Can You Live in a House with Lead Paint or Does it all Need to be Removed?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Lead Paint Poisoning Published on January 17, 2022 and updated on March 15, 2022.

paint peeling off woodLead poisoning is extremely dangerous, as it can cause severe health problems, particularly in children. Adults can suffer reproductive problems, cognitive issues and high blood pressure, while children could develop learning disabilities and impaired growth.

If you live in a house with lead paint, it is important to take the proper steps to remove it to protect you and your family. However, what if it is not possible to immediately remove it? Is it safe to live in a house with lead paint? Can you take steps to stay safe while you wait for it to be properly removed from your home?

Below, we discuss living in a house with lead paint. If you or a loved one were exposed to lead paint through another’s negligence, our Maryland lead paint poisoning lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. There are no upfront fees for our services, and we have a proven track record of helping lead paint poisoning victims.

How Lead Poisoning Often Happens

Many homes that were built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint, this could include single-family homes and apartments. Lead-based paint was used in public and private housing, in cities, suburbs and rural areas.

Lead-based paint is most dangerous when it is deteriorating. Old lead-based paint peels, chips, and cracks. Debris from old paint often gets on:

  • Windows
  • Window sills
  • Doors
  • Door frames
  • Stairs
  • Stairway railings
  • Bannisters
  • Porches

You may even find lead paint outside of the home, including in soil around the house.

Young children could eat paint chips or other debris, not realizing how dangerous it is to ingest this toxic material. Adults could unknowingly ingest it after touching an object contaminated with lead dust. You could also breathe in lead dust after lead-based paint is disturbed.

There are numerous signs of lead paint poisoning to watch for.

Protecting Your Family While Lead Paint is Present in Your Home

If you think there is a chance your home may contain lead paint, you should have it tested to determine where lead paint may be located.

If you discover lead-based paint in your home, it is best to make sure it stays undisturbed. You do not want to cause the paint to peel or chip and create dust that could be ingested or breathed in.

You may want to block off the area to make sure no one goes near it to prevent the paint from being disturbed. You should also clean the area around the lead paint before blocking the area off. Use an all-purpose cleaner or one meant for lead.

You need to take precautions if you plan to renovate your home. Anything that disturbs lead paint could lead to you or a family member being poisoned. You should have your home tested before renovating to be sure you will not be putting yourself or your family in danger.

If there is lead paint, you cannot live in the house while it is being renovated. You and your family will need to live somewhere else temporarily while the renovation is done, and the area is cleaned properly.

Place doormats outside the doors to your home and use them to wipe your feet before entering the home. This may help you prevent tracking lead dust from the soil around your home or other sources into your house.

Safely Removing Lead Paint from Your Home

It is important not to try to remove lead paint yourself. You could get poisoned by sanding or scraping lead paint, as you could generate a lot of dust. You also do not want to expose the area to too much heat, such as from a heat gun, as this can create toxic fumes.

You can contact your local or state health department to find out the public agencies that could come and test your home for lead paint. (There are home testing kits, but they may not be as reliable as tests used by professionals.)

Once you determine where all the lead paint is, you can hire professionals to come and remove it in the safest way possible. You can hire painters certified by the Environmental Protection Agency in the safe removal of lead paint from homes.

You may want to have the soil around your home tested as well. You or your family could unknowingly track lead dust into your home, where it could be ingested.

If you are renting your home, your landlord was likely required to inform you about the presence of lead. Otherwise, you may have a case against your landlord.

If you own your home, the previous owners were probably required to inform you of the presence of lead. If they concealed it or failed to disclose it, you may have a case against them. However, these are difficult cases to build, which is why you need experienced legal assistance.

Are You a Victim of Lead Paint Exposure? Call for a Free Consultation

Victims of lead paint exposure may be eligible to seek significant compensation for medical treatment and other damages. Lead paint exposure could cause lifelong injuries that greatly affect various aspects of your life. Compensation can help victims attempt to move forward and manage their health issues in the best way possible.

These cases are complex, and victims should strongly consider hiring experienced legal representation. Given the high value of these cases, insurance companies and other liable parties may fight hard to escape accountability.

At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, an initial consultation is free, and we do not charge upfront for our services. That means there is no risk in calling us to learn how we may be able to assist you.

Our licensed attorneys are here to help. Phone: 410-907-3957.