Even small amounts of lead can accumulate in the body, causing miscarriage and premature birth risk in pregnant women and behavioral, cognitive, and growth issues in small children. Before you risk exposing your family to this health hazard, have your property tested for lead and renovated, if necessary.
Lead Testing and Renovation
You can actually buy lead tests to run on your own property at any hardware store. These swipe tests will tell you whether or not painted surfaces involve lead.
However, these simple tests aren’t enough to tell you how high your family’s risks of actual lead exposure are. For this, you need a lead risk assessment. In this type of assessment, a licensed inspector comes to your home to inspect for sources of lead. Then, the inspector assesses how high a risk each surface is.
After the risk assessment, our professional inspectors can discuss your options. If lead-painted surfaces are in excellent condition, you may just need to keep an eye on them. As long as the paint is in good condition, it’s very low risk. Higher-risk surfaces may need to be encapsulated in specialized materials that will keep the lead paint from chipping or turning into dust. Some lead-painted surfaces may need to be removed or completely stripped.
After a comprehensive lead risk assessment, we’ll work with you to create a lead renovation plan that suits your needs and your budget.
If you suspect lead paint on your property, call Crisis Cleaning’s 24-hour hotline at (877) 260-4828 to schedule your lead risk assessment today.