man using chemically activated swab to test for lead on windows
Photo: Anthony Tieuli
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Finding More Lead

Since the Sharmas were tackling a major renovation, encapsulation wasn't a viable option. To minimize the RRP work inside, they called in Covino Environmental Associates, which used a type of X-ray machine to scan the walls. As in many old houses, which were often wallpapered, lead paint was discovered only in the kitchen and bathrooms, where moisture was a concern.

Once Tom and crew removed that paint, the renovation could continue unimpeded. Outside, Tom identified lead paint on the windows and wood shingles with Lead Check, a DIY testing kit. That meant they were going to need an awful lot of plastic and duct tape to replace the windows and repaint the house. "In the old days, guys would go up there in shorts and T-shirts and start sanding away," says Ron Peik, owner of Alpine Environmental, which helped with the Sharmas' abatement. "Lead is the new asbestos."

Shown: Tom uses a chemically activated swab, called LeadCheck, to test for lead on the house's old windows.
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