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OAKLAND — You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a lead inspection contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified lead inspection company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated lead inspection contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

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4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION - Alameda County – Lead Inspection

International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) (www.nachi.org)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (www2.epa.gov)
EPA Lead (EPA) (www2.epa.gov/lead)
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) (www.cdph.ca.gov)

Know What You Want
Explore About Your Needs Before Hiring Alameda County Lead Inspectors

Lead inspection services in Alameda County provide similar services, and those in Dublin, Newark, Pleasanton, Union City and Alameda and beyond that offer the same quality may have fairly similar prices. Therefore, it’s important for you to have a list of qualifications you’re looking for before you being calling local lead inspectors.

Think about the questions below and keep a written list of your answers to help you make the best hiring decision.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified lead inspection service that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  • Do I need a lead inspection for my home, business, apartment building, rental property or other building?
  • Am I selling or renting the home or building I need inspected for lead?
  • What areas of the building am I concerned about (lead pipes/lead in tap water, chipping or peeling paint, interior lead paint testing, exterior lead paint testing, etc.)?
  • What is my budget for lead paint inspection services?
  • What personal and professional skills and characteristics do I expect from my Alameda County lead inspection company and the lead inspector I’ll be dealing with?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask Alameda County Lead Based Paint Inspectors

Once you’ve narrowed down the list of lead inspectors that meet your needs, you’ll want to invite the best to visit your home or building to see the job and offer a bid for the lead inspection.

By taking notes on this conversation, you’ll be able to better make a final decision. Some questions to get you started include the following:

  • How long will the lead inspection take?
  • What lead testing services do you recommend for my home, commercial building, childcare center, school or apartment building?
  • What is your approach to a lead inspection on a building like mine?
  • Will you provide me with recent customer references for clients who had similar lead-based paint inspections to the one I need?
  • If my home or building is located in Emeryville, Ashland, San Lorenzo and Russell City or a rural area, will you charge an extra travel fee?
  • What can I do to make the lead inspection more successful?
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  • What To Ask References
    Interview Clients of Alameda County Lead Inspection Services

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified lead inspectors in Alameda County because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from lead-based paint inspectors in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified lead inspector in Pleasanton, Berkeley, Union City, San Leandro and Alameda or within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your Alameda County lead-based paint inspector.

    References provided to you by local EPA certified lead inspectors are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process, however. That’s because references given to customers by lead-based paint inspection companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the lead inspectors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the lead inspection company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    • Were you satisfied with the lead inspection services from _(name of the Alameda County lead inspector)_?
    • What type of lead inspections did the Alameda County lead testing services do for you? (Lead-based paint inspection, lead water testing, lead dusting testing, school lead inspection, lead inspections for childcare facilities, home inspections for lead, etc.)
    • Did the lead testing service complete the inspection when and as promised?
    • Did the home lead testing services communicate well with you?
    • Was the lead inspector on time, clean and polite?
    • What was the best part of working with this lead-based paint inspection service?
    • Was there anything that didn’t go as planned or that you didn’t expect? If so, what was it? Was it avoidable?
    • Was this lead inspector willing to come to your home even if you live in Mount Eden, Piedmont, Cherryland, Emeryville and Castro Valley or a rural area?
    • If you need further lead inspections in the future, will you consider hiring this Alameda County lead inspector again?
    • Would you recommend this company to friends or family?
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  • Review Your Options
    Hire an EPA Certified Lead Inspector in Alameda County or Your Area

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Before hiring any of the Alameda County lead inspectors, it’s important to consider the following questions:

    • Does one of the Alameda County lead inspectors seem like a better option than the others?
    • Is there an Alameda County lead inspection company that can meet your lead inspection needs in terms of type of lead testing, scheduling and services?
    • Are the lead-based paint inspection services that you’ve interviewed knowledgeable about lead inspections and the lead tests you need at your home or place of business?
    • Will the lead-based paint inspectors in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, Alameda, Union City, Pleasanton, Newark and Dublin or your area provide a certificate to prove whether your home or business has passed the lead inspection?
    • Do you feel at ease with the lead inspectors you’ve spoken with?
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  • How To Work With
    Know When to Have Your Home Tested for Lead

