If your home was built before 1978, there is a strong chance that your house contains lead-based paint. When hiring a contractor to work on your home, the old paint will likely be disturbed. The dust created by normal preparation procedures such as scraping or sanding can be very harmful to those who come into contact with it. In fact, dust is the most common way that people are exposed to lead. Lead is especially harmful to children, but it is also harmful to adults and even pets.
Hiring a certified contractor is of the utmost importance due to the harmful side effects that can result from lead. In particular, exposure to lead can affect children’s developing brains and nervous systems, in the worst cases causing learning disabilities and/or behavioral problems. For adults, low levels of lead are related to high blood pressure and hypertension.
If you suspect your home may contain lead, it is advised to contact a certified professional who can verify the presence of lead-based paint. Only contractors certified by the EPA or their state’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) program are legally permitted to work on homes where normal preparation procedures may disturb the old lead paint and create harmful dust. EPA Lead-Safe certified painting contractors are trained in the proper procedures to minimize lead exposure such fully covering areas with plastic, utilizing a dust-free vacuum, and making sure all workers wear protective suits. When obtaining a bid from a contractor for lead-safe work, you should always check the details of the bid to make sure they have included details on the preparation they will complete to minimize lead hazards and confine all lead dust to the work area. While the extensive prep work may result in a higher-than-average estimate for painting, it is well worth it for the safety of your family.
Again, the painter you hire must be a lead-safe certified contractor. To verify a contractor’s certification visit epa.gov/getleadsafe, or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323). The state of Washington is authorized to administer its own Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) program. To verify a contractor’s status in Washington (including that of Sound Painting Solutions), contact the Washington State Department of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-586-5323 (LEAD). For reference, our company’s certification number is R1641.