Bay Area Lead Detectors

Bay Area Lead Detectors inspects and identifies lead based paint hazards for home owners, contractors, and prospective home buyers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, or would like to set up an appointment, contact us today.

Why should I do the inspection?

Whether you're a resident or a contractor, exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, including nerve damage and impaired mental functioning. Reasons for having a lead inspection vary, depending whether you've been hired to renovate the house or are already living in it. We've compiled our responses as they relate to contractors, home owners and buyers. Check out your category below to learn more:

  • Contractors: If you are going to work on a residence built prior to 1978, you are required to follow the EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule regulations. Testing your projects will locate and identify those building components that contain lead based paint as well as those that are free of lead based paint. With this information you will save time and money by limiting your RRP procedures to only those components containing lead based paint. Employing us to perform your clearance inspection with XRF analysis will provide instant evidence that your project is clean, thereby reducing your liability and relieving you of the self verification process.
  • Home Owner: You should test for lead based paint, dust and soil contamination if your home was built prior to 1978 and you have children under six years old or are planning to have children. You should test if you are planning to remodel, paint or renovate your home. You should test if you have deteriorated, chipped paint. You should test if you live near a freeway or a busy road where leaded gasoline exhaust may have contaminated the soil.
  • Home Buyer: If planning to purchase a house you need to find out when the home was built; if it was built prior to 1978 the seller is required to notify you that it may contain lead based paint. Knowing that lead in the home will increase your costs to renovate, repair, or paint the home gives you leverage to offer the seller a lower price.
How much will it cost?

The cost depends on various considerations, such as size of house, difficulty of access/location, type of construction, number of components to be tested, etc. You'll receive an estimate prior to the inspection.

How long does the inspection take?

XRF Analysis provides instant results. You can get results from on-site inspections in a single day. If samples need to be sent for laboratory analysis, then results can take a few business days.

Do you accept credit cards?

We accept the following:


Does homeowner's insurance cover the inspection?

Policies vary. It's best to ask your insurance agent.

What are the effects of lead exposure?

Exposure to lead is harmful, especially to young children. It can affect children's brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Lead is harmful to adults as well. For more information on health effects go to

How likely is it that there is lead paint in the house?

Approximately 57 million houses, apartments, and other residences across the U.S. contain lead based paint. For houses built:
Before 1940: 87% contain lead paint
1940-1960: 69% contain lead paint
1960-1978: 24% contain lead paint

What is XRF Analysis?

Lead Detection Service uses the Thermo Fisher Niton XRF analyzer to test for lead. XRF analysis is a safe, non-destructive method for testing for lead. An XRF analyzer exposes a surface to radiation emitted from a sealed source inside the instrument. The source of this radiation is the Cadmium 109 isotope. When a sample area is exposed to XRF, lead present in the sample emits its own unique fluorescent x-ray energy spectrum. The analyzer detects this energy and quantifies the amount of lead in the area sampled.

How do you decide what to test?

Lead Detection Service performs lead inspections following the Guidelines for the Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Do I need Clearance testing after work is completed?

Yes, XRF dust wipe analysis protects all parties involved; the contractor, home owner, and building residents. The clearance process provides the contractor with an impartial determination that the project was completed safely. The owner will have assurance that any amounts of leaded dust remaining in the house are at safe levels. Residents can be certain that the home is safe for them and their children.

Can you test my children's toys for lead?

Yes, our XRF analyzer can test toys, jewelry, and many other consumer items for the presence of lead and lead based paint. When our inspection is complete we will gladly test any items you may want to test.

Can you test the water in my home for lead?

Yes, the XRF does not test water; however, we can have a "First Draw" sample analyzed by the laboratory.