Contractor Beware: Is There Lead Paint Present?

If you are considering remodeling an older home, then you may need to use special lead safety procedures to control dust and follow the law. Did you know that the EPA RRP Rule applies to residential properties and child occupied buildings like schools and day cares older than 1978. Disturbing as little as six square feet of paint requires a Lead Renovator Class, containment procedures, and specialized cleaning. If you replace windows or do demo activity, then the rule automatically applies no matter how little paint you disturb.

But how do you know if the painted surfaces that you will disturb contain lead? You can hire a lead inspector certification company to come out and do testing. They will use an XRF analyzer. This is a high tech piece of equipment that emits gamma rays to detect lead paint. It sounds dangerous, but when used properly, it is completely safe. You can hire them to do sampling in just one room or an entire house. It really depends on what the scope of the project is, and of course the budget. This can be relatively expensive and you can expect to pay approximately $550.00 for an inspection on an average size 3 bedroom 2 bath house.

You do have other options though. When you attend a lead renovator class, you will learn all of the options you have to test painted surfaces. You are only allowed to use these methods upon completion of the course and after you are provided your certification. The first method as a Lead Certified Renovator is to use an EPA recognized test kit. There are two approved test kits for use and both use a chemical to detect the lead in a painted surface. You can expect to pay about $3.00 per test and results are almost instant. The second method is paint chip sampling. This method requires you to scrape a piece of paint into a container and send it to a laboratory for analysis. This method can be much more expensive (depending on lab used) and takes longer to get results.

Rest assured, if you are working in an older home, you have several different options to test painted surfaces that you plan to disturb. Taking a lead renovator class gives you the flexibility to do the testing yourself and get results quicker. If you have questions or would like to attend a class, contact ZOTA Professional Training. We are ready to answer your questions!