How Much Does a Lead Paint Inspection Cost?

Typical Range:

$238 - $437

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 425 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated October 31, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Lead Inspection Costs

The average lead inspection costs $334, while it’s normal to see a range of costs between $238 and $437.

Lead is a chemical substance often found in the soil, pipes, and paint. The government banned the paint in 1978. If you’re remodeling or buying a home built before 1978, a test will reveal problem areas. You can also assess your lead paint risk based on the home’s age.

Contaminated dust from paint is one of the leading causes of poisoning, with children being the most susceptible.

Lead Paint Testing Cost Calculator

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National Average $334
Typical Range $238 - $437
Low End - High End $130 - $650

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 425 HomeAdvisor members.

Lead Paint Test Cost

Lead-based paint testing costs an average of $300. Costs can range from $250 to as much as $700 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, depending on where you live.

Pros use a fluorescent X-ray analyzer to detect levels of the substance in the paint. They take pictures and notes and run a report that indicates affected areas. It takes about three hours because inspectors test every interior and exterior surface.

Hire a local home inspector:

  • To understand a potential home's health risks before buying

  • Before major renovations to avoid releasing harmful dust

  • If you suspect your children have been exposed to harmful lead levels

Exterior Lead Testing Cost

Pros charge around $300 to test the exterior and interior of a standard three-bedroom home. It’s uncommon to test separately as the rate may not decrease. Siding and trim often contain the substance in older homes, while exterior paint can flake and enter the soil around the house.

If needed, the cost to paint the home exterior after lead paint removal is around $1,770 to $4,360.

Lead-Based Paint on Interior Walls or Windows

How much does lead testing cost? The $250 to $700 cost range includes testing interior surfaces that may contain paint in the home, such as the following:

  • Walls

  • Windows

  • Doors

  • Molding

  • Railings

If needed, the cost to paint the home interior after lead paint removal is around $950 to $2,920.

Home Lead Risk Assessment Cost

Risk assessments range between $800 and $2,000. Assessors investigate the source and severity of the problem. Then, they create a strategy of appropriate solutions for your safety and budget.

Assessments and inspections differ in several ways:

  • Assessments usually occur after you’ve found lead poisoning in children. It’s a lengthy and specialized process, as assessors research the source and recommend the best abatement strategies for each home.

  • Inspections occur mostly before real estate transactions. These differ because inspectors only tell you if the problem exists and where.

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Lead Paint Abatement

Lead paint abatement removes the danger from your home and makes it safe to live there.  Lead paint abatement costs around $3,000 and ranges between $1,100 and $5,000.

Mitigation

  • Reduces exposure by sealing old paint in affected areas with new siding or drywall

  • Homeowners mostly mitigate

  • Costs more than $1,000

Elimination:

  • Pros strip and dispose of paint and remove and replace affected walls, windows, doors, and soil

  • Sometimes required of subsidized housing property managers by the government 

  • Costs more than $10,000

Removal and abatement pros must comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved procedures, adding about $36 to $380 per project. This is the only way companies may legally remove the substance from your home.

DIY Test Kits vs. Hiring a Certified Inspector

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that many consumer test kits didn’t detect lead when it was there. EPA-approved kits for consumers cost about $25 for eight swabs and will likely require multiple kits.

Hiring a pro to inspect your home will cost around $300, but it's the best way to get an accurate reading. They use state-of-the-art X-ray tools, know where to find affected surfaces, and know how to inspect for buried old paint layers.

How to Hire a Pro

Hiring a pro to test your home for lead is straightforward. Search for lead testing pros near you and get quotes from at least two. Talk with the pro about what their fees include, and choose the pro that seems most aligned with your needs. 

How Do Pros Test for Lead?

Pros usually test for lead using a special X-ray machine, which measures how much lead is in old paint. They do so by aiming high-energy beams at different painted surfaces and then letting the machine analyze the presence of lead, which measures the amount of lead per square centimeter. 

Some pros also use paint chip sampling to test for lead. They test paint samples removed from the home with a special machine in the lab. This sort of test reports the percentage by sample weight.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the chances my house contains lead?

Homes built before the 1980s probably contain lead since the U.S. government banned it from consumer use only in 1978. Before this, products such as paint, plumbing, pipes, ceramics, and gasoline often used lead-based paint. If you live near an industrial area, pay for the cost to test the soil around your home for elevated levels.

Where can lead be found in the home, and how dangerous is it?

You can find lead in the air, soil, water, and homes built before the 1980s since it was widely used in the production of paint, gas, pipes, and ceramics. Children's growing bodies can be more susceptible to poisoning and are at a higher risk of exposure through hand-to-mouth activities. 

According to the EPA, if children are poisoned, it can result in the following:

  • Behavioral and learning problems

  • Lower IQ 

  • Hyperactivity

  • Slowed growth

  • Hearing problems

  • Anemia

What happens if my house tests positive for lead?

If your home tests positive for lead, consider the safety of children and the severity of your family's exposure and act quickly. Get a risk assessment if your family's blood levels test positive.

For every instance of lead, there’s a unique test and removal process. Reducing exposure to lead risks requires time and management. Mitigation techniques may involve hiring a pro and spending more than $1,000. Complete elimination always requires a pro and could cost more than $10,000.

What is the cost of a lead blood test? What if I test positive?

Standard lead blood tests cost between $50 and $100, and this fee varies widely based on your insurance. Call your doctor or health department to arrange a blood test and ask about pricing for your family's policy.

If tests reveal lower levels in children, 5 micrograms (mcg) per deciliter (dl), request a risk assessment. Assessors will create a strategy to remove the source of the poisoning and avoid further exposure. Severe cases of 45 mcg/dl or higher require additional medical treatments through chemical injection or expelling it from your system.

What is an EPA lead certification? What does it cost?

EPA regulations require training and certification for:

  • Inspectors

  • Risk assessors

  • Abatement workers

The EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule also requires a certification for contractors who disturb lead as a consequence of work in the home. We list the costs below:

  • Inspection, assessment, and abatement: $550

  • Inspections, assessment, abatement, and RRP: $550

  • RRP: $300

What does lead paint look like?

Lead paint looks the same as regular paint, which makes it hard to determine if your home uses lead-based paint. You can only determine the levels through testing. If the old paint is deteriorating or flaking, get it tested. And if it's determined you have lead-based paint in your home, review our lead paint common sense guide to practice home safety for yourself and your family.