Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Certification

Do you live in, own, deal with the sale of, or intend to perform work (such as repairs following pre-purchase inspections) in any home constructed prior to 1978? Surprise, this new certification requirement will now affect you!

Beginning in April 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 be certified and they must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The recommended actions and practices aren’t new; they began on April 22, 2008. However, the certification requirement, enforcement of recommendations becoming requirements and fines is a very different scenario.

What is at risk? First and foremost is the safety of the children spending time in these homes or buildings. It doesn’t end there. There are new liability issues related to landlords, contractors and Realtors who may be involved with repairs especially if they fail to use EPA certified contractors. If you live in or are involved in any capacity with a home built before 1978, for your welfare and the occupant’s safety, make sure your contractor is properly trained and certified in accordance with the new EPA regulations and uses lead-safe work practices during renovation or they are subject to fines of up to $37,500.00 per violation per day of noncompliance. Put simply, demand to see and be given a copy of your contractor’s certification and the EPA “lead hazard information pamphlet” (click on the photo below). Verify for yourself that all contractors are following proper protective procedures.
For additional information visit EPA’s website at:


  1. Thanks a lot for posting. I enjoy reading your responses because everything you said will help me on my research about property rights and inspections. Your ideas are really helpful to me. I will surely forward this to my friends.

  2. Hi
    I live in the upper part of an older house and the roof was replaced last summer - ever since - I've had throat problems.... We store things in the attic and when I went up there... horror! a thick layer of dust fallout from the roof being banged was all over everything.. What exactly is in this? Is it toxic?
    There is only a loose pull down ladder cieling door leading into our bedroom. . so the airborne stuff is certainly in our living space...
    i'm concerned as it is now clear that the landlord only cares about fast money and nothing about safety
    your advise will be much appreciated!


  3. Ellie,

    I don’t have a clue what it is since I can’t see it from my house! However, it is not unusual to have a layer of “dust” in the attic before or after work on the roof. The most obvious is simply pollen collecting from air circulating through the attic from outside. I almost always start coughing when I inspect attics and crawl spaces. The same often occurs when I raise window blinds to inspect windows. Your “dust” is very likely nothing special you should be of great concern about. What it is would depend on the age of the home and what is in the attic. If you are uncomfortable have it tested and/or have it cleaned up. It is very questionable if this “dust” is the responsibility of your “landlord”.

    Hope this is helpful, Chris


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