Why do a lead inspection?
Lead inspection is all about safety. The ultimate goal of a lead inspection is to reduce the risk lead paint poses to tenants and visitors to a rental property. This is accomplished through both a visual inspection of the paint on all walls in the liveable space of your rental property and laboratory analysis of dust samples for the presence of microscopic levels of lead. From my training as a Visual Inspector, I am experienced in looking for the hazards that can result in lead poisoning both inside and outside the property specifically looking for any indication of chipping and peeling paint.
The visual inspection includes an inspection of paint on the interior and exterior paint on the walls, ceilings, doors, trim and any surface where paint (possibly from Pre1978) may be chipping or peeling. Unfortunately, when chipping or peeling paint is noticed, it is my duty to inform the owner that this must be corrected before samples can be taken from this property.
What samples does a lead inspector take and why?
In the late 1970’s it was discovered that exposure to lead paint can be dangerous and potentially lethal. In response to many reported cases of birth defects and side effects of short and long term exposure to lead paint , the EPA , and many states including Maryland ,made laws to protect tenants from posionous lead paint. In Maryland, laws were passed that required Landlords with properties older than 1950 to have their rental properties pass a visual inspection for chipping and peeling paint and samples of dust taken from either a window sill or a floor and sent to a labortory for analysis.
In 2015, this law was modified to include all residential rental properties older than 1978. Only after receiving laboratory results that showed that dust samples had levels of detectable lead below the threshhold set by the Maryland Dept of the Enviornment, can a lead certificate known as Form 330 be issued to a landlord. This Certificate states that on this date and time, the property has passed a visual inspection and laboratory analysis of the samples and property is considered safe. It does not mean lead free. Paint on walls and ceilings and surfaces still have lead. But because chipping and peeling paint has been minimized or eliminated and 1 sample per room (2 if old windows are present) have shown to be below the danger level set by the Maryland Dept of the Environment, that the landlord can proceed to apply for a rental license in their county.
What if I have chipping or peeling paint in my property?
Inspections should be done on a property that has intact paint (no chipping or peeling) and preferably after it has been property cleaned. If chipping and peeling paint is found you will be required to have this fixed by a licensed lead painter.
At minimum a person working on lead paint must have a certification that includes training in how to perform all work using lead-safe work practices.
Lead paint renovators who have completed the 1 Day Renovation Course required by the State of Maryalnd for paint renovation can be found on the Maryland Department of Maryland Website.
It is the responsibility of the owner of the property to check credentials of the licensed contractor they choose to fix the chipping and peeling paint in their home.
Who can I call to fix chipping and peeling paint?
Paint on the window sills, window wells, doors and floors in liveable rooms (rooms where you eat, sleeep or go to the bathroom) should be inspected by you before the inspector arrives. Window sills and floors should be cleaned with soap and water as they will be where samples are taken and sent to the laboratory.
Certified Contractor Rob Chambers 240-393-9535
To find other lead abatement contractors visit MDE’s Lead Contractors
What happens if I have rooms that fail?
A failed room means the levels of dust found were higher than the lead level standards set by Maryland Dept of Environment.
The room must be brought to a higher safety standard. A sample from 1 window or floor can be considered a sample from all the windows and floor areas in this room. Cleaning and painting and fixing may be needed for all windows in a failed room to bring the room to the safety level required. Lead abatement companies should be used to fix any issues discovered. Cleaning should be done with HEPA vacuum. Remedies should comply with standards set by the EPA and MDE.
One way of reducing exposure to lead paint is to cover the surface with a new surface—often known as enclosure. This can be achieved by putting up drywall or by covering windowsills with vinyl or aluminum, for example. This doesn’t require the removal of the lead paint, so this is often the easiest solution.
Possible solutions for a failed room:
- Painting the window wells, sills of the failed window(s)
- Rehanging of the window
- Replacing the window
- Using a vinyl or aluminum cover
I hope you found this helpful.
If you have any questions about lead inspection, testing or any other concerns? Call 240-461-4377.
Or visit our other pages here at www.leadsafetysolutions.com