EPA Rules on Lead Paint Are Important

For anyone with Homes for Sale in Downingtown PA, and all of Chester County which were built prior to 1978, they should know about new EPA regulations which took effect on April 22, 2010.  These regulations will have a significant affect on renovations both large and small.  This is important information that you should know if you plan to buy or sell a home.  The EPA regulation was designed to protect against the risks caused by hazardous lead dust and chips.  Construction activities such as sanding and demolition can make airborne lead paint, which has been tied to serious health problems.

The new EPA regulation requires that all contractors whose work causes a disturbance of a painted surface be certified to work with poisonous lead paint.  The procedures that contractors need to adhere to are extensive; if they fail to abide by these procedures, the face huge fines, loss of certification, license to do business and even jail. Primary affected trades are renovators, handymen, painters, demolition contractors, plumbers and electricians but all contractors may be subject in the near future.

In Homes for Sale in Downingtown PA built before 1978 the contractor will be required to test for lead using an EPA approved test. If no lead is found then the contractor has to document all tests and no other procedures need to be followed. If lead is found then the whole job is considered a hazardous site and must be treated as such. This means that until the renovation is completed and passes a final clearance test no one is permitted in the renovation site that is not a certified contractor. This includes other contractors and even the homeowners. All areas quartered off will be posted with warning signs and no one may enter.

All non-certified personnel must be trained for a minimum of 1.5 hours in lead handling and procedures.  The work area must be sealed off with heavy plastic and all non-movable furniture must be cleaned and sealed in plastic. All openings must be taped up completely. The floors in the work area also must be cleaned with a HEPA vacuum and covered with heavy plastic and sealed with tape to the floor. No authorized person may enter the site without protective clothing and an EPA approved dust mask. All personnel must vacuum themselves off with a HEPA vacuum before leaving the site , remove the protective clothing, roll it up and leave it in the protected area. Upon returning the personnel must put on new protective clothing before reentering the site.   A typical repair in Homes for Sale in Downingtown PA that might require this type of effort would be window replacements.  You can see why this is important to you if you plan to buy or sell a home that was built before 1978.

Don’t let the possibility of lead paint scare you away if you hope to buy or sell a home, they can be amazing places to live and many of them have already had their paint removed by previous owners. If you do need to have the paint removed in one of these older homes take comfort knowing that the final result will be well worth the time and effort when you have Homes for Sale in Downingtown PA.

For information about this regulation, see http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm

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