    You should contact lead paint inspectors in Alameda County, including those in San Leandro, Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont and Oakland or near you, if your home meets any of the following criteria:

    • your home was constructed before 1978. Homes built before 1950 are especially prone to lead-based paint dangers
    • your home is located near a highway or busy road where the exhaust from leaded gasoline-powered vehicles may have contaminated the soil
    • your home has peeling, chipping, blistering or flaking paint
    • you plan to remodel, remove paint or otherwise renovate your home
    • an adult or child in your home has been experiencing symptoms of lead exposure or has tested positive for unsafe levels of lead
    • you are planning to rent out or sell a home that was built before 1978
    • you are running a daycare or childcare facility in a building built before 1978

    You’ll want to ensure your lead inspector tests the window frames, window sills, doors and door jambs, trim, siding, cabinets, painted furniture, baseboards, the soil around the home’s foundation, play areas with bare dirt, soil under peeling or chipping paint, near roads, and areas where pets or children may come into contact with bare dirt.

    Protecting Your Family with Good Lead Inspections in Alameda County
    You’ve started by narrowing down your list of potential hires by confirming each of the Alameda County lead-based paint inspectors is certified, licensed and insured. Then, you called local lead home inspectors and interviewed them over the phone before inviting them to bid on your job.

    Now, you can fairly evaluate each of the lead inspection companies in Dublin, Newark, Pleasanton, Union City and Alameda and your area to find the one that provides the services and lead testing you need.

    Talk with the Alameda County lead inspectors and ask which lead tests they recommend, and what you can do to ensure you get accurate results. You should also ask if there is anything you can do to aid them during the lead inspection.
    You’ll want to sign a contract for home lead inspection services. This may be as easy as signing the estimate you were initially given. The document you sign should include the inspection price, the lead inspection date and any requests or verbal agreements. You should also make sure any guarantees are represented on the contract.

    Remember, any document you sign becomes legally binding, so never sign an incomplete or blank estimate or one you don’t understand or don’t agree with.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Lead Inspection Services Customer?

    You can benefit by being a good customer when dealing with lead inspectors in Alameda County and your area.

    Lead inspection contractors appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship.

    Whether you live in Oakland, Dublin, Fremont, Newark and Hayward or another area, the following tips will help you get the best results from your deal with an EPA certified lead inspector in Alameda County.

    • Be upfront during your dealings with the home lead inspector you’ve hired. Let them know the lead inspection services you need and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, remaining friendly, personable and courteous will help maintain a good working relationship with your Alameda County lead inspector.
    • Before you hire a lead inspection company in Alameda County restate your expectations and reiterate your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local lead home inspection services occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can stop most conflicts before they begin.
    • Ask your lead-based paint inspector if you should call to check on the progress of the lead test results or if they will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you.
    • Pay for the lead inspection services on time and as promised.
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Check The Work
Ask the Alameda County Lead Inspector To Explain the Lead Testing

After the lead testing has been completed, ask your home inspector to explain what they’ve tested and how. Review your invoice and make sure the lead inspector you’ve hired has tested the areas and materials that were promised in your contract.

Complete invoices should always include the following:

  • The name, physical address, EPA certification number, and state license number of the Alameda County lead testing contractor.
  • A detailed list of all lead inspection services performed.
  • An itemized list of all materials used.
  • The total cost for the lead testing services, including an itemized amount due for labor and outside testing fees.
  • A written explanation of any guarantees backed by the lead inspection company.
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Written Warranties
Protect Yourself with Guaranteed Lead-Based Paint Inspections

Not all Alameda County lead inspectors guarantee the accuracy of their test results. However, those that do should provide you with a written document that outlines the details of the guarantee and how it protects you.

