3335 W St Germain St.
Suite 108
St. Cloud, MN 56301

(320) 656-8890

Habi-Home Maintenance and Improvements: Where’s the Lead?

Jun 26, 2024

Where’s the Lead and What is the Risk?

Home lead risks have been reduced and virtually eliminated in new homes. That said, most of us don’t live in new homes! So what age homes do we need to be more concerned about? Answer: Homes built before 1978. Prior to this period, lead was common in paint and stain (paint for short) manufacturing. Could there be homes built after 1978 that used old paint? For sure, but it’s much less common. Let’s look at the most common areas you may find lead in your pre-1978 homes:

  • Doors and door frames.
  • Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.
  • Water service lines and household plumbing.
  • Windows and windowsills.
  • Exterior siding

You may not realize, one of the worst spots for lead are windowsills. Why you ask? Because lead tastes sweet and little kids like to chew on stuff. Yes, it is a very large risk for young children who simply don’t know any better. To make things worse, lead affects developing children much more than adults. So what can you do? Encapsulate or Remediate!

Encapsulate: In most areas, if lead paint isn’t flaking, you are in good shape. So a fresh coat of paint, or covering an area with a new piece of sheet metal, can keep the risk at a minimum. Further, painting over paint can be done by the do-it-yourselfer. If that is the case, don’t scrape! That puts flakes and dust in the air.

Remediate: For the areas where lead needs to be removed (like those darn windowsills), hire a professional! They will remove the lead in compliance with all regulatory requirements and will not get the lead dust in your home. This of course is the most sure-fire approach to reducing and eliminating risk.

Here are a couple of YouTube videos to help you get started:

Testing for lead: Do it Yourself Testing for Lead

What remediating looks like: Professional Removal – This Old House

Keep yourself safe from that lead, especially the little ones!

God Bless!

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3335 W St Germain St.
Suite 108
St. Cloud, MN 56301

(320) 656-8890

©2023 by Central MN Habitat for Humanity.