It's hard to keep track of new legislation that affects home building and remodeling across the 50 states. Too often homeowners and re-modelers get going on a project that requires a local permit and suddenly discover they have to lay out additional money to meet building codes. I know people who have had to rip out improvements and start over when they neglected to observe the law. If you've ever had a surprise visit from a building inspector--sent your way by a neighbor's complaint--you won't want a repeat experience!
One of the most sweeping new federal laws that impact contractors in all states goes into effect the first of April 2010. The regulations, established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), require that contractors, renovation builders, or home maintenance personnel undergo certification training for maintaining a lead-free painting environment when working on dwellings, schools, or child care centers built prior to 1978.
Lead Paint Laws Protect Children
"The Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Program" impacts any renovation work done on some 38 million homes in the country that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates still have lead-based paint. We have advice here at Reliable Remodeler for anyone who wants to do a lead paint test. Test results, unfortunately, are not perfect. It's a good idea to round up the history of your home if it was built prior to 1978 and have your kids tested by your physician.
According to the EPA, all work done on pre-1978 dwellings and schools performed by contractors--anywhere that children are present--must be done under standards that prevent the dispersal of lead from dust or paint chips from sanding or painting preparation from being released into the environment. Property owners are advised to download the EPA's lead hazard information pamphlet.
If you own property that still has lead-based paint and plan on doing the renovation yourself, the EPA recommends that you take a training class (available in all states), even though the regulations apply only if you are working on someone else's property. You can also call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).
Again, if you're doing the work yourself, knowing the guidelines can protect you and your children. And doing thorough painting prep work ahead of the project can spare you plenty of trouble by containing the job and keeping the workspace clean. Be safe out there!