The following items should be included in any written guarantee document:

  • The Alameda County lead testing contractor’s name, physical address, state license number and EPA certification number.
  • A description of what is guaranteed. This should include whether the lead inspector will redo the test, provide a refund or make recompense in another way if the lead-based paint testing is inconclusive or does not provide the results promised.
  • Any exclusions to the guarantee must be explicitly stated.
  • Your responsibility in the case of a problem with your lead inspection services and what you need to do in order to claim the guarantee.
  • How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or is prorated.
  • If the guarantee is transferable to the new owner if you sell the home or commercial building in which the lead inspection was performed.
  • Any actions on your part that may invalidate the warranty.
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Top 10 Requests
Lead Inspection Services Available in Alameda County

Lead inspection services are as varied as the needs of the customers they serve. However, there are some lead inspections that are more common than others. Those listed below are some of the more popular requests made of lead home inspectors in Alameda County and the rest of the Bay Area.

Lead Inspections in Alameda County
Lead inspections can be performed on lead-based paint on interior or exterior services, tap water, soil contaminated by paint chips and sanding paint, soil contaminated by leaded gasoline and even lead from industrial air pollution. Lead inspections can show the presence of lead and the amount of lead present in homes and businesses in Pleasanton, Berkeley, Union City, San Leandro and Alameda and beyond.

Lead Paint Testing 
Lead paint can be found in homes built before 1978. Lead paint that is chipping, cracking, bubbling, peeling, or disturbed during construction or sanding can release lead which can cause major health problems including brain damage, slowed growth, reproductive problems, nerve disorders and muscle and joint pain. Lead-based paint is especially dangerous to children, pets and adults with weakened immune systems.

Alameda County Lead Water Testing
Tap water that runs through lead plumbing, such as old lead pipes or lead solder, can become contaminated with dangerous levels of lead. Lead may also leach from new pipes, even those labeled as lead-free. During the first five years of a new pipe’s life, lead may leach from the piping. After five years, mineral build-up reduces leaching.

Lead Paint Test Kit
Home testing kits for lead are available. However, these home lead tests aren’t considered reliable by the EPA. These tests can give you an idea of whether lead is present in your home, and are especially useful for testing toys and single surfaces. You should rely on a professional lead inspection service in Alameda County for official test results.

Lead Paint House Inspection Checklist
Lead-based paint inspectors often abide by a house inspection checklist that ensures they test all necessary surfaces to determine if there is lead present in homes or facilities occupied by children.

EPA Lead Certification
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides certification programs for lead contractors to help them effectively and efficiently locate and evaluate sources of lead poisoning.

Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessment
Lead-based paint risk assessments are inspections of homes for deteriorated paint that need to be tested for lead. A complete lead assessment should include testing of the soil around the home for the presence of lead. Lead risk assessments are usually performed before the sale of a home. By law, you have 10 days to secure a lead risk assessment before your home sale contract is finalized.

Soil Lead Testing in Alameda County
Soil can become contaminated by lead through the scraping, sanding or leaching of lead-based paint; or it may have been contaminated by coming into contact with leaded gasoline before it was outlawed in 1978. Testing soil for lead proves if lead is present and how much is there.

Lead Testing for Childcare Facilities and Schools in Alameda County
Children are the most common victims of lead poisoning. Schools and childcare facilities in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, Alameda, Union City, Pleasanton, Newark and Dublin and other areas that were built before 1978 should be tested for lead present in paint, tap water and soil.

Lead-Based Paint Home Inspection Reports
Home inspection reports should be presented for all homes and buildings tested for lead. These inspection reports should detail what areas and substrates were tested, whether lead was found, and the amount of lead found. The lead reports should also contain suggested steps for homeowners to take to remove the lead found in their homes.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Lead Inspections and Lead Inspectors

The following words are just some you may encounter when hiring lead inspectors or lead inspection contractors.

acceptable clearance status
A clearance inspection proves whether lead levels are acceptable. The lead inspector who performed the inspection must fill out a Certificate of Acceptable Clearance Status in order for the building or home in question to prove that the structure has passed the inspection.

Also known as: Certificate of Acceptable Clearance Status

environmental lead inspector
Environmental lead inspectors are people who have been trained and certified to perform environmental lead inspections in homes and businesses.

