New Lead Safe laws and how they pertain to window installations
Starting in 2010 all work performed in homes before 1978 must be done by EPA certified lead renovators. Towns will enforce this law by not issuing permits to contractors that are not certified. Along with the towns enforcing the law, the EPA will issue fines of $37,500 for every violation of this law.
Does my home require lead safe work?
If your home was built before 1978 you have two options if you want work done in it. The first is to hire a Lead Renovator to test the areas where you want work done to make sure that EVERY area is lead free. The second option is to assume that the area has lead and to have the work done in a lead safe manner.
How Much Will the New Law Increase My Project Cost?
Rates, $135 to test one area (window or door) and $7 for each additional area. Note, if your house has 10 windows ALL TEN OF THEM MUST BE TESTED. If all of your areas are lead free your project can proceed without any lead safe practices. If your project area(s) contain lead then the project will have to meet lead safe standards. Note- E Windows & Doors will refund your lead testing fees once your project is completed!
For replacement windows the cost per window will increase $5 to cover the expense of:
- Setting up plastic inside and outside of each window.
- Sealing off all doors and openings leading to the work areas.
- Disposing of the plastic after each window since the law forbids reusing the plastic for another window.
- Wrapping all of your old windows and job site debris in plastic before it leaves the work area.
- Placing warning signs and caution tape around the project to protect people from the lead exposure.
- Providing safety gear (tyvek suits, face masks, latex gloves, booties and hoods to each worker. Most of these items are required by law to be disposed of after each project.
- Daily training of all workers on your project. Even though the workers do the same job every day the EPA requires that they receive training at the start of every workday.
- Cleaning the areas around each window with a HEPA vacuum and TSP cleaning solution.
What Happens if We Hire Someone to do the Work Without all of this Safety Stuff?
If you hire someone to do work on your home that was built before 1978 without them following the lead safe standards and being certified by the EPA they risk a $37,500 fine and jail time. Honestly, do you think someone that sneaks around avoiding EPA laws will have the financial resources to pay the fine and finish your project? Along with hiring a crook you will be exposing your home and family to lead dust.
How Much Lead Dust Does it Really Take to Put My Family at Risk?
Imagine a packet of sweet and low or a packet of sugar, if it was filled with lead dust (1 gram) it would be enough to contaminate 25 2500 square foot homes! Just a few parts per gram is enough to poison someone with lead. Lead paint that is not disturbed does not present as much of a health risk as doing work on lead painted surfaces without properly protecting the room and cleaning up the dust after the project. Very high lead levels can cause coma, convulsions, even death, fortunately a rarity today. But lower levels, especially in children under 6, can harm a child’s brain, can reduce IQ and cause other learning, attention and behavioral problems – without any obvious symptoms to alert the parent.