We live in a house that is approx 100 years old. I believe we have lead paint in our house on the basement walls (we have not tested is but it is my assumption). There are areas where the paint is cracked & in rough shape due to moisture coming in. Our plan it to seal the basement walls this coming year to eliminate some of the moisture. I would want to try to encapsulate the paint down there when we finish sealing it.

My concern is the damaged paint that is down there in the meantime if it does have lead content. We are never in the basement (it is not finished) but the basement does have our furnace & the heating/central air ducts run along the ceiling into the house. Is this something to be immediately concerned about? We are not creating any dust since there is zero traffic down there. The basement is shut off from the rest of the house & the access is from a door that is closed & basically in a closet. Thanks for the advice!

1 Answer 1


If the paint remains undisturbed I would think you have little to worry about. It is only when it is, becomes, or is made friable and then ingested or inhaled that you have an issue. Because you are "not creating any dust" I think you will be fine.

Although any amount of lead exposure to children and pregnant women should be avoided, it takes considerable dust generation to produce quantities that are generally accepted as harmful. Activities to be avoided in your basement include large scale demolition projects and scraping, sanding, or using a heat gun on the suspect painted surfaces.

Interior Work disturbing less than 6 square feet of surface and exterior work disturbing less than 20 square feet is even exempt from recordkeeping requirements for lead abatement contractors (with a few exceptions).


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