Real Estate

Lead Paint Removal Project Cost Breakdown

Despite being banned since 1978, lead paint abatement activities still cost a staggering hundreds of millions of dollars each year. This is because many pre-1978 properties still test positive for lead in their coating systems. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reveals that almost 75% of properties in the United States are older homes built before 1978, or the equivalent of more than 50 million properties!

Lead Paint Abatement Costs

For homeowners, the current price of lead removal per square meter of property ranges from $ 10 to $ 15. If the property is a pre-1978 construction, the total cost of lead paint removal for a property of 1,500 square feet averages $ 15,000, while a 2,000-square-foot property can range from $ 15,000 to $ 30,000.

What does this total cost include? Contractor labor fees, sampling costs, and lab test charges are just a few of them.

Encapsulation, which seals the painted surface with lead instead of removing paint, costs about 50 cents per square foot or about $ 1,000 for a 2,000-square-foot property, which is much less in cost than lead removal. However, the danger of lead exposure is not completely eliminated.

Contractor costs

EPA regulations require that all removal contractors be trained and certified for the task. The costs of these certification programs are additionally charged to clients. Statewide certifications alone cost about $ 300 per program, and more advanced reduction trainings cost more. Contractors also increased additional costs to obtain business licenses and accreditations.

When you are on a project, the costs of obtaining project permits are added to the total costs of the project. Specialized equipment and materials for lead paint removal work, such as HEPA vacuum filters, sheet materials, and work equipment, are expensive and add to project costs.

Project grants

To reduce the costs of lead paint abatement, HUD’s Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) runs grant programs for abatement projects. Below are some of them:

1. Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control (LHC) Program, which awards 30 grants of $ 3 million annually to local governments, states, and Native American tribes for the identification and control of lead hazards.

2. Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program (LHRD), which awards 12 grants of $ 4 million to the same recipients living in rental properties built in the 1940s.

3. Operation Lead Abatement Action Program (LEAP), which provides $ 2 million grants to private organizations wishing to co-finance lead paint abatement programs.

4. Lead Outreach Program (LOR), which awards 4 grants of $ 500,000 to academic organizations and local governments for public awareness campaigns on the prevention of lead poisoning in children and lead paint removal activities.

Consequences of lead exposure

The harmful effects of lead in paint have been well documented, which is why despite the economic costs, lead paint abatement activities continue to this day. The monetary costs are far less than the social costs of lead exposure and poisoning.

Exposure to lead in children and adults can cause delayed physical and mental development, behavioral and learning disorders, organ damage, and even pregnancy loss. New studies reveal a direct correlation between lead poisoning and crime, and adult illnesses from lead exposure and lead poisoning in children.

The threat of exposure will not end unless lead paint abatement activities have removed all traces of lead on all properties in the United States.

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