New EPA guidelines on how to deal with lead paints in remodeling projects was effected in 2010. This caused significant changes in the cost and procedures involved with remodeling old homes. Also, the new EPA guidelines require homeowners to hire contractors that are RRP certified. Exposure to lead dust during the painting, repair, and renovation process can pose a health risk since lead is extremely toxic. Although most countries have banned lead based paints, such paints can be still found under older painted walls and other surfaces, such as in schools, residential buildings, and even in hospitals.
To reduce the possible health risk of lead based paint exposure in older locations, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires contractors to inform their clients about the potential dangers of lead based paints. Contractors are required to offer their clients a copy of a booklet about lead hazard information before starting any renovation work. If a contractor is working on a building constructed before 1978, then the contractor is required to conduct lead tests to determine whether or not there is any trace of lead. This test can only be carried out by a contractor that is RRP certified.
If the home happens to contain lead paint, the contractor should use specific, safe methods to remove it. According to “Lead-safe Work Practices” the contractor is required to use special clothing, techniques, tools, and equipment. This is meant to eliminate or reduce the risk of the lead dust caused by the remodeling job. However, contractors that have not yet registered with EPA are not allowed to do this job. Only EPA recognized renovators and remodeling teams that have gone through special training can perform lead testing and removal.
The new EPA lead paint guidelines have affected remodeling work in several ways. The application of lead-safe work practices and tests for lead will increase costs and time of completing a remodeling project. A contractor might be forced to increase the remodeling fee in order to cover the extra costs, such as for the special equipment required to perform the task, or for a lead-safe work removal fee. The fee will depend on the size, condition, and scope of the work involved. Once the project has been completed, the homeowner should be provided with a certificate signed by the contractor. This will confirm that the lead removal work was properly performed.
If you are interested in knowing whether or not a contractor is RRP certified, you simply need to request a certificate from the contractor confirming that he is licensed to perform lead paint removal and remodeling work. As a matter of fact, many buildings constructed before 1978 have a high chance of containing lead based paints. Any renovation work that disturbs the lead painted area could emit toxic lead dust, which is especially dangerous to your health. For this reason, the safest thing to do is to make sure you hire a contractor that is RRP certified and is an EPA recognized renovator. Be sure to ask them to provide you with written evidence showing that he or she is truly qualified to handle the special assignment.