Lead paint, often known as lead-based paint, is a type of paint that contains lead. Lead is added to paint to help it dry faster, last longer, keep its new appearance, and resist moisture, which causes corrosion. It is one of the most significant health and environmental risks linked with paint. The United States banned the use of lead in residential paint in 1978 and lead in commercial paint by 1996. However lead-containing paint may still be found on some older buildings. Lead paint is dangerous because it can release toxic amounts of lead into the air when it cracks or chalks, especially if it is on the side of a house facing up against a yard. Children can put their fingers in their mouths after playing in an old house with lead-based paint on its walls.
If you think your home might have lead paint, take action now by calling a professional cleaning company. Hire a contractor who is certified by the National Association of Lead Hazard Control Programs (NAHCP). This organization has certified more than 600 programs in 40 states. They will know how to identify areas containing lead paint and what steps should be taken to remove it safely.
Also consider having your home tested for lead. A certified laboratory analysis can tell you whether your home was built before 1978 and if there are any hazards present.
Lead was once referred to as a "useful metal" because it could be used to make a variety of items, including paint. He claims it was due to the ease with which lead could be melted—all it took was a campfire. Lead, unlike iron, is malleable. This means that it can be shaped into any kind of tool or object.
In fact, lead has been used for thousands of years because it's cheap and easy to work with. Even today, there are many uses for lead products. For example:
The automotive industry leads the way in using lead products. The weight of an automobile is important because it determines how much fuel it will take to travel a given distance. Thus, the more weight you can get out of your car, the better. Lead weights were used in cars until about 1980 when they were replaced with zinc weights.
Weight standards also play a role in sports such as basketball and football. Coaches want their teams to have equal opportunity to win, so they make sure that no one player is too strong or strong enough to beat the other players alone. Lead has been used for this purpose since at least the 1950s. It's added to baseballs and footballs to even out the strength of the balls.
Basketballs and footballs with higher levels of lead content tend to fly farther and faster than those with lower amounts of lead.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, lead from paint is one of the most prevalent sources of lead poisoning. According to the EPA, lead-based paint is found in 87 percent of homes built before 1940, but just 24 percent of those built between 1960 and 1977. The agency says that if you live in an older home and notice damage to the exterior such as chipping or peeling paint, call a professional repair company before you do anything else.
But even if your home was built after 1957, it may still have lead paint inside. If so, the best way to protect yourself and your children is by having the house inspected by a certified lead inspection company before you move into a new home.
The good news is that there are many ways you can reduce your exposure to lead if it is present in your home. The first thing you should do is check all surfaces for lead based paint before you move in. Use a magnet to find any metal objects like screws or nails that might be hidden under furniture. If you find anything that looks like it could be leaded, take it out of the house immediately.
After you check everything inside the house, go outside and do the same thing on the roof, windows, and doors. Don't forget to look in the basement! Lead has no color, so it can be hiding in any part of the house.
Because white lead is insoluble in water, the paint is very water-resistant and has a long-lasting, washable finish. Lead carbonate can also neutralize the acidic breakdown products of some of the oils in the paint, allowing the coating to last longer while remaining robust, flexible, and crack-resistant.
The hardness of water can wear down paint over time. It may be necessary to replace your hot-water heater every 10 years or so, for example, because heat softens water, which can weaken paint.
Water damage caused by leaks or spills needs to be repaired before you put back any painted furniture. A damaged floor must be repaired or replaced before you can think about putting things up again. Leaks in roofs cause flooding and require immediate repair or replacement. Don't wait until later to fix problems with your plumbing!
If you're looking to sell your home, then make sure you take good photos of the exterior. Potential buyers use online search tools such as Google Maps to see what other people think of the property before they buy it. If they see many reviews complaining about peeling paint, for example, they might pass on buying from you. You can fix or replace paint if needed, but first make sure there's no moisture damage underneath the paint.