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A Lead Safe Guide to Remodeling Part 4

Now that you as the homeowner have endured the hassle of preperation and routine upset, how do you make sure the job was done properly?

There are several things you can do. 

Ask about your contractor’s final cleanup check.  Remember, lead dust is often invisible to the naked eye.  It may still be present even if you cannot see it.  The contractor must use disposable cleaning cloths to wipe the floor of the work area and compare them to a cleaning verification card to determine if the work area was adequately cleaned.  Need a cleaning verification card?  That and detailed instructions can be obtained by a visit to the EPA’s lead website at www.epa.gov/lead or contact the National Lead Information center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or visit their website at www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm.

You may also choose to have a lead-dust test.  Lead-dust tests are wipe samples sent to a lab for analysis.

  • You should specify in your contract that a lead-dust test will be done.  In this case, make it clear who will do the testing.
  • Testing should be done by a lead professional.

If you choose to do the testing, some EPA-recognized lead laboratories will send you a kit that allows you to collect samples and send them back to the lab for analysis.

Contact the National Lead Information Center at 1.800.424.LEAD (5323) for lists of qualified professionals and EPA-recognized lead labs.

If your home, child care facility or school fails the dust test, the area should be re-cleaned and tested again.

Where the project is done by contract, it’s a good idea to specify in the contract that the contractor is responsible for re-cleaning if the home, child care facility, or school fails the test.

If you find you need additional information on how to protect yourself and your children while a job is going on in your home, your building or facility, contact the National Lead Information Center at 1.800.424.LEAD (5323) or www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm.  A variety of programs, local building code officials and health departments can provide information to those looking for a “lead check-up.” 

The National Lead Information Center can also provide a variety of resource materials, including the following guides to lead-safe work practices.  Many of these materials are also available at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/brochure.htm.

  • Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair and Painting
  • Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home
  • Lead in Your Home:  A Parent’s Reference Guide

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For the hearing impaired, call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to access any of the phone numbers listed in this blog.

Information herein can be referenced from the EPA’s handbook The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right.  www.epa.gov/getleadsafe