Dealing with Lead Paint and Other Hazards in Your Mid-Century Ranch

23 min read One consideration in dealing with older buildings is that they may have lead paint on walls or trim.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control website recommends assuming any house built before 1978 has some lead paint lurking around.

Lead won’t do you any harm while sticking to the wall, but it has a nasty tendency to flake off into tiny dangerous dust particles, especially when the paint is in poor condition.  Ingesting lead paint dust or chips is not good for adults and extremely bad for children.  

Per the CDC:

 “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected.”

For Mid-Century Homeowners, lead is one of the most common house hazards to watch out for.

Lead Paint in Mid-Century Homes

In fact, if you live a mid-century home, you want to be on the lookout for issues with lead paint, asbestos glue, tile and fiber products, mold in the walls or roof or structure due to long standing or newfound water issues radon seeping into your house and old hinky wiring. More on that next week!

Today though I’m going to walk you through what to know about lead paint and how it might show up in a mid-century home. Plus, the risks it poses to you and your family, and some advice on how to find it in your home and what to do about it when/if you do!

Lead: What is it

What is lead? Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals.  In the context of a mid-century home … it’s bad news.

Lead in MCM Homes

Our American relationship to lead is … weird.  We’ve known it was a bad idea to use around people for a long time, but taken very few steps to limit or protect ourselves from it.  

The dangers of lead poisoning were well documented by the early 1900s.  Lead paint, for example, was banned many European countries s by the 1920’s.  

But the lead industry was the primary sponsor of of research and the chief disseminator of information on lead and it’s affect on people in this country. They prioritized their own profits over the truth – a real danger to American children – for literally decades.   

The doubled down on their product by PROMOTING it as a child friendly. Check this nonsense out.

Lead: the Risk to you and your family

OK, let’s talk about the risk in a midcentury house specifically. We already covered how dangerous exposure to lead can be. And how relatively small amount of lead can be so toxic. But, what does it mean if you have lead paint in your mid century home.

The location of lead paint is an important factor in figuring out how high your risk is. Lead paint on the walls is largely minding it’s own business.  It needs to be addressed but won’t reach out and grab you.

Lead paint is a much bigger deal if it’s on a surface that is regularly disturbed.  That means door frames, or the frames and sashes of painted windows. Everytime you scrape two lead paint covered surfaces together, lead dust may be released.

How I tested for Lead Paint on My Ranch

When I bought my “time capsule” ranch I knew I had a possibility of lead paint.

Naturally I wanted to test to be sure before deciding how to approach working on the outside of the house.  I was surprised and pretty annoyed to find that three local hardware stores I checked with carried lead testing kits not recommended by the EPA – honestly, what’s the point.  Finally I turned to Home Depot to pick up several packs of 3M™ LeadCheck™.  


The tester is a small plastic tube with two chemical reagents in plastic capsules inside.  Pinch to break the two caps, shake up the liquid and squeezed out the applicator tip and you are good to go.  I found that the plastic case tended to break faster than the inner capsules, and then the liquid leaks through the cardboard tube.  Wear gloves to do this.  

You apply the yellow liquid to the painted surface, wait about a minute and check to see if it turns pink or red which indicates lead.  

See for yourself:



The outer green coat of paint (which is not young) seems clean but the original white certainly is lead paint.  Since the green paint is peeling so badly, that white undercoat is pretty exposed.  I’d need to scrape vigorously to scratch off all lose or flaky bits and then give it all a nice coat of fresh latex primer and paint to seal in the under coats.  In future, good maintenance can keep this sort of exposure from ever happening again.

What to do if you find lead

These handy home tests are just step one. If you do turn up lead in your home … It would be a very good idea to hire a lead inspector or risk assessor to come conduct a thorough survey. 

This person should be certified by your state will also be able to recommend the necessary steps you’ll take to deal with any lead risk they find.

Then you’ll want to hire a certified lead remediator to deal with the situation safely. This is where I’ll recommend that you do what I say, not what I did. which was to remediate the lead paint on my mid-century home myself. More on that below:

Suiting up to fight the Lead Paint Problem

I decided to address the lead paint on my home exterior myself. This was both because I had time on my hands and was in a “try anything DIY” phase of life … and because I had no little kids around to be endangered by the process.


