Lead-Based Paint Concerns

Your general rule of thumb is: the older your home, the more likely you are to find lead-based paint. In the Alpharetta area, most homes were built after 1978. The EPA and HUD recommend that you test for the presence of lead-based paint if you are purchasing a home built prior to 1978.There are several methods to test for lead-based paint. The least reliable, but easiest and cheapest method, is a “do-it-yourself” home testing kit.

A professional onsite evaluation can be performed using x-ray fluorescence equipment. The equipment is not 100% accurate and this option can be costly. The best method is to send paint samples to a lab for analysis. The cost for this lead test is $25 to $50 per sample.

HUD recommends corrective action if x-ray fluorescence reveals a lead concentration greater than 1.0 milligram per square centimeter or any lab test indicates lead content greater than 0.5%.

Jeff’s Note: The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement includes an option to allow the Buyer to test for lead-based paint. This standard contract language is not enough to protect you. As a Buyer, you should request that your real estate professional add additional protective language.

What If the Home I Love Has This Problem?

Few homes in Alpharetta, Georgia have this problem since most of the current homes on the market were built after 1978.

If you have a concern, the safest approach is to hire a professional. Locate a certified risk assessment specialist to evaluate and prepare a report on the extent of the issue.

The EPA has prepared a document to help you select a specialist. Visit their site for a brochure.

A risk assessment will detail any lead-based hazard and will recommend corrective actions to reduce any risk. Lead-based paint removal and/or abatement can be costly.