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For every homeowner, it is part of their responsibilities to test their properties for the lead during home inspections. If children are staying inside the house, especially those children under 6 years old, the presence of lead can cause them to lead poisoning, severe health problems, and behavior issues. The lead can get into their bodies through their hands, paint chips, and toys. Pregnant women and developing babies can also be in danger with lead.

When should you test your home in Baltimore MD for lead?

If a home in Baltimore city meets one of these conditions, it’s the right time to test it for lead:

  1. The house was built before 1978; or
  2. The house or the property is near a busy road or freeway where gasoline and its exhaust have polluted the soil with lead.

Here are some of the important areas that should test for lead:

  • The house has chipping paint
  • The house has bare soil where the children are playing
  • The house was constructed before 1950
  • There is a plan to renovate or remodel the home
  • A child staying inside the house has been diagnosed with lead exposure by a Baltimore MD

For those who are living in a rental property, the seller or property owner will provide you a document showing the lead hazards of their properties. If they cannot provide a copy of lead paint inspection and lead soil inspection, you must ask it from them or look for other rental properties.

What are the parts subject for lead testing?

Some of the most crucial parts during lead inspections service are the areas where children are often seen hanging or playing around such as playroom, bedrooms, play-yards, and kitchen. If there is a presence of bare soil in the home or there are peeling/chipping paint, these areas must also be checked. Those skilled and experienced home inspectors in Baltimore are very familiar with this.

Other great places to do the inspection are:

  • Window sills and frames
  • Door and thresholds
  • Trim and siding
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Painted children’ furniture
  • Baseboards

For lead-contaminated soil, focus on the following areas of the Baltimore Maryland home :

  • The home foundation
  • Areas where children are playing
  • Unpaved pathways
  • Windows or walls with chipping paint
  • Areas where pets are playing or resting
  • Areas that are near in traffic

How to test for lead?

For those first time homeowners, there are two ways available for a lead inspection. Whatever option you choose, the important thing is you determine if there is lead inside your Baltimore home and how much lead is present.

1. Laboratory analysis – With a price range of $25 to $50, you can request a test from an accredited laboratory and get the result after 24 to 48 hours. All you need to do is contact their clinic and email a sample of the soil or chip paint. You should secure a list of areas where you extracted your lead inspection samples before you contact the laboratory.

  • Paint Sample: With the use of a plastic sandwich bag and a clean and sharp chisel, scrape and put a tablespoon amount of paint inside the bag. For getting the most effective lead inspection sample, you must remove all the layers of the paint since lead often found in the bottom part of the paint. Once you are done, make sure to seal the bag and put a label indicating where you took the sample (e.g. Sample 1 – kitchen window sill). Don’t forget to wash the scraper and your hands with soap and clean water after taking the sample for lead paint inspection.
  • Soil Sample: Get a clean sandwich bag and scoop a half-cup of soil from the outer layer of the bare soil you wanted to test. You can use a clean large spoon or a trowel to achieve this goal. Avoid scooping other materials like leaves, roots, or pieces of debris. Seal the bag and put a label indicating where you took the sample (e.g. Sample 2 – under children’s swing are). Don’t forget to wash your hands and the spoon with soap and clean water after taking the sample.

2. Hiring a Certified Inspector/Assessor – another good choice in testing is to call and hire a certified inspector/assessor in the Maryland Department. This option may be more expensive than the first one, but there is one way to lessen the cost, shop around and ask for at least three free quotes of the work. The inspector/assessor will provide you an assessment report of their services and it will show you the levels of lead inside your home in Baltimore city, whether it can bring hazards or not, and what are the possible ways to deal with it. To secure a reliable assessment report, make sure that you research the best home inspection service available in the are. Other lead inspections services available in this kind of business are mold and radon testing.

Can you use a lead test kit from a paint store?

If you happened to shop around a paint store, you will find some lead test kits that can be purchased for $8 to $10. When you rub this kit against the surface where lead is present, a certain chemical reacts and changes its color. Though you can use this product, this kind of lead paint inspection kit will have a very limited function such as the following:

  • The kit will only determine if there is lead in the paint tested
  • The kit will not tell the level of lead or if it is hazardous or not
  • The kit cannot be used to test the soil

When using the lead test kit from Maryland Department, you should read and understand the instructions found on every package. Follow them carefully to achieve the right result of the test. The kit will also indicate the color change, so make sure to check this one.

What is the next step?

Now that you have confirmed through various services that the lead in the soil and paint exceeds the hazard level mentioned above, it’s time to do the following steps for a lead free property:

  • Call and ask the help of a Baltimore MD and schedule blood lead tests for those children who are 6 years old and below. If other family members need to be tested, discuss it with your doctor.
  • If it is your first time to deal with this problem after inspection and everything feels new, determine the ways to avoid lead poisoning. Check some information from the department of the environment of your state.
  • Call or email and request the expertise of a State-certified lead contractor or a lead inspections expert from the department of the environment to lessen the lead hazards inside your home and outside your yard

Don’t let the situation gets worst inside your own home and achieve a lead free environment. Test your home for lead and do the necessary precautions to secure the comfort and safety of your family and establish a risk reduction on everyone’s health.

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