Home Renovation And Bad Stuff in our Houses


If you’re not “in the industry”, not a lead-safe worker, and not properly trained, you are risking your health and the health of those within arms reach of your home renovation. Sure, you could throw on a respirator ad zip-up in a protective suit, in an attempt to decontaminate your home, but do you really know what you’re doing?


It may seem easier that it actually is and many property owners and “handy man” type businesses do attempt to make repairs with out d when  repairs are not done safely and correctly, people are not only risking their own health, but also the health of their own children, pets or anyone else that they might come in contact with on a regular basis . . . . Not to mention the health of the people living in the home.


When dealing with a home built before 1978, the most likely hazard found is lead paint.  Lead Dust is the leading cause of lead poisoning in children and can lead to hyperactivity, lower IQs, attention deficit disorder, other health issues, coma and even death.  Most children come into contact with lead dust because of a dusty or dirty home or daycare from the renovations happening in the home they live in or because their parent brings the dust home on their clothing.  Because this is such an enormous concern because it takes only a very  small amount of lead dust to poison a child and forever change their lives.


Because of all of these lead issues we banned lead in residential paint in 1978, we phased out lead in gas in 1986, and in  2008 the EPA started the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards associated with the renovation, repair and painting activities.  The rule requires workers to be certified and train in the use of lead-safe work practices, and requires renovation, repair, and painting firms to be EPA certified.  These requirements became fully effective April 22, 2010.


So what happens now in 2014?  Well the EPA can randomly inspect your job sites to see if you are following all the guidelines.  Failure to comply could result in fines of up to the statutory maximum of $37,500 per violation per day.


1. Failure to establish and maintain records is the number one violation.  You must keep all records for all work you have performed, records for all certified workers and proof that they were certified during the job, proof they were the ones on the job, proof of compliance, and post-renovation cleaning verifications.  Be sure to take photos, get signatures, and document everything.


2. Failure to comply with work practice standards.  This is very specific information that covers a wide-range of work practices, including, but not limited to:


  • Use of  machines designed to remove paint or other surface coatings through high speed operation without a HEPA vacuum attachment.
  • Failure to contain waste from renovation activities.
  • Failure to contain work area, including windows and doors.
  • Failure to contain lead dust.


3. Failure to comply with training requirements.  You must obtain a training course completion certificate.


4. Failure to provide the lead hazard information pamphlet, Renovate Right, to the property owner.  Document this!  Obtain signature, take a photo of you delivering it, email a copy and retain documentation for 3 years.


5. Failure to obtain firm certification when required.


6. Failure to ensure trained individuals performed the renovation.


7. Failure to post signs clearly defining the work area and warning occupants not to enter prior to beginning work.


As a Real Estate Investor if we are doing the work ourselves, these rules apply to our own work.  If you are hiring contractors to do the work for you, it’s their responsibility to make sure they comply with the RRP Rule.  All Investors who renovate homes built before 1978 should at minimum take an RRP training class so you know what the rules are.


You can learn more about Lead and rules and regulations pertaining to lead in the home at www.2.epa.gov.lead.


Be sure to join us at MAREI for the April 8th Main Meeting featuring Kyle Gunion with Titan Environmental discussing Bad Things in our houses including Lead, Asbestos, Mold and Meth, and what we should know.