In light of recent health concerns, several of my clients have asked me about lead paint in their homes. The common fear for most, especially parents of young children is that lead is harmful and toxic. This is a concern especially for children under 6 years of age. Please see the EPA Site

How do you know if your home has lead paint?

If you are living in a home or contemplating buying a home that was built prior to 1978, chances are high that the paint (exterior and interior) contains lead.

There are a couple of ways to determine if your home has lead paint. The first way is to hire someone with an X-ray fluorescent scanning device. Now while I’m all about small business and capitalism, this could prove to be an expensive method for testing.

The second method is to purchase a lead paint test kit (swab) from your local home improvement store. The kits range from $5 – $12 and, according to an article in Consumer Reports, the results are fairly accurate. CR Article

What do you do if you find lead in your paint?

Well, you can hire a lead remediation and removal company. Their job is to use necessary methods to scrape or sand the paint and remove it from the home. They also have to remove all of the dust that is created (because that is where your children can ingest the lead). This is an expensive option for the average homeowner.

Another method leaves the lead paint in place and seals it with a line of products called “encapsulants”. These products are applied and then painted with a fresh coat of lead-free paint.

According to the information I found on the internet, the average homeowner can save up to 80% of the cost of remediation/removal by applying encapsulating paint themselves.

Unfortunately, here in Tyler, I have been unable (as of this writing) to find a company that carries any of the encapsulating products. As a matter of fact, each paint store I called, merely recommended priming the surface with a quality primer. They stated that this would be “good enough” to seal the wall to prevent lead poisoning.

With everything at our fingertips through the internet, I was able to find some products that you can order.


Here is some information for your reading:

I hope that this will help ease your mind as well as giving you some basic information about lead paint and poisoning.

Tyler Home Inspector provides quality home inspections in the East Texas area. Contact us to schedule an inspection.