Lead-based paint was originally used for its fresh appearance and quick drying properties. It was soon banned. These original paints can still be found on walls, windowsills and baseboards in many areas today. It is important to know how to test for lead paint if you are moving into an older home, especially if there are renovations. There are two types of DIY lead testing kits that you can find in hardware stores. These kits are rhodizonate and sulfide. The color of the paint you are testing will determine which type you should choose. The false positives that Rhodizonate and pink paints give are well-known, while the results of sulfide tests are often inaccurate for dark paint.
After you have chosen the test that will give you the best results, most kits can be used to perform several tests for as low as $100. This is significantly less than hiring someone else to test your home for lead paint. You should choose the areas where the paint seems thickest, such as Lead Testing New York on a wall, baseboard, or windowsill. This is especially important if there are other layers beneath. Use a utility knife or small, sharp knife here to cut through the paint.
Lead test kits often include swabs, which must be used with care to get accurate results. The swabs should be pinched in two areas to mix the liquid and solid chemicals. Next, remove the soft tip from the swab and press down on it for the time indicated on the packaging. This is usually a few seconds. To ensure that the swab is in contact with all layers of paint, apply pressure in a circular motion.
Look for a sign. Popular rhodizonate based test swabs can turn red if there is lead present. However, red paint (even trace amounts) can cause false positives. Sulfide-based kits can turn dark grey or even black. This is possible if dark paint is present. You may need to test additional colors, depending on what you find beneath the visible paint.
You should be fine if your swab is clean. However, double-check your work to ensure safety. You can check that the chemicals in your test kit are properly reacting by using a confirmation card. The confirmation card contains traces of lead, which can cause your swab’s color to change when it touches the paper. If your swab is still colorless, it’s safe to go.
The EPA’s locator will help you locate a specialist in lead paint abatement if abatement is required. After you have hired a professional to remove lead from your house, they must notify EPA within five days. Based on the amount of time spent in your home, blood tests may need to be done in order for you to determine the level of lead exposure in your family and determine if any medical treatment is necessary. A long-term maintenance plan will be recommended over abatement. This will include regular inspections. In the case of renovations, only lead-safe certified contractors will be allowed to do their work safely.
You can be confident that you have the patience to check for lead paint in your home and make sure it is healthy. Safety first isn’t just a slogan; it’s an essential part of keeping your family healthy and happy in any home.