Well in order to understand more about XRF first we need to understand more about lead in general. The CDC regulates lead at unsafe levels when there is more than 15 parts per billion (water) in water. The average finishing nail in your house weighs about 790 milligrams. In case you don’t remember metric conversion, there are 1,000 micrograms per milligram, and 1,000 milligrams in a gram. So that means a microgram is one millionth of a gram. 15 micrograms of lead compared to the 790,000 micrograms in your finishing nail would mean that if you accidentally hammered a finishing nail into a lead pipe, the shaving of lead created is enough to give your entire family lead poisoning. the shaving itself probably won’t do much as it falls to the floor behind the wall, but as it breaks downs over time… and parts of it collect in the air, disaster is waiting to happen. So since we’re dealing with really really REALLY small amounts of lead… we need to find a way to see it. This is where X-Ray Fluorescent Technology comes in. X-ray lets us see lead in the paint like a big magnifying glass, Fluorescent lights that lead up like highlighter under a black light so it doesn’t have a change to hide and let us miss it. Without being too technical, that’s the gist of it. Simple, right?
They don’t actually… well… not anymore anyway. Only houses build prior to 1978 are still at risk from lead paint. Most of you probably won’t even realize you have a house with lead paint until you’re ready to sell it. As part of your appraisal and inspection, the same full disclosure Duracoat has to put on the product label for any lead mixed in with their paint has to be communicated to the people buying your house. So your realtor is going to call us for an inspection if the house is old enough, hoping we don’t find anything and leave. If we do find something though, there’s going to be some extra steps that need to be taken to make your house safe.
What Happens If You Find Lead In My Paint?
Couple of things. First, we have to decide whether to get rid of it, or seal over it. Clearly sealing over it is less expensive than getting rid of it, but that’s between you and the realtor only after we find it. Suffice to say, there are only these two choices if we find lead. The first is to use a Lead Paint Sealer or Lead Paint Blocker and repaint the entire house interior and exterior with it. The other option is… well… strip all the paint and start over.