Image of paint that is peeling off the wall and The Dangers of Lead Paint and What are the Steps for Removal text

The Dangers of Lead Paint and What Are the Steps for Removal

Lead can cause many problems when absorbed into the body. There can be damage to the brain, kidneys, nerves, and other organs. Symptoms include headaches, stomach aches, and nausea. These are just a few of the dangers of lead paint. Paint containing lead must be removed or contained to protect your family from life-threatening conditions. Exterior lead-based paint may be dragged into your home and be mixed with interior dust causing a dangerous situation for young children and pets. So, how do you know if your paint contains lead?

Here are the signs to indicate you have lead-based paint and should get a complete inspection by a professional:

Signs Your Home Contains Lead Paint 

The Age of Your Home – Lead paint was banned for residential use in 1978. There are a good chance homes built before then will have lead paint. If you are unsure, having an inspection is beneficial to be sure. Don’t assume you are okay if your home was built later than 1978. Find out for sure if you have any doubts. 

Peeling and Cracking Paint – There is a theory that lead-based paint resembles the scales of an Alligator as it flakes off your wall. This is not always the case, but it is an excellent way to know it is old paint. The area where paint is damaged is the most dangerous. This is how dust containing lead particles enters the air and is spread through your home.

Use a Test Kit – Hardware stores sell kits to test paint for lead content. These may not be official EPA test kits, but they can get you started examining your paint. If you get a positive result, it is time to move quickly and get a professional to handle the problem.

Multiple layers of Paint – Sometimes, people paint over lead-based paint to avoid going through the trouble of removing it. If your home was built before 1978, you should assume any covered paint layers are potentially lead paint.

Ask the Previous or Current Owner – This is the first step to consider renting an apartment or home. You may be unable to test the paint without the owner’s permission. Check with the owner or building manager before signing a lease agreement. If you are buying the property, previous owners will usually provide any information about recent painting and renovation.

The Steps to Eliminate the Dangers of Lead Paint

There are three primary methods contractors can use to remove lead paint. A team trained in these methods will ensure the safety of your family. Complete cleanup is vital in this type of work. Here are several steps a professional will take to remove lead paint: 

  1. Encapsulation – This method is the simplest and most affordable. A paint-like liquid is applied to totally encapsulate the lead paint. Most contractors would not recommend this alternative because wear and tear over time can expose the covered paint, especially near doors and windows.
  2. Enclosure – In this option, new siding is installed over existing lead paint to seal and protect it from flaking and chipping. The primary problem with this technique is the siding may be removed at a future time and expose lead paint.
  3. Removal – The third and preferred method is to remove all lead-based paint. Various techniques, including wet-scraping, liquid paint remover, or wire brushing, can be employed. A wet-sanding method can be used with a special high-efficiency vacuum system. A certified local contractor with training in lead paint removal will recommend the best method for your home.

Many homeowners choose a radical solution by replacing doors, windows, and any surfaces with lead-based paint. This approach is not popular because of the high cost and time-consuming labor. 

Temporary Precautions 

While waiting for lead-based paint to be removed, the key is to keep your home free of dust and debris. Any particles dragged in on shoes may contain lead, which is dangerous to your family and pets. This includes sweeping walkways, driveways, and areas close to your home. 


The way you deal with lead-containing paint is a personal choice. Some homeowners choose to do nothing if the problem is not serious. This is a gamble that you can’t win. Whatever option you choose, remember at some time, this problem will need to be resolved. 

Don’t hesitate to contact Moss Roofing to schedule a free estimate for lead-based paint removal. Our staff is trained in the proper removal methods. We have proudly served customers in Indianapolis and the surrounding area for over 25 years. Our friendly staff will happily answer any questions regarding lead-based paint or any of our services. We’re excited to work with you to restore your home to a comfortable and safe place for you and your family!

Share This Article Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Pinterest Icon LinkedIn Icon
Scroll to Top