Lead In New Hampshire Houses

Lead In New Hampshire Houses

A House Full Of Lead

Beware of lead! Most topics we discuss with homeowners can damage their home’s value, like freezing temperatures, water damage, and roof damage.

But lead poses a danger to you and your loved ones’ health. Lead is a toxic heavy metal that used to be common in home construction – lead-based paints were especially popular. Lead is one of the most dangerous materials you can find in a house today.

Lead paint was banned in home construction in 1978, so most homes built after that year should be safe. However, about 58% of homes in New Hampshire were built before the lead ban.

In some parts of the state, more than 80% of homes were built before the ban. That’s according to a 2021 New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services report.

Many New Hampshire residents live in older homes, which means the opportunities for lead exposure are relatively high.

The threat of children getting exposed to lead prompted the Legislature to pass a lead paint law in New Hampshire. The law allows state officials to inspect rented homes and licensed childcare facilities for lead if a child under 6 has been exposed.

If your house was built before 1978, you should take steps to make sure you are not in danger of lead exposure. If there is lead in your house, you’ll want to limit your exposure as much as possible.
We’ll give you tips on identifying lead paint and surfaces in your house and how to prevent exposure.

What Does Lead Do?

Lead is most dangerous to children under 6 years old. This is because young children are closer to the ground and are more likely to put lead dust in their mouths than older children and adults.

There are no pronounced symptoms of lead exposure. So the only way to know whether you or a loved one was exposed to high levels of lead is to get a blood test.

High levels of lead exposure in children can lead to brain damage, kidney damage, behavioral problems, learning challenges, slow growth, nerve damage, hearing impairment, headaches, and bone marrow disease, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

Older kids and adults exposed to high levels of lead can experience anemia, fertility issues, hearing loss, vision problems, high blood pressure, kidney damage, nerve damage, memory problems, and muscle and joint pain.

It’s in your best interest to mitigate the potential for lead exposure in your house.          

How To Identify Lead Paint

Test. Test. Test.

You can’t know whether there’s lead in your house unless you test it first. If you live in one of those homes built before 1978, HomeAdvisor recommends spending a little extra money on an inspection.

A little sawing or sanding can easily release lead trapped in the paint covering your wall. You can even get exposed after you nail a hole in the wall to hang a picture.

There are home test kits for lead that you can order online but hiring a certified lead inspector is the most reliable choice. Test kits are cheaper than hiring a pro, but they’re not always accurate. Running a test on your own also puts you at risk of lead exposure.

There are 3 types of tests:
  1. Paint Inspection – You or a professional will collect and test paint samples inside and outside the house.
  2. Risk Assessment – Collect samples from deteriorating paint and surfaces children have been biting, mouthing, or licking.
  3. Hazard Screen – Check areas where there is deterioration. Collect and test samples of dust from floors and windows.
If your test results are positive, you’ll need to take action.
  • Clean up chips of paint or other materials that tested positive in areas where your kids play.
  • Make sure to wash your hands regularly, especially before eating or going to bed.
  • Clean window sills regularly to remove dust.
  • Before going home, take off your shoes to avoid bringing contaminated soil or paint inside the house.
  • Repaint any damaged surfaces where paint is peeling.
  • Clean the house with wet mops and rags regularly
  • Clean air ducts regularly.
These steps can only provide temporary relief. After that, you’ll need to take further action to curb your risk of lead exposure.

3 Ways To Deal With Lead

You’ve found the lead; you took emergency steps to mitigate exposure, and now you want a permanent solution. It could be expensive but remember you’re paying for a safe home that won’t make you or your children sick.

According to HomeAdvisor, here’s what you can do:

Remove the Lead – You can hire a professional to eliminate the lead using various tools that give you clean surfaces and peace of mind. For example, they may wire brush the contaminated surface, hand scrape it with a liquid remover, or use a low-temperature heat gun. They could also sand the contaminated surfaces with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum.

Encapsulation – You can hire a professional to coat the surfaces in your house with a special watertight seal. This is the least expensive method, and it’s also the easiest. The downside is that the coating may wear off near doors and windows.

Enclosure – You can hire a professional to cover your old surfaces with new ones. This means putting up new drywall and covering windows with metal or vinyl. The risk of lead exposure decreases because you enclose the contaminated surfaces. However, there is a risk of exposure if the new enclosure is removed.
For the best results, hire a certified lead abatement professional.

Another Option

Lead abatement in a home can cost between $9,000 and $30,000, depending on your house's size. However, there's another way if you don’t have that kind of money and want to protect your family from potential lead poisoning.

You can sell your house fast to a trustworthy home buyer in Manchester, NH. We Buy Ugly Houses® Manchester isn’t afraid to buy a house with a lead problem. Call us if you’d rather leave your house than get rid of the lead inside, and we can give you a free, no-obligation consultation.

Call We Buy Ugly Houses® at 866-200-6475