Many homes and condominiums built prior 1978 have lead-based paint. Paint that has chipped or is deteriorating, or on surfaces
that rub together such as windows and doors, creates lead dust which can pose serious health hazards to occupants, visitors and especially children.
Homebuyers and renters have important rights to know about whether lead hazards are present
before signing contracts or leases.
Federal law requires that before signing a lease or buying a home built before 1978, you must receive the following from your landlord:
· An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards. Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
· 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 lead inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection.
A risk assessment basically looks at where there are possible concerns with chipping and peeling paint. Samples of paint and dust wipes (and sometimes soil and water, if necessary) are sent to an accredited lab licensed by the Ohio Department of Health.
A lead inspection determines where lead Paint is present in the home. This is done by testing of all painted items with a XRF (X-Ray fluorescence) gun. This XRF analyzer tests each painted item and the results are obtained at the time of the inspection. It will even test through layers of paint. The assessor will also point out areas that need to be addressed.
The main difference between the two types is that the Risk Assessment addresses where there are possible lead hazards and the inspection gives you an overall report of where lead-based paint is located throughout the home.
Also check out our Podcast Realcast Episode 5 were we talk about inspections and how buyers can make their new house a healthy home.