Professional contractors are guided by the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.  A homeowner taking on DIY repair work isn’t bound by the same regulations but I take lead paint remediation seriously so I followed the same procedures in prepping the outside of the house that a contractor would:

  • laying out heavy plastic (secured to the side of the house) to catch paint chips and dust;
  • “working wet” by spraying all work surfaces with water before scraping or sanding so that paint particles would be heavy enough to fall down to the plastic rather than blow away into the yard;
  • taking care not to track on or off the plastic surface;
  • wearing full Tyvek suits, gloves, goggles and HEPA filter respirators

Here are my folks and I, all suited up for proper lead remediation (or possibly ready to invade an alien planet).

These precautions were a little tedious but not at all difficult.  And since we were working during the cooler fall “edge” of the painting season, it was no hardship to bundle up a little more with a full Tyvek coverall.  Since we only tackled the front of the house this fall, I am making mental notes to make sure to do the other three sides early in the spring before it gets very hot.


The final result of prep is never very appealing, but here’s the wall after we’d scraped and sanded the heck right off – no dangerous flakes ready to separate.  From here we are ready to wash with TSP and then start in with the primer.  


If you find lead paint in or on your mid-century home … hire a professional to help you remediate it!

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Read the Full Episode Transcript

So I thought I would celebrate spooky season by running a pair of episodes on some of the common mid-century house hazards to be aware of. You know, there are jokes aside some scary things about living in a house built in the olden times.

On the other hand, there are some pretty scary things to be found in a house built over the last few years. I really believe that a mid-century house is just about the perfect compromise between modern philosophies of life and old school materials and craft. You can’t do much better than a mid-century house, but you can make a mid-century house much better.

And while you’re improving yours, please do take note of any of these common mid-century house hazards that you might want to be addressing and remediating in order to live more safely in your home.

Hey there, welcome back to mid mile remodel. This is the show about updating MCM homes helping you match mid-century home to your modern life. I’m your host Della Hansmann architect and mid-century ranch enthusiast, you’re listening to Episode 1407.

Okay, so lead is one of the most common mid-century house hazards I want you to be aware of. If you have a mid-century home, you want to be on the lookout for issues with lead paint, asbestos glue, tile and fiber products, mold in the walls or roof or structure due to long standing or newfound water issues radon seeping into your house and old hinky wiring.

Now that’s not to say that new houses are perfect modern homes are filled with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, which is often found in cheap particle board cabinets, other VOCs volatile organic compounds, we’ll talk about that at the end of the episode today, chemicals which slowly off gas right into your home after they’ve been installed. Yuck.

But today we’re talking about the common hazards of older homes. So if you’re worried about asbestos in your home, your best bet is to take a sample and send it to a testing lab in Wisconsin, the state lab of hygiene does consumer testing for pretty cheap, it takes a couple of weeks, and is well worth the peace of mind.

I was afraid when I started to demolish the old acoustic tiles in my ceiling that they might be asbestos. I literally had one of those freeze in place moments as I started to demolish the first of them, where I realized that probably taking a crowbar to the ceiling of my basement without doing any previous forethought was a bad idea. Yes, I was very early in my homeownership journey. So I stopped where I was, took a piece of the acoustic tile I had just busted down, put it in a bag and sent it off to the state lab of hygiene.

Turns out I got lucky there was not asbestos in my ceiling tiles. I didn’t get as lucky with the paint on the walls of my house. The green paint on the outside of my house didn’t have lead in it. But the original white paint from the first paint job of the House did, I also had lead paint on several of the interior surfaces of my house. Now I chose to deal with that myself. And I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.

This is not a recommended DIY beginner project for two reasons. And the first is that you have to get it right to make sure you’ve actually dealt with your lead problem and it won’t crop up again as a headache for future homeowners. And the second is, it’s dangerous.

The process of dealing with lead paint means really exposing yourself to it. You want to be comfortable with the right precautions and risks before taking on any hazardous house remediation project. And generally, that means hiring a professional to check properly what you’ve got going on recommend safe alternatives for you and then carry out that work.

Today, I’ll be talking you through more of the details around lead as a common mid-century house hazard. And then next week, I’ll carry on walking you through other mid-century house hazards that show up in mid-century homes, the risks they pose to you and your family and share some advice on how to figure out if your home even has them and what to do if you find them lurking spookily around your home.

Okay, spooky season jokes over probably my goal here is not to scare you, but actually to get you back to a place where you can sleep at night worry-free. And we’ll get into all of that today and next week. By the way, if you want more direct resources about any of this, I have assembled some handy links in the show notes for this episode. And I will also be adding a list of common mid-century house hazards like lead and asbestos plus resources to address them to the mid-century ranch resources list. I’m not sure what number this list has gotten up to exactly I think we’re over 100 now. It’s got books, blog posts, movies, shows, suppliers and stores, other mid-century homeowners you should follow.

