A Homeowner’s Assurance of Responsible Renovation
As a contractor, we play a critical role in helping to prevent lead exposure in homes that are built before 1978. In these circumstances, ordinary renovation and maintenance activities can create toxic lead dust that can harm our workers, you, and your family. But, by following lead-safe work practices, we can prevent lead hazards.
More importantly, the same rules that require workers to be certified and trained in the use of lead-safe practices also apply to coronavirus-safe practices. In other words, firms that are already compliant with the EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule are already prepared to keep you and your family safe during the pandemic.
There are three components of EPA lead-safe compliance that directly apply to today’s challenging world of COVID-19 containment and safeguarding. What does this mean? You can proceed without fear to plan, design, and build a home remodel in a safe and responsible manner. It starts with hiring a responsible lead-safe certified remodeling firm that is rigorously following these rules to protect you, your family, and your home.
Contain the Work Area
Home renovations are typically loud and dusty and involve many workers who are using heavy equipment and moving in and out of the workspace. Whenever lead paint might be present, RRP rules help prevent toxic lead dust and debris from not only getting tracked into your home and outside the work area but also escaping into the air and onto surfaces like floors and window sills where they can be breathed in and absorbed in normal hand-to-mouth activities. As we’ve learned, COVID-19 also gets into the air and onto surfaces, so by applying similar containment techniques, your certified lead-safe contractor can help mitigate any potential issues and keep you safe.
Proven work practices for containment include isolating work areas with plastic sheeting or other impermeable material, covering floors, sealing off doors and heating and cooling system vents, and limiting worker movement through the project area. In addition, warning signs are to be posted outside work areas, and when working with others in close proximity, masks, and various protective equipment are to be worn by workers for their own safety.
Clean Up Thoroughly
EPA’s renovation, repair, and painting rules are rigorous regarding cleaning procedures within a project zone. These procedures include using a HEPA vacuum to clean up dust and debris on all surfaces, followed by wet wiping and wet mopping of all work surfaces with plenty of rinse water. Whether removing lead or the coronavirus, these techniques — when properly utilized — ensure that contained areas are precisely cleaned for personal safety.
Your contractor should be following these cleaning best practices. Responsible firms will standardize their cleaning procedures to ensure thoroughness, often designating specific times throughout the workday.
Note: MainStreet Design Build has adopted standardized cleaning procedures to ensure thoroughness in direct response to the Coronavirus threat. Beyond practicing safe distancing, they are wearing gloves, pre-screening workers before entering the work site each day, consistently washing hands with soap and/or hand sanitizer, regularly cleaning tools and equipment, disinfecting shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.), and more.
Document and Keep Records
The lead-safe certified contractor is responsible for preparing, retaining and making available to EPA all records demonstrating that the renovation was conducted in compliance with the work practice standards for a period of three years following completion of the renovation. Although coronavirus is now more a safety concern than lead paint, the same procedures can work to help fight the spread of infection in your home, as we’ve seen. Consequently, the same careful procedure can protect your family and your home during a renovation project.
Proper documentation includes training and guidance for workers regarding proper containment and cleaning protocols, and RRP certification documents and reporting for the EPA.
Ultimately, your remodeling contractor doesn’t necessarily need to be lead-safe certified to be safe, but having the certification can certainly give you peace of mind and another layer of safety as you embark on a home remodel during these unprecedented times.
Note: MainStreet Design Build IS Lead-Safe Certified and fully committed to remodeling your space with utmost care and safety.
Partner with a LEAD-Safe Certified Remodeling Firm
MainStreet Design Build is Southeast Oakland County’s’ EPA lead-safe certified, full-service, luxury, design-build remodeling firm. We cater to homeowners who value working with a trusted partner and a proven process in their home remodeling projects. MainStreet means that it gets done RIGHT— budget, lifestyle, quality, and comfort in every architectural detail of the home. Also, we purposefully put safety measures first as we continue to serve our community.
Please contact MainStreet Design Build (248-644-6330) to learn more about our lead-safe procedures and schedule a virtual design consultation today. Also, take a few moments to peruse our design gallery to see how we’ve beautified homes in and around your neighborhood.