Replacement of Older Windows with Lead Paint (Part 1)
When considering replacement windows for your home, it’s important to remember that your old painted wood windows, frames or walls may contain dangerous lead in the paint.
Lead exposure can cause serious illness, especially in children. So the presence of lead paint is one very important reason to consider replacing your windows. However, it’s important to hire an experienced and licensed window installation company, who can mitigate any risks from your old window’s or wall’s lead based paint.
In this 2 part article we explain the dangers of lead painted windows, how to tell if you are at risk, and what to do to safely replace them, so your family is not at risk.
Why Is Lead Paint Dangerous?
Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems in adults and children. Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body over time. Children younger than 6 years old are especially at risk to lead poisoning, which can profoundly affect their mental and physical development.
Lead-based paint and dust from lead-contaminated paint is the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. And by some accounts, up to 90% pf lead poisoning cases from paint in children are caused by older windows.
Research has shown that just opening and closing windows generates enough lead-paint dust to poison children, decades after the lead paint was applied.
Health effects in adults can include: high blood pressure; joint and muscle pain; memory loss; headaches; mood disorders; and stomach problems. Reproductive issues such as reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm, miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth can also be caused by lead exposure.
People who seem healthy can still have high blood levels of lead, with symptoms that don’t appear until down the road, when dangerous amounts of lead have accumulated. At very high levels, lead poisoning can even be fatal.
How Do I Know If I Have Lead Paint on My Windows?
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it may have lead-based paint somewhere – especially if you still have the original windows.
The Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 1971 restricted, but did not ban, lead content in paint used in housing. Subsequent, in 1976, the Consumer Product Safety Commission was created and they effectively banned leaded paint. By 1978, the federal government had banned consumer uses of all lead-containing paint.
However, lead paint is still present in millions of homes in the United States, sometimes under layers of newer paint. If the top coatings of paint are in good shape, the lead paint is usually not a problem. However, any peeling, scratched, chipping, cracking, damaged, or damp surface with underlying lead paint is a poisoning hazard and needs immediate attention.
Here’s how to know if your home’s windows or other surfaces have lead paint:
- If any of the paint is from the 1970s, or earlier, it very likely contains lead.
- You can also buy a home testing kit for lead-based paint at the Lowes or Home Depot. However, these home tests are not always 100% reliable.
- Contact your local department of health or a lead testing service in your area.
- Have your professional window installer do a lead test before replacing your windows.
I Think I Have Lead Painted Windows – Now What?
Best Huntington Beach Replacement Window Company
No matter what your budget, Can-Do will come to your home and help you understand your window choices, and compare window options, to ensure you are getting the highest quality, most durable, beautiful and energy efficient windows for the price.
We have installed beautiful, new replacement windows in thousands of homes across the Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and South Bay area.
We can also assist you in obtaining easy financing, with no money down, so you can start enjoying your new windows (and lowering utility bills) right away.