Old Windows & Lead Paint: Should You Replace?

Written on: July 20th, 2015 BY IN Windows

Do you live in an older home? Your home improvement project list may be pretty long! Is window replacement on it? If you’re on the fence about whether to replace, there are a couple major reasons why it’s recommended to get new windows:

  • Energy efficiency: Windows manufactured even 10 years ago aren’t as energy-efficient as today’s products. Installing new windows can be a great way to save money.
  • Lead safety: More importantly, old windows sometimes need to be updated for lead safety reasons. Lead-based paint was banned in the late ‘70s and is more common in homes built in the 1960s or earlier. Single-­pane windows are a real concern because the friction of opening and closing the sashes can release lead dust.

Keep reading to learn more about windows and lead-based paint!

Replacing Your Old Windows

Lead paint is still present in many homes, sometimes even under layers of newer paint. If the paint is in good shape, the lead paint is usually not a problem. But deteriorating (peeling, chipping, cracking, etc.) lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention, especially on surfaces where children have easy access, such as windows sills, doors and door frames. Although lead in homes results partially from external sources like industrial pollution, it can also be caused by indoor sources such as deteriorating lead-based paint.

If your home is older, it’s recommended to regularly:

  • Check your home for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint, and address issues promptly
  • Check all painted areas that rub together or get a lot of wear (windows, doors, etc.) for signs of deterioration.
  • Regularly check for paint chips or dust and remove them carefully with a damp paper towel, then wipe the surface clean with another wet paper towel.
  • Wipe down flat surfaces (like window sills) with a damp paper towel and mop floors
  • Test for lead and related hazards by a lead professional.

Here are additional tips to help you reduce or prevent your family’s exposure to lead dust. It’s best to follow these steps weekly.

When cleaning floors, avoid:

  • Mops with a scrubber strip attached.
  • Powered buffing or polishing machines, or vacuums with beater bars that may wear away the painted surface.

Cleaning carpets and rugs, avoid:

  • Dry sweeping of surface dust and debris.
  • Shaking or beating of carpets and rugs.

When cleaning or dusting walls and other painted surfaces, avoid:

  • Steel wool, scouring pads and abrasive cleaners.
  • Solvent cleaners that may dissolve paint.
  • Excessive rubbing of spots.

Learn more on the EPA website »

Window Replacement in the Indianapolis Area

If you need to replace your old windows, make Overhead Door Co. of Indianapolis & Muncie your first call. We are a lead-safe certified firm and have been in the industry for nearly 90 years. Contact us to learn more about our services or to start your window project!