Topics include mid-century history, furniture design, an overview of the subject home maintenance information. Basically, if you’re looking for some information to get you excited about part of owning a mid-century home, I’ve got it for you in this list. And we’ll just be expanding it to add a sheet on mid-century house hazard resources there as well. Grab that list at mid mod dash midwest.com/resources Or if you’ve downloaded it in the past, we’ll send out a mass mailing to everyone that’s gotten it with the updated PDF. Or you can just go to the show notes page to find links and some horrifying vintage ads for lead paint at midmod-midwest.com/1407.

Let’s start by digging in on lead. What is it? Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small elements in the Earth’s crust. It has some beneficial uses, but it can also be extremely toxic to humans and animals. American relationship to lead is weird. We’ve known it was a bad idea for a long time, but I’ve taken very few steps to limit or protect ourselves from it.

Whenever I think about the dangers of lead, I flashback to a throwaway joke from the movie Tommy Boy, I’m pretty sure I never even actually watched the movie but I think the trailer must have been on a VHS tape that I did watch with my sister all the time. I wonder what that would have been? Also, hi, did I just date myself definitely grew up in the VHS collection era? I definitely miss getting trailers built in before a movie to the point where I will still choose a couple of YouTube trailers and stream them randomly before streaming another movie just to get the vibe.

But anyway, Tommy Boy trailer. Chris Farley is standing in a gas station parking lot covered in slime, and a snide Rob Lowe looks over at him and says, Did you let up paint chips when you were a kid? Farley chuckles And then says why?

When I was a kid, I didn’t get the joke any more than Chris Farley did. But here’s the dark punch line. Eating paint chips as a child would have meant being a kid in the 1960s. And those paint chips would have been filled with lead. That lead consumption could have been incredibly harmful for child Tommy Boy leading to permanent damage to his brain and nervous systems slowed growth, learning disabilities, behavior problems, even hearing and speech issues. Kind of the character from Tommy Boy as far as I understand it, but it’s not a joke.

In kids lead exposure starts quietly but builds up into complaints of headaches, stomach pain, loss of appetite, and more. And that’s just the beginning. Even a mild case of lead poisoning and childhood. Basically, lead exposure can have permanent effects on attention, impulse control and IQ. Studies have linked lead exposure to poor educational outcomes, reduced brain volume, neurological defects, and increased criminal arrests. In short, it’s very bad news.

It is dangerous to fetuses as well because it can cross the placental barrier. It’s dangerous to kids because they touch surfaces and put their hands in their mouth. And also because it’s particularly well absorbed through child’s GI system.

And it’s dangerous for adults, it can lead to high blood pressure, brain, kidney and reproductive issues. So what on earth is it doing in our homes? Well, here’s the real kicker. We have known how toxically dangerous lead is to children and humans in general mammals for way longer than we have done anything about it. Quite the opposite.

In fact, the dangers of lead poisoning are well documented by the early 1900s. LEAD paint, for example, was banned in many European countries by the 1920s. But the American lead industry aggressively campaigned to promote, yes, promote lead based paints for use around children.

Well, you probably know where the story is going. There were too many powerful companies that didn’t want to stop using it. So instead of acknowledging its harmful qualities, they doubled down on their toxic product. The lead industry was the primary sponsor of research and the chief disseminator of information about lead and its effect on people, and of course, prioritized its own profits over the truth, and a danger to American children for literally decades.

One example, Dutch Boy brand paint, and many others ran years of ad campaigns, specifically recommending lead paint as particularly cleanable. And then particularly effective for families with kids around, pop over to the show notes page to see a couple of these ads. They all have a theme, a cute little kid printing dark handprints all over a white wall and the advertising copy tells you it’s no big deal because it’s lead paint so easy to clean up so great for kids.

The propaganda went so far as to remote that you could tell how valuable your can of paint was by its heaviness. So an obviously heavy kind of paint was very heavily leaded. And you could tell just by picking it up. You may also be at risk from lead and other parts of your home.

For example, lead pipe is extremely common in mid-century and older homes and also in cities of mid-century homes. And again, in certain parts of this country and younger homes in the mid-century as well. This is another horrifying manifestation of the inertia of entrenched interest groups to make changes that would be good for the health of everyone but cost them in short term revenue, or in retraining or in seeking other sources. Perhaps some added expense to replace one material with another or just generally put them in a market disadvantage.

