Decades ago—pre-1980—a great deal of the paint that was utilized in homes contained lead. Over the ensuing years, that paint would chip or crumble and the resulting dust could cause serious health problems, especially for children and pregnant women.
Using lead paint was the norm. It was used both inside and outside, particularly on windows, baseboards, trim and doors. Unfortunately, layers of lead-based paint have been disturbed through the years during remodeling or home repair.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a devastating report revealing that lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, resulting in reduced intelligence, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. In 2019, it’s absolutely necessary for anyone selling a home to be aware of the dangers of lead paint and know if their house will be a problem.
And it impacts a lot of homes. The Department of Health revealed that approximately 75 percent of all homes built 40 years or more ago contain some lead-based paint. Furthermore, it’s estimated that more than 30 million homes in the U.S. still contain lead paint.
Unlike in the past, real estate professionals and their sellers are required to disclose any presence of known lead paint and lead hazards during the sale or rental of a home.
For homeowners who are unsure about their homes, sometimes it’s easier to replace windows, doors, or woodwork than it is to remove the lead-based paint. This way, all traces of any paint will have been removed from the home.
Federal law requires that before being obligated under a contract to buy housing built prior to 1978, buyers must receive the following from the home seller:
- An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards titled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home
- Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
- An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.
- A 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards.
If you have an older home and you can say for certain that there is no lead paint, it can also attract a higher price.