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Question DetailsAsked on 6/14/2011

Do contractors have to be certified in lead paint removal?

I would like to hire a contractor to refinish our wood floors. The floors have been painted, most likely in lead-based paint. While the contractor i called out was very informative, I feel he was giving me incorrect information regarding regulations on removing lead-based paint. I was under the impression that any contractor that deals with removing lead-based paint has to go through state-approved training and get a permit. He said that this isn't so. He also said (while coughing up a storm, I might add!) that he's not afraid of lead-based paint and would just sand it off. He also said that he would just pull up the linoleum floor in the kitchen, which is probably glued down with asbestos glue.I'm new at all this and would appreciate some advice!

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7 Answers

0
Votes

"He also said (while coughing up a storm, I might add!) that he's not afraid of lead-based paint and would just sand it off. He also said that he would just pull up the linoleum floor in the kitchen, which is probably glued down with asbestos glue."

Run the other way and don't look back! This guy is an idiot. He's "not afraid" of lead-based paint? Well he should be. And you should be afraid of anyone who isn't afraid of it. He could "just sand it off" and leave you with lead residue throughout your house. I'm not aware of the laws of your state, but to the best of my knowledge it is never okay for a contractor to attack lead-based paint without a license and special gear. Tell me you didn't find this guy through Angie's List, and would you please file a report on him restating what you've told us here?

I'm assuming you want the bare-wood look, which is not going to be easy to achieve when you have to have paint removed. Do you know if the paint you see on the surface is the only layer of paint on the floor? There is also no way to know the condition of the floor underneath. Sometimes floors were painted because there were permanent stains and/or different kinds of wood that didn't look good together in an unfinished state. This is going to be a costly process, even more so since you are going to have to get some lead abatement people in there.

I would recommend calling a couple of lead abatement companies in your area and getting free estimates for paint removal. When they come out you can ask them about the laws in your state, etc. At the very least I'd report the guy who was out there to the better business bureau.


Answered 2 years ago by Commonsense

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Votes

Thanks for your replies,


Yeah, this guy was quite a character! It was a bit of a red flag when laughed off my asking him if he was certified to perform lead-based activities. He's been in the business for around 30 years and seems stuck in doing things the old school way. I found him through the yellow pages before I knew about Angieslist, so I learned a lesson there. I have another floor guy coming this afternoon to do an estimate (whom I found through Angieslist). I've checked into lead abatement companies and there are so few to choose from in my area (Portland, Oregon), but I'll give them a call tomorrow.


Answered 2 years ago by EJHN

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"I've checked into lead abatement companies and there are so few to choose from in my area (Portland, Oregon), but I'll give them a call tomorrow"

Is it possible the paint is not lead base? I'd have any questionable existing floor paint tested before obtaining contractors estimates to refurbish. Any type of HazMat cleanup can be extremely expensive in both time & money.

Re linoleum: depending on when it was manufactured, old linoleum/ tile often contains asbestos (dunno about the mastic) and usually do not present a major problem unless it is sanded. My state has enacted very stringent EPA laws and it's acceptable to cover lino with another product.

Answered 2 years ago by tessa89

0
Votes

[quote user="tessa89"]

"I've checked into lead abatement companies and there are so few to choose from in my area (Portland, Oregon), but I'll give them a call tomorrow"

Is it possible the paint is not lead base? I'd have any questionable existing floor paint tested before obtaining contractors estimates to refurbish. Any type of HazMat cleanup can be extremely expensive in both time & money.

Re linoleum: depending on when it was manufactured, old linoleum/ tile often contains asbestos (dunno about the mastic) and usually do not present a major problem unless it is sanded. My state has enacted very stringent EPA laws and it's acceptable to cover lino with another product.

[/quote]

There are lead testing kits that are very inexpensive that can be purchased from most hardware/home improvement stores. The contain a reactive fluid that when in contact with lead will change a specific color.

Lead abatement is not a light matter and having worked as an abatement contractor and being licensed as an approved supervisor by the state, there are very specific regulations and procedures that will need to be observed.

Test the surface first and if there are multiple layers of paint, peel back and test the other layers as well.

Answered 2 years ago by Windows on Washington

0
Votes

[quote user="tessa89"]

"I've checked into lead abatement companies and there are so few to choose from in my area (Portland, Oregon), but I'll give them a call tomorrow"

Is it possible the paint is not lead base? I'd have any questionable existing floor paint tested before obtaining contractors estimates to refurbish. Any type of HazMat cleanup can be extremely expensive in both time & money.

Re linoleum: depending on when it was manufactured, old linoleum/ tile often contains asbestos (dunno about the mastic) and usually do not present a major problem unless it is sanded. My state has enacted very stringent EPA laws and it's acceptable to cover lino with another product.

[/quote]

The tiles are not really of concern unless you stick them through a yard chipper. The fibers will not be released otherwise. Make sure you dispose of them properly though. The mastic, usually black, can be more troublesome, however, a good mastic remover and some care while doing it is usually all that you need. Mastic removers will desolve the mastic so that you are not sanding or agitating the fibers to get them off the floor.

Answered 2 years ago by Windows on Washington

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[quote user="EJHN"] I'm new at all this and would appreciate some advice!

[/quote]

Best advice I can offer is trust your instincts - - wait for the others to come and offer their thoughts and method for serving you.

Did you find the first guy on Angie's List? Had others talked about his, ummm, willingness to go where nobody should?

Answered 2 years ago by Old Grouch

0
Votes

I know this is an older post but it is federal law that contractors who work on lead painted surfaces for any reason must have the certification to do so from the EPA. Also, any workers they hire to work on the project must go through a class about lead paint safety. below is a link to more information from the EPA.

http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovati...

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
www.thomeservices.com

Answered 2 years ago by Todd's Home Services




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