Lead remediation is not for the Do-It-Yourself-ers. This is something a professional should be doing because 1: They should have all the necessary tools and education and 2: because they know the regulations to work by! As an Average Joe homeowner, we have so many other things to care for, it’s safer in the long run to let the pros handle it.
So let’s say you’ve contacted a professional that is going to start on your home. How do YOU prepare for the ‘invasion?’
First, the work areas should not be accessible to occupants while the work occurs.
The rooms or areas where the work is being done may need to be blocked off or sealed with plastic sheeting to contain any dust generated. Therefore, you may not be able to access certain areas until the work in that room is complete, cleaned thoroughly, and the containment has been removed. Because you may not have access to those areas, plan accordingly.
You may need:
- Alternative sleeping, bathing or eating areas if work is occurring in those places of your home.
- A safe place for pets because they too can be poisoned by lead and can track lead dust into other areas of the home.
- A separate pathway for the contractor from the work area to the outside in order to bring materials in and out of the home. Ideally, it should not be through the same entrance that your family uses.
- A place to store your furniture. All furniture and belongings may have to be moved from the work area while the work is being done. Items that cannot be moved, such as cabinets, should be wrapped in plastic.
- To turn off forced-air heating and air conditioning systems while the work is being done. This prevents dust from spreading through vents from the work area to the rest of your home. Consider how this may affect your living arrangements.
You may even want to move out of your home temporarily while all or part of the work is being done.
Child care facilities and schools may want to consider alternative accommodations for children and access to necessary facilities.
Again, if you think a worker isn’t doing what he is supposed to do or is doing something that is unsafe, you should:
- Direct the contractor to comply with regulatory and contract requirements.
- Call your local health or building department, or
- Call the EPA’s hotline 1-800-424-LEAD (5323)
Information herein can be referenced from the EPA’s handbook The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right. www.epa.gov/getleadsafe