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In the United States it is estimated that around 75% of homes have some sort of lead paint remaining within them or on their exterior surfaces. While there are many instances when the paint can simply be safely "encapsulated", there are also times when it must be completely removed. The sanding and grinding that this requires is a major problem because lead paint dust is incredibly toxic when in the air or the soil.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average costs for lead paint "abatement" will range from $8 to $15 per square foot, and the average house can require a minimum of $10,000 to treat.
Is this a DIY project? Lead paint cannot be detected with the "naked eye" and testing any surface is the first step. Generally this comes at a cost of around $10 per kit for the DIY option or the hiring of an official inspector, which can require from $350 to $500 (according to RealtyTimes.com). Why hire a formal inspector? If a house or building was constructed prior to the year 1978 it could be completely filled with lead paint remnants, and this is something to take seriously when it will be inhabited on a full-time basis.
For the purpose of this discussion we will consider hiring a professional to handle a lead paint abatement in the average home. Since the United States Census Bureau places the average household square footage at 2250, we will use this measurement to determine a sample set of pricing guidelines.
Cost to do lead paint removal varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). Get free estimates from hazardous materials contractors in your city.