I did some research into this for my last job at Moss during the time of the Flint water crisis. We were regularly talking about environmental and social issues. So I dug in a little deeper to what was going on in Flint and really the problem wasn’t even that lead was in the pipes represent a lot of the pipes, but that the lead had been re exposed by the corrosive toxic water that was eating through the mineral deposits that had been protecting people from the lead in the lead pipes all these years.

We had been using lead pipes up into the 1980s. Again, the Lead Industries Association had aggressively counter argued every move in the past to ban lead pipes. As local governments started to restrict it, the LIA was always there promoting its use publishing favorable articles and studies making donations and selling it as a must to plumbing trade unions do that pressure. According to the American Journal of Public Health, the CDC didn’t establish, quote, acceptable blood levels of lead unquote, for children until the 1960s.

And as flint demonstrates, our government organizations will still bow way too easily to industry and other financial pressures not to enforce or acknowledge public safety issues. And this is so frustrating to me. But it’s something that we as savvy consumers, as homeowners need to constantly educate ourselves about, because we can’t trust corporations to make the choice in our interest. And we can only really trust the government to have an eye on these to stay on top of them as long as they have the weight of public opinion and public awareness, pushing them in the right direction.

There’s so much more power and lobbying by corporate interests that we need to keep our foot on the gas, our eye on the ball, pick your eagle eyed awareness metaphor, it’s a big one. And honestly, it’s important not just for us to think about what we can do to protect our own families in our own homes by remediating mid-century health hazards, but also to protect families everywhere by thinking about advocating for better safety measures and standards, putting in money for remediation grants and making the world a safer place retroactively for everyone in the face of constant onslaught of corporate greed.

Okay, thank you for listening to my angry lefty rant. Let’s talk about the risk to you in your mid-century house. Specifically, we already covered how dangerous exposure to lead can be, and how a relatively small amount of lead can be so toxic. But what does that mean if you find you have lead in your mid-century home, obviously, it’s not a good thing. If you find you’ve got lead paint on the outside of your home, you’ll want to address that as quickly as possible within reason, probably it’s not a day to day health hazard for you. But if you’re trying to grow vegetables in a garden next to a house with had lead exterior, you may have paint chips, paint flakes, and lead fragments getting into the soil.

If you’ve got kids playing around your house, it’s obviously not a good idea to have lead on the surface so close to them. You’ll want to get this looked into sooner rather than later.

Inside your home, the location of the lead paint is an important factor in figuring out how high your risk factors are. Lead paint on your walls is largely minding its own business. Particularly if you have lead paint on your walls underneath other layers. You may only realize that when you expose it, much like asbestos. Which we’ll talk about next week for our spooky Season part two mid-century home horrors series.

If you leave it alone, it will leave you alone…mostly. What you want to do if you have lead paint on your walls basically is to carefully seal it in with modern latex paint problem solved unless you’re going to disturb it. So you might want to take extra precautions if you need to demolish a wall that has had lead paint layered into it if you’re cutting into it to make a new opening, or maybe even be a little cautious about those famous lead paint chips.

If you were for example, replacing all of the light switch plates in your house and you ended up finding some crafty little bits of original house color hiding underneath your original switch plates. You want to vacuum, wipe, gather up all that dust as thoroughly as possible. After you’ve finished your home improvement project and keep kids and pets away from it as it’s going on.

Lead paint is going to be a much bigger deal for you if it’s on a surface that’s regularly disturbed. The most common and obvious case for that in a mid-century house is if you have original wood framed windows with operable sashes, and lead paint on those surfaces. Every time you raise or lower a double hung sash or crank open the casement or the awning on your window where the frame elements are painted with lead paint, you’ve probably aerosolized small amounts of lead paint dust into the interior air of your home.

That paint dust might be inhaled directly, or it might settle on surfaces and then be touched by fingers or licked by a kid. It’s not good. Anecdotally, the most alarming way to find out that you have lead paint in your house is to have a young child start to fail. It’s growing baby metrics at the doctor’s office, get tests run and then find out that your baby has been exposed to lead and then trace that lead back to the paint on the windows in your older home.

I know a couple this happened to. They ended up panic moving in under a week to try to limit the exposure to their child. It seems to have all turned out fine. But this is not a set of dice you want to roll. I’m really never an advocate for replacing original windows if they’re in good shape, but if you have lead on them. If you have lead exposure issues based on lead paint on pasted wooden window frames, replacing all of the windows might be the fastest solution to eradicate that problem.

