What is this about?
Several years ago the EPA announced new requirements. These requirement are in full effect beginning April 2010.
What is the problem?
Lead has been found to cause significant health problems to both children and to adults. Lead based paint in a home is not a problem as long as it is encapsulated and undisturbed. The problems occur when it is found to be chipped or flaking or if scraped, sanded or otherwise disturbed during painting or remodeling.
What homes are affected?
The homes that fall under the guidelines are homes for which a building permit was issued prior to January 1, 1978. For the Denver area, that is about 80% of the housing stock. You can usually find the construction date for you home in the county records for your county. You may want to call the county or the building department if that is a 1978 or 1979 date to learn for certain when the permit was issued. My own observation is that the use of paints containing lead was very limited after the mid-1960’s when water based paints began to be used extensively by production builders. I will still be found on some of those home in exterior paint and some woodwork. By the mid-1970’s it would have been typical only in more custom homes and then primarily on interior woodwork. Testing in several locations with very minor “destruction” will tell you whether or not your home is affected.
What do I need to know or do?
If you engage a contractor for any remodeling, including painting, window replacement or cabinet replacement, ask to see their EPA certifications. From reading the EPA web site, there appear to be two. One is more of a “registration”, with the second being the actual “training”. The contractors are obligated to follow EPA protocols during their work. All seem to agree that this is going to increase costs. There does not seem to be agreement as to how much. The fines for contractors not following protocols and/or not being “approved” are in the $30,000 range so this is considered by EPA to be a big deal.
What if I do the work myself?
Good question. Homeowners are not subject to the same restrictions. But, lead is a real hazard and you should check EPA protocols and follow them. You do not want lead dust air born in your home or flakes on the floor. Test first and know your homes conditions.
Comments or Questions?
Please add yours or contact me directly if you would like assistance. I am an experienced Exclusive Buyer Broker and always and only represent the interests of my buyer clients.