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Lead Paint and Your Renovation

When thinking about remodeling your home, consider something:

  • Was your house built before 1978?

Why is this date important? Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes prior to 1978, when it was officially banned from residential building use.

Lead dust is the most common way people ingest lead, and often invisible, it will harm children’s brains and developing nervous systems. Children exposed to lead paint often suffer from reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral issues.  Lead dust can be stirred up during home renovation, sanding, digging, cutting and sawing. It is important that you take proper precautions before allowing contractors to begin remodeling your home. Follow these helpful hints before beginning renovations inside your cherished living space:

  • Ensure that your contractor or potential contractor can give you all the details of your particular project and how he or she plans to minimize lead hazards during the construction.
  • Inquire about training with lead-based paint and removal.
  • Have your contractor explain proper lead-paint removal techniques.
  • Outline a clear contract that details how lead-paint will be safely removed from your home. Share the results of any previous lead tests with your contractor.
  • As of April 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 in which a child under age six visits regularly to be certified and follow specific work practices to eliminate the threat of lead contamination.
  • As the homeowner, you may need to find alternative bathroom, bedroom and kitchen facilities if lead-paint removal is going to take place in any of these parts of your home. If removal areas are neighboring rooms, make sure the contract adequately segregates those space and seals them off from any space you wish to continue using during the renovation.
  • Turn off all forced air throughout your home during the project to avoid spreading dust.
  • Cover furniture that will remain in any rooms where lead-paint is being disturbed.
  • Make sure you take extra care of your pets during these projects, as they are just as susceptible to lead paint as human beings.
  • Make sure your contractor does a thorough cleaning of all the areas where construction took place. Specify beforehand in the contract how the cleaning will take place so that it meets the federal requirements.

Lead paint is not something to mess around with. Your contractor is required to provide you with certain information before beginning work in your space. If your contractor fails to inform you about the dangers of lead paint or fails to follow the requirements bestowed upon him by federal law,  call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

You can locate additional information on lead-based paints and removal from the National Lead Information Center at www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm

Let Wyeth Woodworking and Remodeling help protect you, your loved ones and your home from lead contamination during your remodeling projects.

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