How to Sell a House with Lead Paint
Lead is so harmful to your health that lead based paint was banned in the United States in 1978. If your house was built before then, it probably still contains some lead paint. Finding the lead paint and removing it can be expensive, but you do have other options.
The Health Risks of Lead Paint and Lead Poisoning
Over time, lead paint deteriorates, chipping off, flaking away, and breaking down into fine dust that can be inhaled. Remodeling and sanding lead paint can quickly release harmful particles into your home.
Young children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can impede mental and physical development, and even cause brain damage. According to the CDC, children in at least 4 million U.S. households are exposed to high levels of lead.
How to Test for Lead Paint in a House
When it comes to testing for lead, you have two options: hire a professional, or do it yourself.
Certified professional lead inspectors can give you the quickest and most accurate test results. You can find listings of certified lead inspectors at your regional EPA office. Expect to pay several hundred dollars to have your house tested.
Do-it-yourself lead paint test kits usually cost much less. But since they depend on chemical interactions to detect lead, they can occasionally give false positive results. When using a DIY kit, be sure to follow instructions carefully.
How Much Does Lead Paint Removal Cost?
Depending on how much lead paint is present in your home, you may be able to contain it with a strict maintenance plan that includes regular inspections for pain deterioration. Any future renovations will need to be made by lead-safe certified home contractors.
The only other option is to completely get rid of the lead paint. Lead paint removal is never a do-it-yourself job. You’ll need to hire a certified lead paint abatement specialist, which you can locate through the EPA. Although abatement has the advantage of completely removing lead from your home, the process can easily cost thousands of dollars.
Does Your House Have Lead Paint? Sell It Fast
Lead paint can make your home difficult to sell. Any information you know about the presence of lead-based paint must be disclosed to potential buyers. Though that can turn away some shoppers, lead paint disclosure is required by law.
Before you spend thousands of dollars on lead paint removal, consider selling your house as-is to HomeVestors, the We Buy Ugly Houses people. That way, you can sell your house for cash without shouldering the expenses of dealing with toxic lead paint yourself.