Also known as: lead inspector, certified lead inspector, certified lead testing inspector, lead inspection contractor

environmental lead inspector technician
Environmental lead inspection technicians are individuals who have been trained and certified to perform environmental lead inspections in homes and businesses under the supervision of a certified environmental lead inspector.

Also known as: environmental lead inspection technician, lead inspection technician

lead hazard control
Lead hazard control is the repair, modification or removal of lead-containing surfaces including lead paint.

Also known as: lead paint removal, lead removal, lead control

lead inspection
Lead inspections usually include a visual assessment, dust sample testing, submission of samples for analysis testing, breakdown of test results and a prepared report that shares the findings of the lead inspection.

Also known as: lead clearance inspection, lead hazard control, lead hazard control clearance inspection, lead testing, lead dust testing

lead regulated buildings
Buildings and facilities that are required to pass a lead inspection are known as lead regulated buildings. These buildings include single-family homes, owner-occupied homes with children under the age of six, daycare facilities and childcare facilities, schools, and any other home or building where children under six will live or spend more than14 days per year.

Also known as: lead regulated facilities, lead testing facilities

lead-based paint
Lead based paint and other coatings include paints, varnish, stain, shellac, polyurethane and other surface coatings that contain lead.

Also known as: lead paint, lead based paint, lead-based coatings

lead paint hazards
Lead-based paint hazards are any conditions or occurrences that expose people to unsafe levels of lead present in paint and other coatings. Conditions that may expose the lead in paint include old paint, chipping lead paint, deteriorated lead paint, damaged or cracking paint, friction or rubbing/sanding of lead paint, chewable lead paint surfaces (young children may be tempted to chew on painted surfaces such as windowsills), lead paint dust or even lead paint-contaminated soil.

Also known as: lead-based paint hazards

lead building component
Any building component that may be covered in lead paint or have lead paint-contaminated dust is considered a potentially-hazardous lead building component. Potential lead contaminated building elements may include walls, window sills, stairs, flooring, railing, metal surfaces, ceilings, trim and windows and doors. Lead testing services should test all of these surfaces when performing a thorough lead inspection.

Also known as: contaminated building surface, lead-contaminated surfaces

deteriorated lead paint
Lead paint that is deteriorating is a main source of lead contamination in homes and other buildings. Lead inspectors will look for contaminating sources of deteriorating lead paint including damaged paint on surfaces, flaking lead paint, blistering or bubbling paint, cracking lead paint, chalking, peeling and chipping lead paint, or lead paint that is separating from the underlying surface.

Also known as: deteriorating lead paint, deteriorating lead-based paint

lead clearance examination
After lead paint has been removed from a home or building, a lead clearance examination must be performed to determine whether a building is free from lead paint and suitable for habitation. Lead clearance testing includes a visual assessment, analyzing dust samples, and preparing a report on the findings. This test must be done by a certified lead inspector that was not involved in the lead paint removal.

Also known as: lead inspection clearance examination, lead inspection clearance, lead clearance testing, lead clearance test

lead paint testing
Lead paint inspections are performed by professional lead inspectors. These tests are performed by lab analysis or x-ray fluorescence (also known as XRF), and they determine the lead content of painted surfaces.

Also known as: lead paint tests, lead paint inspection

visual assessment
Visual lead paint assessment is usually the first part of any lead inspection. Visual assessment is a visual evaluation of interior and exterior surfaces to identify potential problems that can lead to exposure of lead paint risk. Certified lead inspectors are trained to perform visual assessments so they know which areas to test for lead paint exposure.

Also known as: visual lead assessment, initial lead inspection

Environmental Lead Proficiency Analytical Testing Program
This program accredits laboratories that analyze environmental samples for lead in paint, soil, dust and other surfaces and materials. The Environmental Lead Proficiency Analytical Testing Program ensures that the laboratories providing the testing produce reliable and accurate lead testing results.

Also known as: ELPAT, lead testing lab certification

home lead inspection
Home lead inspections are lead tests performed in homes, apartments and other residential buildings. These lead inspections are required for homes where children under the age of six live or will live for more than 14 days within the next 12 months. Home lead inspections must be performed by a certified lead inspection company.

