Sunday, August 19, 2012 • 4:31pm
When we adopted our dog Malcolm, one of the strangest behaviors we noticed was his love of walls. No, he didn't just appreciate our prowess in interior design; he liked to chew on them!
Strangely, this is not the first time we've had to worry about the consumption of paint.
When our kids were little, my youngest son was found to have abnormally high levels of lead in his blood. When his doctors tried to understand it, they asked us if we had lead-based paint on the walls. Our house had been built in the 1940's, and even after remodeling, some of the old paint remained. She told us that children like to eat pain chips because it tastes so sweet. We had no idea!
In 1978, lead-based paint was recognized as a health hazard and banned from use in new, residential construction. However, many pre-existing homes like ours already had the paint installed. When moving into a building constructed before 1978, it is important to remember that these homes qualify under the EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rules, in which contractors must employ special safety precautions when repairing and renovating. Since the RRP's introduction in 2010, the EPA has even closed those loop holes that once allowed building managers to "opt out" of the safety precautions, ensuring better protection for all residents.
When moving into older buildings, first discuss lead-based paint on the property with the seller or landlord. This discussion should be included in any rental or purchase agreements.
If it turns out there is such a danger in a pre-owned property, remember that only professionals are able to handle the situation. The EPA has only approved one field test kit to contractors for public availability, and even this has limited its use on plaster and drywall surfaces.
The bottom line: even contractors are ill-equipped to handle the intensive regulations necessary to provide a safe, lead-free environment. Only trained restoration professionals like your local PuroClean office have the training to respect, understand, and implement the intensive EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rules with thoroughness and professionalism.
If lead-based paint comes to the surface, pick up the phone to schedule a consultation, and make sure the RRP regulations are serving you and your family the best ways they can.
After more than twenty-five years in the construction industry, Chris and Robin Hoy have learned the importance of quality mitigation in disaster relief. Now as franchise owners for PuroClean Restoration Services, they take pride in responding quickly and efficiently to the damage caused by fire, water, mold and biohazards, filling restoration and mitigation needs within the community. Click here to visit our website.
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