If you’re in the house flipping business, and you like doing a lot of the work yourself, buying a home that contains lead becomes a challenge. Not to mention the many chances that you’ll come across homes that contain traces or a lot of it if you’re going after older ones. Lead is a potentially dangerous element, and one you shouldn’t take lightly if you’re thinking of doing some serious work.
Here are some of the things you should consider before buying a home that might have high concentrations of lead.
How to Know if the Home is at Risk
One of the easiest ways to know if a home potentially has lead in it, is if it was painted before 1978. If the house you’re thinking of buying was built before that year, the seller is obligated to let you know about any lead paint that might’ve been used in the house. They should also provide you with documentation provided by the Environmental Protection Agency on the safety hazards of lead.
Consider Having the Home Tested
There’s no law that obligates you to have the house tested, however, it would be a better idea to do so if you have younger children in the house. And if the test is positive, you’ll have to take the steps necessary to remove the lead. You should also know that the seller is obligated by law to give you a 10-day period to have the house tested. You can start by doing a visual test and look for paint chipping in older houses. You should also look at places people often overlook, like window sills and baseboards for instance.
There are some DIY testing kits that will allow you to check if the paint in the house contains lead. You’ll simply have to apply a solution on the walls and see if it turns to pink. This will be a sign that the paint indeed contains lead. But these kits only work on the first coat of paint; if the lead paint was covered by additional layers, then you’ll have no choice but to contact a professional.
Consider Getting Certified
If you were thinking of doing any kind of work in a house that could potentially contain lead, you’ll have no choice but to get certification. Groups like ZOTApro offer EPA renovator training that will teach you everything about the risks of lead, and how to work in a way that won’t put you and the inhabitants in danger. And if you were thinking of working with contractors, you’ll have to make sure that at least one person in their staff is certified for legal and safety reasons.
Lead in a house isn’t something that can be overlooked. If the home you have your eyes on might contain lead, we suggest you do everything in your power to get a full test on the house. Then you’ll be able to take the steps necessary to contain or remove any traces of it.