Baltimore Lead Based Inspection HELP!

6 Replies

Hello team!

I have a property in Baltimore that I'm preparing for a lead based inspection. I'm not familiar with the process however. Is there some kind of a pre-inspection list? Or a way to get a pre-inspection to be as prepared as possible for the actual inspection?

If there's anyone out there who is willing to do a 5-10 minute call to provide some counsel or mentorship on this I would really appreciate it. Thanks!


Not in Baltimore but in RI no chipping peeling paint. No exposed dirt in 5 feet of door i think is one of the ones that get people. Outbuildings are included. No painted friction surfaces. If they do dust wipes wipe down all window sills and doors before they come. Should be something online. If you have a really old house and there is lead dust cleaning is critical for the dust wipes. Hope you find someone in MD, laws are state specific.

Is the property rent ready or are you about to do a rehab? How old is the property?

There are two tests - the dust wipe and the XRF test. I would recommend the XRF test. It is more thorough of the two and its only another $100 more. The dust test will tell you if lead is present, but the XRF test will tell you exactly where lead is throughout the interior and exterior of the home.

Lead paint was banned in Baltimore in 1950, so homes newer then that will cost significantly less to remediate than those build before. (some home built prior to that might not have much lead either, but you wont know until your test) In those homes, you still will probably have lead paint in the exterior, but that is easy to fix by wrapping the windows - and replacing any original windows.

Give Lead Tech a call and they can tell you all about it:

Something to consider. In Baltimore, there are no limits to the landlord's liability if they are sued for lead paint, so it's always best to go lead free if you can.

I agree with Tim on the lead-free. Leadtec will do the complete inspection and can tell you exactly where the issues are located (if any)

Thanks so much for your responses! Does Leadtec do a pre-inspection then or is that the official inspection? I think I may need a pre-inspection first because I don't want to fail the actual inspection. Does that make sense?

@Nicole Bryan

Leadtec is a private company. They're not inspectors for the city. They'll tell you what you'd need to do to go lead free or lead safe for your lead cert for the city.

Another resource is Neil Roseman from LeadProbe.  Either LeadProbe or Ledtech can consult with you beforehand to give you an idea of what is needed.

To expand on what @Tim Youse said there are two big issues, compliance with the law and reducing your liability. You can be in compliance with the law and still get sued for lead paint (yeah I know crazy isn't it?) 

To comply with the law you need to register your property with the MDE (this is different than the Baltimore city registration)  You also need a lead certificate. There are two basic types of lead certificate Lead Free and lead safe. 

The XRF gun is used to detect lead paint and can go through multiple layers of paint to find it. Every surface in the building  is tested. If it is clear you get a lead free certificate. (or limited lead free which  means it is lead free on the inside but may have lead paint on the outside.) A full lead free certificate is only needed once and a one time fee to register as lead free.

The other test is a combination of visual and dust swipes.  There can be no chipping, peeling or flaking paint, and no friction surfaces (doors close without rubbing etc) And the dust swipes must test free of lead paint dust. 

As far as liability is concerned it is best to go lead free. Often a house only has minor amounts of lead paint, mainly on trim. This can often be replaced to make the house lead free. 

What I have said above is a tremendous simplification of the laws. Consult with a lead paint professional for advice on your particular situation.

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