Alternately, you can engage the professional to competently and safely remediate the lead paint on your windows for you. So how do you figure out if you have lead in the paint in your house? Well, the scary way is to get sick yourself, get tested and find high levels of lead concentration in your blood, I do not recommend this method.

The best and easy way to get a first pass is to get yourself a home lead test, there’s actually only one EPA approved lead test that’s commonly sold in most hardware stores. It’s called lead check with a checkmark in the logo. And it looks kind of like a little cigarette with a lipstick and you get them at pack of two or more, and they have a little ampule inside with two chemicals that need to be mixed.

In order to make it test, you squeezed the middle of a tester stick, break the ampule, release the liquid, and then dip it on the wall that you think might have lead paint. Wait a few minutes until the color change will indicate for you that you do or do not have lead in that spot. Now once you’ve got exposed lead paint discovered in one part of your house, I highly recommend that you then go ahead and check basically all of your home interior surfaces.

I found I had lead paint on some but not all of my interior walls. Even among the walls that had original paint, I bought a time capsule house here. And in some cases I found it not on the outer layer but on an under original layer of paint. That was the case of my exterior. And so I was displeased but not shocked to learn this and I took prompt but not terrified action because I’m a grown up and I’ve probably received most of the brain damage I’m gonna give myself in my life. And I didn’t have any children regularly coming around my home at the time. My windows sadly in my opinion were replaced by the previous owner in the early 2000s. So I didn’t need to worry about ongoing consistent lead exposure from operable windows.

Now these home handy tests are just step one, if you do turn up lead in your home I highly recommend you check out the services of a local lead inspector or risk assessor to come and conduct a thorough survey, this person will be certified by your state and will be able to recommend the necessary steps you want to take to deal with the risk they find specifically in your home.

Basically, my advice on this is to do what I say not what I did. I highly recommend if you find you’ve got lead paint in your house that you also hire a professional, they will be licensed by the state to address that problem for you. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you that I remediated the lead paint on my own home myself. I chose to do that because at that particular moment in my life I both had time on my hands and I was in a very can do DIY everything mode. So I did what homeowners are permitted to do I took care of the lead problem myself.

I followed the same procedures that would have been recommended while required actually by a licensed approved professional. And that involved laying down a 10 foot wide skirt of plastic tarp around the perimeter of my house taped securely to the foundation spread out over plants removing shrubs and other obstacles as I went. After creating that clear field of catchment area I suited up wearing a full Tyvek onesie goggles HEPA filter respirator, special booties to take on and off and disposable latex gloves. I worked wet to the entire time which is a pain by the way soaking down the house repeatedly before I scrape loose paint chips off. Again high lead paint chips. And before during and after sanding to remove all the loose particles I could get off the house.

When I felt that there was absolutely no loose paint left. I rolled up all of that nasty toxic stuff and disposed of it in sealed bags. I primed the exposed raw wood and the exposed original that means potentially lead paint thoroughly and then actually the whole house because there was a whole lot of disturbed area. Then I covered it all in two layers of high quality latex exterior grade house paint and voila new house color on my own. Lead paint hopefully sealed in for posterity again.

I wouldn’t have had such a big job. By the way, if the previous paint had been properly maintained over time. Any areas of lead paint on your house may be re-exposed if they begin to flake up. So it was very important to me the fully remove any bubbling or loose or flaky areas have the original house paint. And now to keep an eye on it to make sure that sun exposure or moisture changes or any other intervention doesn’t cause my new paint job to be flaked up and exposed that original lead paint again. You can think of keeping up on your maintenance cycle as your Halloween ritual of placating the dark spirit of toxic former materials or as just a responsible home maintenance cycle if that’s a more pleasing idea to you.

At the end of the day, the amount of work that it took me to properly mediate the exterior paint on my house was tremendous. I did it one side of the house at a time which made my life easier but probably did not endear me to my new neighbors. And it took me the better part of a year to get the project finished. These days, I would make quite a different choice. I don’t have that kind of free time anymore. So generally my advice is for safety and simplicity hire a licensed professional to get this job done for you.

Before I wrap up this episode, I have a completely other topic I’m going to talk to you about. The other hazard that should be grouped with lead paint is not technically a mid-century house hazard but can be a common health hazard for people Remodeling a mid-century home. So we’ll go ahead and count it.