Also known as: residential lead inspection contractor, residential lead inspector

lead paint test kit
Lead paint test kits are home testing kits that can prove the existence of lead paint. These tests are good for DIY home remodelers worried about disturbing lead paint, or people who are concerned that their homes may contain lead paint. While helpful, these tests are not a substitute for professional lead inspections provided by certified lead inspectors.

Also known as: home lead paint testing, home lead paint test kits

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About Lead Inspections and Lead Contamination

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified lead inspection company?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a lead inspection service with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only lead inspection services rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified lead inspector.

Q: What is lead?
A: Lead is a toxic metal. However, it was used in many household products until it was listed as a public health hazard. The EPA has listed lead as a toxin since about 1980, and is now working to reduce the amount of lead used in consumer products. Other countries, including France, Germany, Australia and Japan, banned the use of lead paint in residential homes as early as 1870. Today, almost eight in 10 reports of lead poisoning stems from lead paint used in apartments and homes built before 1978.

Q: Where is lead found?
A: Lead is most commonly found in buildings (including homes and apartment buildings) that were built before 1978. These buildings may have many sources of lead contamination, including lead paint on walls and other surfaces, soil that was contaminated by paint chips from the exterior of the home or leaded gasoline, and old lead pipes or lead solder that leaches lead into the tap water. Newer homes may also experience lead contamination from new pipes. Even so-called lead-free pipes may contain up to eight percent lead. This lead can leach into tap water for up to five years after installation, or until minerals build up on the inside of pipes and slow down the leaching process.

Q: Why is lead paint considered dangerous?
A: Lead can be introduced to the body through swallowing, inhalation or absorption through the skin. Children are most prone to lead toxicity because they may ingest paint chips, chew on painted surfaces or come into contact with lead dust. Lead exposure can cause brain damage, damage to the central nervous system, learning problems and behavior problems in children, lower IQ, stunted growth in children, hearing problems, headaches, reproductive problems, birth defects, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.

Q: What is a lead inspection?
A: Lead paint inspection is a series of tests for lead provided by a certified lead inspector. These tests run the gamut from lead dust testing, lead paint testing and testing of water for lead. Talk with your local lead testing company to learn which lead tests may be required for your home.

Q: Is lead dust testing a part of a lead inspection?
A: Lead dust is often tested as part of lead inspections. Lead dust is invisible to the human eye, but can easily be tested for the presence of lead. Confirm with your lead inspector that he or she will be testing for the presence of lead dust.

Q: What is a final lead inspection?
A: Final lead inspections are those performed after the removal of lead-based paint or contaminated surfaces. Final inspections are an important part of the lead removal process, and they should be performed by certified lead inspectors that are not associated with the lead removal contractors to avoid any chance of a conflict of interest.

Q: What should I know before buying an older home?
A: Homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Sellers must disclose the presence of lead-based paint in all homes and buildings. However, the seller is not required to test homes for lead or to pay for lead inspections. Sellers should provide lead inspection reports if any have been conducted. Your real estate agent should also share with you the potential hazards of lead paint. Keep in mind that lead-based paint disclosure doesn’t apply to foreclosed homes. As a home-buyer, you may hire a lead inspector to perform a lead inspection.

Q: How do I know if lead paint is present in my home?
A: You must have a certified lead inspector perform tests on your home. These may be water testing for lead in tap water, a lead risk assessment which looks for deteriorated paint, lead-based paint inspection on all painted surfaces inside and outside of the home, and lead hazard screening for homes in good condition with little flaking or chipping paint.

Q: Is a home lead testing kit a good alternative to professional lead inspection?
A:  Home lead testing kits are available, but they can only give you an idea of whether lead is present. The EPA and HUD do not allow chemical spot testing or home lead testing to be used as an official evaluation method of lead inspection. Kits may give unreliable results due to the layers of new, unleaded paint that may cover old lead paint.

Q: How much does a lead inspection cost?
A: Lead inspections usually cost $300 or more, depending on the size of the home and the lead testing required. Call your local lead inspection company for a bid on the lead tests your home or building may need.

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