Testing to determine the presence of lead in paint, dust, water, and soil is best done by trained professionals. Our Lead inspectors are California state-certified.
Testing for Lead in Paint
To thoroughly analyze the paint in your home, each different painted surface should be tested. Different paints may have been used on walls, window frames, doors, and so on. Paints may also differ from room to room. Each of your home's painted surfaces, both inside and outside, should be tested separately.
Our Lead inspectors use two basic methods to measure lead in paint:
- X-ray fluorescence (XRF) uses portable detectors that X-ray a painted surface to measure the amount of lead in all the layers of paint. This type of testing is done in the home and disturbs little, if any, paint.
- Laboratory testing of paint samples involves removing samples of paint from each surface to be tested, usually from an area of about two square inches. Samples are sent to laboratories for analysis. This method leaves a bare spot on each surface tested.
Testing for Lead in Household Dust
Household dust may contain tiny particles of lead released from lead-painted surfaces inside the home or tracked in with lead-contaminated soil from outside. Click on the links below for more information.
Asbestos is a mineral made up of tiny fibers. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers, some are more harmful than others. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Many homes were made using asbestos for insulation, flooring and in heating and electrical systems. It was not until the late 1970s that laws in America began to change to protect people from the health hazards of asbestos exposure.
Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past are:
STEAM PIPES, BOILERS, and FURNACE DUCTS insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape. These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly.
RESILIENT FLOOR TILES (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and rubber), the backing on VINYL SHEET FLOORING, and ADHESIVES used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
CEMENT SHEET, MILLBOARD, and PAPER used as insulation around furnaces and wood burning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers. So may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling, or sawing insulation.
DOOR GASKETS in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use.
SOUNDPROOFING OR DECORATIVE MATERIAL sprayed on walls and ceilings. Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will sanding, drilling, or scraping the material.
PATCHING AND JOINT COMPOUNDS for walls and ceilings, and TEXTURED PAINTS. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos.
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING, SHINGLES, and SIDING. These products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, drilled, or cut.
ARTIFICIAL ASHES AND EMBERS sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces. Also, other older household products such as FIREPROOF GLOVES, STOVE-TOP PADS, IRONING BOARD COVERS, and certain HAIRDRYERS.
AUTOMOBILE BRAKE PADS AND LININGS, CLUTCH FACINGS, and GASKETS.
What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home?
If you think asbestos may be in your home, don't panic! Usually the best thing is to LEAVE asbestos material that is in good condition ALONE.
Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. THERE IS NO DANGER unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs.
Check material regularly if you suspect it may contain asbestos. Don't touch it, but look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing, or handling it, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow.
Sometimes, the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it. Discard damaged or worn asbestos gloves, stovetop pads, or ironing board covers. Check with local health, environmental, or other appropriate officials to find out proper handling and disposal procedures.
If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed. Before you have your house remodeled, contact GEESP, Inc. and find out whether asbestos materials are present. Our team will inspect and collect necessary samples to determine if your home is asbestos free. Click on the links below for more information.