Starting this week any remodeling or repair work done on homes that were built before 1978 or remodeled around then have some new constraints and of course, costs. A new Environmental Protection Agency rule requires training and other measures to make the work safe for families.
Contractors working at properties where lead-based paint is likely will soon have to abide by The Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule that goes into effect today and is geared at protecting individuals from harmful lead-based paint. (See EPA info on dangers)
The new rule was enacted after a four-year study found that construction work, such as window replacement, HVAC work, demolition of interior plaster walls, removal of exterior painted siding, and sawing into painted wood exposes both occupants and workers to high levels of airborne lead The EPA notes, the most common manner in which people are exposed to lead is through lead contained in dust.
Under the rule, any renovations, repairs or painting to inside areas greater than 6 square feet and outside areas greater than 20 square feet are subject to the rule.
- First off homeowners who do their own work are excluded from taking the extra testing and abatement measures. Anyway, the EPA recommends that homeowners follow the procedures in its Renovate Right .
- Contractors working on almost all homes built before 1978 must prove they have the Environmental Protection Agency’s stamp of approval to do the work — or face fines of up to $37,500 a day.
- Homeowners who are considering buying an older home need to know that any renovations that would be planned will require extra costs if testing proves the presence of lead paint.
- Some estimate that the extra time and effort required for protecting, cleaning and testing construction areas in pre-1978 homes will add 5 percent to 30 percent in fees on small renovation jobs.
- Homeowners who have any work done in the future may be scammed by some contractors who say their bids are high because the Government has new rules. You should ask for some inexpensive testing before work is done or suspicious bids are received.
- It won’t be long before internet scamers are selling test kits aimed at the homeowner that are unreliable. For information on testing in your home visit the EPA site http://www.epa.gov/lead/index.html
- The number of local certified contractors is growing every day. The current list can be found HERE