Residential Painters and Lead Paint Removal

Lead was added to paint for several reasons:  It helped prevent corrosion, had mold and mildew resistant factors, helped paint dry faster, and gave the paint a more vibrant color.  However, its removal from residential homes has recently become a big concern for the EPA and it has been banned from all commercial and residential paint products.

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Renovation, Repair, and Painting rules (RRP) which took effect in 2010 in Raleigh, NC.  With the new law in place, the state and federal government requires that contractors be certified in lead paint removal on all structures built prior to 1978.  While not all of these properties will have lead paint on them, many do and because of this, the EPA requires lead testing and documentation before any work can be done.  This testing should be done by a certified lead removal technician.  If property shows a positive result for lead paint, the RRP rule requires work safe practices such as sanding, scraping, and cutting to be performed by a certified contractor.

Raleigh paint contractors are not the only trades that are required to be certified. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and drywall contractors are all now required to carry these certificates if providing services for any property built prior to 1978.  There are exemptions to this new law but only a couple:  Any surface to be disturbed on the interior less than 6 sqft. or any surface to be disturbed on the exterior less than 20 sqft. The RRP rule applies to any work being performed by any of these trades and requires that a certificate holder has to be on site at all times.  Lead paint exposure is extremely hazardous, especially to pregnant women and small children.  Because of this, the EPA, state, and federal government has imposed stiff penalties and fines that can well exceed 1000’s of dollars for any violations of this law.  Obviously, because of these new laws that have been imposed by the EPA, Raleigh painters are now having to change more to cover the labor cost of staying in compliance with the RRP rule such as covering and containing all dust and paint chips, so Raleigh home owners can expect a larger price tag on any of these painting and repair services.  However, once property has been brought back to good condition, it is extremely important to maintain its new condition to eliminate large future expenses.  Keep in mind that the only time you need a certified technician is when there will be scraping and sanding involved. A well maintained property will mean a less expensive paint job next time.