New Rules for Renovation, Repair and Painting

  • In April of this year a new EPA rule will go into effect for all homes, childcare facilities, and schools built before 1978. Anyone working in housing and child-occupied facilities built prior to 1978 on common renovation activities such as sanding, cutting, and demolition that disturbs lead-based paint must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. This rule establishes requirements for training renovators, other renovation workers, and dust sampling technicians; for certifying renovators, dust sampling technicians, and renovation firms; for accrediting providers of renovation and dust sampling technician training; for renovation work practices; and for record keeping.

    How this rule will be enforced has yet to be determined. But the key question you should be asking is “Does this affect me?” If your home or apartment was built prior to 1978 then this rule absolutely applies to you. It also applies to any facility, public or commercial, that is visited by the same child, under 6 years of age on at least 2 different days within any week and the visits last at least 3 hours each time and the combined annual visits last at least 60 hours. The only exempt housing is that for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any child under age 6 resides or is expected to reside in such housing). Residential remodelers should be aware of this rule, as well as multi family maintenance crews, school maintenance crews, plumbers, heating and air conditioning contractors, electrical contractors…and the list goes on and on. Actions that potentially release lead dust and disturbs more than 6 square feet of interior surface space in a room and/or 20 square feet of exterior surface space are: painting and sanding; paint removal by any means; kitchen cabinet removal; replacing boards, soffits, or trim; window replacement; flooring removal and installation; HVAC repair or replacement, including duct work; drilling or sawing into wood or plaster…once again the list goes on and on.  And as a homeowner residing at the property in question if no child under the age of 6 resides there, that no pregnant woman resides there, and that the property is not a child-occupied facility, you have the authority to opt out of this regulation.  But you must provide documentation to that effect to your contractor.

    Therefore effective April 22, 2010, federal law will require that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. BK Design Associates is exploring whether this law will affect our operations. We do not believe it will since the homes we perform work in usually were built after 1978. At the least, we would need to test for the presence of lead if your home was built prior to 1978 and then determine the best course of action to follow. Please call us for more information at 281-531-4242.

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