Lead, like asbestos is not typically part of a home inspection but it may be present in homes built prior to 1978 and likely present in pre-1960 homes. It is important to have your home tested for the presence of lead. If lead is found, you should take steps to minimize your risk.

Remodeling & Renovating

Home improvement projects involving cutting, knocking down walls, taking out cabinets, sanding, replacing windows and siding and just about any other activity that “disrupts” painted surfaces in older homes creates lead dust. Recent studies have shown breathing or injesting lead dust is the most common way children and adults get lead poisoning.

Before starting any remodel or renovation project, have your pre-1978 home tested for the presence of lead so you know if lead-safe work practices will be required. For more details about what is involved with a home lead inspection, refer to the EPA pamphlet Testing Your Home for Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil.

If your house was built before 1978 and you hire a contractor to do the remodeling, renovating or home improvement project, the contractor must give you a copy of the Iowa Department of Public Health brochure Lead Poisoning – How to Protect Iowa Families prior to beginning the work.

Buying a Home Built Prior to 1978

The Federal Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure Rule requires that the landlord or seller of a residential dwelling built prior to 1978 provide the renter or buyer with: Lead Poisoning – How to Protect Iowa Families and  disclose available information on lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home. A buyer must be given the opportunity to conduct testing to determine whether lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards are present. While you are not required by law to test for lead, it may be advisable if you have (or plan to have) young children in the home.  Federal law gives all buyers 10 days to have a home they intend to buy inspected for the presence of lead-based paint.