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How Much Does It Cost To Remove Toxic Lead?

Most homeowners spend between $1,558 to $4,300 nationally.
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Properties constructed in or before 1978 may contain lead paint and pipes that pose a serious health risk to homeowners. If a lead test comes back positive, you should take immediate action. Our easy search function is an effective way to get quotes from lead abatement professionals, but before you get started, take a few moments to learn more about the potential costs involved.

National Remove Toxic Lead Costs

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Median Cost


Minimum Cost


Maximum Cost
Average Range:


National Average Cost $2,975
Minimum Cost $800
Maximum Cost $7,600
Average Range $1,558 to $4,300
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How do we get this data? This info is based on 10 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.

Table of Contents

  1. Lead Abatement Cost
  2. Lead Removal Cost Factors
  3. What Is Lead?
  4. Lead Testing Cost
  5. Lead Paint Removal Tactics
  6. DIY Or Hire A Pro?
  7. Find A Pro

Lead Abatement Cost

Lead removal costs vary considerably based on a wide range of factors, but they usually range from $1,006 to $2,666, or an average of $1,836. Minor jobs such as stripping small areas of paint cost as little as $800, while big projects involving demolition or the removal of existing pipework cost as much as $5,000. These prices include the cost of employing a professional and purchasing all of the necessary supplies.

If you want to remove some lead paint as a DIY project, you can complete the work for $20 to $100, which covers the cost of the necessary tools and protective clothing. However, the associated risks from inhaling dust and paint particles or failing to identify and remove all lead elements means it's almost always better to hire a certified professional.

Lead Removal Cost Factors

Lead Removal Cost Factors

When you're determining your budget for removing lead, consider these factors:

  • Testing: If you're uncertain whether or not your property contains toxic lead or other hazardous substances, you may need to pay for a lead inspection or other home safety services. Lead testing costs an average of $317.
  • Types of Lead Products: Removing or encapsulating lead paint requires less work than replacing lead pipes and windows.
  • Additional Work: Removing lead may reveal other hazardous substances, resulting in additional fees for safely removing asbestos or mitigating radon. Significant remodeling may uncover vermin and subsequently incur charges for capturing rodents, exterminating wasps or treating termites.
  • Restoration & Repair: After the safe removal of all traces of toxic lead, some renovation work may be necessary, such as hiring a decorator for remedial repairs in a bathroom or kitchen, calling an asbestos removal contractor to repair asbestos siding or employing a landscaper or gardener for the yard.

What Is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring blue-gray element found in the earth's crust. Prior to 1979, lead and lead compounds were common in a range of products used in home construction, including paint, pipes, plumbing supplies and solder. Lead was also evident in leaded gasoline, batteries and even some cosmetics.

Manufacturers added lead to paint to make it faster-drying, durable and resistant to moisture. Some lead compounds also affected the color of paint, such as white lead, which made paint white or cream. Lead water pipes were common as the lead was particularly resistant to pinhole leaks.

Unfortunately, lead is toxic, and exposure can damage every organ and system in the human body. Children under the age of 7seven are at the highest risk, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), making it essential to identify and remove toxic lead in and around your home. If you're concerned about lead, arrange a lead inspection as soon as possible.

Lead Testing Cost

Lead Testing Cost

Before renovating a pre-1979 property, it pays to employ an inspector to test the building. The risk assessment includes testing air quality and determining the amount of lead throughout the property and surrounding area.

Testing for toxic lead usually costs between $248 and $340, or an average of $317. A risk assessment costs from $450 to $500 for a three-bedroom home, and costs up to $800 for larger buildings.

Lead Paint Removal Tactics

Lead paint is one of the most common sources of toxic substances in older homes. There are several ways to combat the presence of toxic paint:

  1. Encapsulation: The quickest and most cost-effective method for dealing with lead paint involves covering it with special encapsulation paint, which seals the lead paint underneath and prevents it from flaking. However, encapsulation paint wears off over time, so it's not a permanent solution. If you later remodel the room, you may disturb the lead-based paint.
  2. Enclosure: An alternative to using encapsulation paint involves covering all of the paint with a new surface, such as drywall or vinyl cladding.
  3. Removal: Methods for removing paint include stripping it with a heat gun or using a sander with a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Removing lead paint is particularly hazardous because there's a risk of inhaling paint particles and dust.
  4. Replacement: The most expensive option involves removing any painted surfaces and replacing them completely. This permanently removes all traces of lead from the building. The demolition work involved may uncover other issues, such as vermin nests or termites, so there may be additional costs such as hiring an exterminator.

Lead Paint Removal Tactics

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

If you want to reduce your home safety costs, you may try to undertake lead abatement yourself. While professionals providing lead abatement services require accreditation from the EPA, there's no such requirement for a homeowner. However, you must be certain that you aren't putting your health in danger and when you complete the job, your home is free of all harmful substances.

Essential steps for minimizing the risks associated with lead dust include:

  • Removing all furniture, rugs, curtains and food from the area
  • Covering floors with plastic
  • Turning off any heating or air conditioning systems
  • Closing all windows and creating an airlock at the entrance of the work area
  • Keeping paint wet to reduce dust
  • Wearing protective clothing and a mask

Considering the dangers, it's better to hire a contractor with the skills and tools to remove lead safely and effectively.

Find A Pro

Older properties may contain dangerous materials that require immediate removal or treatment to ensure the safety of the occupants. Asbestos removal, vermin eradication and lead abatement are potentially hazardous operations requiring a professional. ImproveNet's search function makes it easy to look for experienced contractors in your area so you can find the right person for the job at the right price.

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