Do Home Inspectors Check for Lead Paint?
Lead has been used in paint products and coatings as a pigment and drying agent since the 4th century BC. Despite being banned in the US and Canada since the late 70’s, lead is still used in some paints manufactured in other countries because of the qualities it adds to paint. The problem with lead being used in paints is simple: lead is toxic, causing nervous system damage, kidney damage, developmental issues and more. In San Antonio homes built before the outlawing of lead-based paint (thanks to the Hazardous Products Act of 1976), there is a possibility of lead-based paint being used on at least some part of the home.
Much like mold and asbestos inspection, testing, and remediation, professionally testing for lead-based paint is a highly regulated industry that requires licensing by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Getting a license to perform lead-based paint inspections, testing, and remediation requires a 4-year degree or 5-years verifiable experience working under someone with a license, so this license is not common.
No, Most Home Inspectors Do Not Check For Lead Paint
Because of the licensing requirements and massive liability of performing these inspections and tests, home inspectors do not perform lead-based paint testing. Furthermore, while lead-based paint typically breaks off in large flakes due to the rigidity of the paint, not all paint that breaks off in flakes is lead-based and not all lead-based paint breaks off in flakes, so there is no way to visually identify this problem. If you suspect lead-based paint is used in your older home, we recommend that you consult with a licensed professional.
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