We just moved into this house last week. Its old, built in the 40s. I know its been upgraded a couple times since. I wanna say 80s, and maybe 06 or so? Its hard to pinpoint which exact wall is new, for example, having no idea what the house looked like originally! Anyway, I noticed this in one of the bathrooms:
Its above the bath tub, so I imagine all the moisture didn't help. Its not the tub the kids bathe in (there's an amazing jetted tub in the [obviously renovated] other bathroom, so who'd use this old thing except for showers? lol) they do brush their teeth in there.
After noticing that, its making me eye up other areas where I see much more superficial and not "peely" cracks with suspicion. My husband points out that the walls look pretty clean, so the paint cant be THAT old. But can you really tell? Do walls get filthy very quickly without kids running around putting their grimy fingers all over everything, and treating the walls like their own personal mural canvas? lol.
Anyone have any good resources for the safest way to paint over it/clean any lingering dust? How paranoid should I be about the rest of the house?
Assume that any cracking/peeling paint has lead in it. Also if there are old carpets, assume it is probably in them too, especially if there was a renovation while carpets were still in place.
I think the Environmental Protection Agency might have some good resources on dealing with lead. (how to clean, how to safely remove it, etc.). A lot of damp mopping with a mild detergent (that will help lift the lead particles) is usually needed. Use a HEPA filter vacuum. A local contractor who is certified for lead removal may have some resources too.