Lead Paint: What You Need To Know Before Starting Demo Work

Lead Paint:  What You Need To Know Before Starting Demo Work

Starting a new remodeling project can be exciting, especially these days when all types of construction related work can be so difficult to come by, but if the job requires repainting an older house or building, you might want to approach the work with a little bit of caution.

New rules went into effect last year that require all contractors working on a home constructed prior to 1978 be educated in the removal of lead paint and be able to pass that knowledge on to the customer. Don’t think that you can get by because your state doesn’t have any such requirement – it’s a federal law put into place by the EPA and the last thing you want is to get a fine from that organization.

The law applies to building contractors, remodelers, and maintenance personnel who may be working on homes, schools, or any building used for child care. If you fall into one of these categories, you must get certified by the EPA which can be done by attending an eight hour course conducted by an approved trainer. The primary issues covered are:

  • Containing the work area
  • How to minimize dust while working
  • How to clean up properly

Before you start complaining about additional regulations, the purpose of the new rules is to prevent the spread of lead based dust in areas where children may live or attend classes. The rules may even be beneficial to your company – if you’re the only company in your area that’s certified, guess who gets the remodeling projects on older homes and buildings.

When bidding a project where lead paint may be present, you should always make sure the customers are aware of the risks involved when the old paint is disturbed and part of the new law is that you provide the customer with a brochure from the EPA that describes proper disposal measures. If your customer thinks they can save a little money by taking care of disposal themselves and skirting the law’s requirements, direct them to the EPA website where the dangers to adults and children who breath lead dust are covered in detail – hopefully they’ll decide that hiring you might be a good idea after all.

New regulations can be a pain, but in many cases they can help prevent accidents or health issues for you, your employees, and your customers.

For more information, head over the EPA website at:  http://www.epa.gov/lead

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