I want to talk to you about volatile organic compounds, more commonly known as VOCs. We just talked about incredible dangerous and lead paint. That’s a persistent danger, it does not go away over time, it will never go away if there’s lead paint unsealed in a location on your house.

Now, VOCs are slightly different story. They’re most dangerous shortly after they’re introduced to your home. Volatile in this case doesn’t mean they’re going to yell at you. It means they’re going to relatively quickly disperse into the air and environment and therefore if you are in that environment, they’ll be introduced to you.

Organic also does not mean safe, yummy from the farmer’s market. It means made with carbon. A lot of the things in our lives are organic compounds, including you know, us and everything we survive on. But volatile organic compounds are bad for us. And they’re parts of our daily lives. Dry cleaning fluid, bleaching your laundry, gasoline, just to name a few.

So, a voc volatile organic compound is a chemical that either vaporizes into air or dissolves into water. They are often added to commercial and household products to improve performance or longevity or lower the cost to produce them again, corporate greed high they’ve been in common use since the 1940s. So they can turn up in mid-century houses. But again, because of their volatility, they tend not to last aerosolized VOCs tend to be possible to vent to dissipate out of your house.

Vocs like the ones used to improve performance in gas can end up in our groundwater and persist for decades. Yikes. Now, we started talking about lead paint. The purpose of VOCs and paint was not to make them more cleanable like lead, but to make them more flammable, helping pigment avoid clumping and flow smoothly from your brush to the wall. They could also prevent the paint from spoiling or getting rusty in the can.

As you apply the paint of the wall, the VOCs evaporate into the air and make part of that new paint smell you may or may not like certain types of VOCs can also react with particulates in the air to contribute to smog, which is obviously a bad thing. These days, the VSA content of paint will be labeled on the can. But that label actually applies only to the types of Voc that are regulated by the EPA. And that is only the smog producing kinds, there can still be plenty of unregulated toxic chemicals in a can of paint labeled no VOC, so please be cautious when painting and vent accordingly.

When inhaled VOCs can contribute to health problems like respiratory issues, headaches, nausea, not great. Over time, chronic exposure can damage your kidney, liver and nervous system and cause certain types of cancer. The biggest risk to you and your family is when VOCs build up in places where you spend time in this case your home. Fresh air is so important.

And so if your house is very tightly sealed for insulation purposes, something you might be doing as part of your remodel, you want to make sure to introduce plenty of fresh air, particularly when bringing new potentially voc laden materials into your house. Freshly painted walls can off gas for weeks, months, or even years after applied. And you may also bring VOCs into your house as a components of your air freshener sealing products like caulk and spray foam, composite flooring, upholstery foam, composite wood products and carpeting.

So here’s the kicker, you can’t really test for VOCs there are not federal or state standards for these things. What are we just saying about the lead larvae and how they suppressed research and information about lead toxicity for years? Funny, isn’t it, but you can at least use the sniff test.

Basically, if a new product enters your home with a strong smell, you might want to put it right back outside until it stops smelling, let it off gas somewhere with great ventilation like a breezeway, screen porch or garage, or just be extra enthusiastic, at least about opening up your windows, crack them open for every warm winter afternoon and relatively cool summer evening until there is no smell left and beyond.

Don’t depend on your AC and furnace to properly vent every part of your house. This can, by the way, be another reason to source vintage building materials and furniture for your home. They finished their off gassing decades ago, a win for you. That’s all we can talk about today for dangerous materials around a mid-century home. But Tune in next week. And we’ll be back. We’re only at the halfway point in this two part series. I focused on lead and VOCs and this one because they’re so pervasive and such a biggie.

Next week we’ll cover a number of other common household hazards associated with mid-century homes. We’ll talk about asbestos, mold and mildew, radon and wiring issues. And I’ll walk you through how to be always aware of what’s going on in your home as possible.

Don’t forget to check out the show notes for some truly horrifying lead paint ads from not that long ago at midmod-midwest.com/ 1407 And if you’d like to grab that resources list, we’ve been updating it just for you and you can get that at midmod-midwest.com/resources.

And I’d love to know what you Haven’t found around your home. When you had your house inspected? Did you check for these issues? Have you turned up any common mid-century household hazards around your house? Let me up on Instagram and let me know what’s on your mind about this kind of danger and how you feel you’ve addressed it so far or maybe not addressed it yet.

Stay safe out there. It’s a spooky season.