Where to Find Lead in Your Older Home

August 14, 2020 1:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If your home was built before 1978, chances are, it has lead-based paint and other lead products. While lead is naturally occurring and offers some benefits, it can be toxic to humans and animals. That is why it is important to reduce the amount of lead in your indoor environment.  So, where in your Aspen, CO home can you find lead? Here are four places to look for it:

  • Paint: Up to 87 percent of homes built before 1940 likely still have lead paint. This risk declines as the years move closer to the present day—homes built between 1960 and 1977 are only 24 percent likely to have lead paint. If the original paint still looks nice, it will likely never be a problem. However, once it starts chipping and peeling, that is when people and pets can be exposed to lead. Be especially careful with frequently-used surfaces like windows and windowsills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings, banisters and porches. Also, when it comes time to repaint these surfaces, wear appropriate protective gear.
  • Pipes: Lead was a primary material for pipes up until 1986. If pipes are not in good condition, lead can leach into water and expose your household as people drink, bathe and wash with it. Pay attention to plumbing leaks and corroding fixtures. If they are made of lead, or you suspect they are, they will become dangerous once they start to wear out. You must replace pipes immediately if you suspect they are wearing out and serve only to add lead to your water.
  • Dust: If your home still has lead fixtures or paint, there is a good likelihood that you also have lead dust. It results from paint and fixtures deteriorating, or it can be tracked in from household members who have been exposed to it. Maintaining paint and fixtures and dusting regularly will keep it from becoming dangerous. If it starts to build up, consider replacing paint and fixtures to control any possible health effects.
  • Soil: Yards that once hosted older playground equipment or porches exposed to lead paint may still have lead in the soil. Household members can be exposed by eating vegetables from a garden or breathing it in. You can control exposure by fixing lead paint as it peels. Also, leave door mats outside your doors so people can avoid tracking contaminated soil into your home. If you garden, wash all produce thoroughly before consuming it, and do not allow your kids to eat straight from the garden.

You can avoid many of the dangers of lead by keeping your home well maintained. Some of the habits learned from COVID-19 exposure are also relevant: if you have been handling anything made of lead, be careful not to touch your face and wash your hands before conducting other activities.

If you do not know where lead is in your home in Aspen, CO, you likely need testing and inspection to ensure your home is safe. HealthSafe Inspections Inc. is pleased to provide lead testing services. Call us today for a safer home and better peace of mind.

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