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Reminder on Lead Paint Law and Remodeling

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ March 26, 2010

If you're a contractor, you probably already know about the new requirements when you're remodeling or renovating around lead paint. Homeowners working on their own residences are not bound by the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) law that goes into effect April 22, 2010.

The law requires renovation contractors, painters, and maintenance workers in multi-family housing, schools, and commercial buildings constructed prior to 1978 to receive training in working around lead paint. Even if you're not a contractor, you are encouraged to take courses and learn the lead laws if you're renovating or repairing rental properties that you own that may have lead paint.

I mentioned The Environmental Protection Agency's Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) law in February, but wanted to remind professionals who are planning to work in pre-1978 buildings to find certification courses in their cities or states.

Remodeling Magazine says the RRP provisions will definitely be a "game changer" for those in the remodeling industry. Construction and renovation firms must send at least one professional on their staff to EPA-accredited classes to test for Certified Renovator (CR) designations.

Training to Comply with the Renovation Law

The magazine says that some 800,000 contractors will have to receive certifications to comply with the law. Remodeling or renovation projects that do not fall under the law include housing for elderly or disabled persons, unless a child under 6 years of age lives there; single-room dwellings without separate bedrooms; housing or school buildings constructed after 1978; and any housing already declared free of lead by certified inspectors.

If you're a concerned homeowner, you can have a contractor perform a lead inspection, or do your own home lead test. If you count yourself among the professionals who are affected by the new law, you should contact the EPA for renovator or dust-sampling technician training courses.

The EPA is currently developing online testing in renovation and repair, as well as for lead-based paint abatement certifications. For English and Spanish versions of the abatement course, visit the EPA Course Site.

If you own rental property or a vacation home that was built prior to 1978, you may be required to produce documentation that any renovation work was performed under lead-safe work practices if it falls under EPA guidelines. If you're in doubt, you can read the EPA requirements online.

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