While a few months ago not many in the door and window industry knew about the upcoming regulations involving lead paint, which affects window replacement contractors (CLICK HERE for that story), many in the industry are taking the necessary steps to educate those who will be affected by these major changes coming on April 22, 2010.

Gorell Windows and Doors hosted a webinar last week to educate dealers regarding these new lead paint laws. Kachina Contractor Solutions, a company that trains companies regarding the new regulations offered an overview of what will change come April. According to Kachina’s Paul Toub, it means huge changes for window contactors.

“Our life as we know it will change so much that I’ve had people compare this to the ‘Do Not Call Law’,” says Toub.

Toub started the webinar by reminding attendees of what changes are in store including the fact that firms must be certified, renovators must be trained and lead-safe work practices must be followed.

To become a certified renovator an individual must successfully complete an eight-hour initial renovator training course offered by an accredited training provider.

Toub suggests that companies get several people in their companies trained.

“What happens when that person gets sick, or goes on vacation?” he says.

Currently homeowners can “opt out” of these lead safe work practices if they do not have a child under six living in the home or a pregnant woman. However, the contractor must give everyone living in a pre-1978 home a copy of the EPA booklet regarding lead paint. Toub tells people if they are unsure of the age of a home, “When it doubt hand it out.” He also tells contractors they can check www.houseagecheck.com, which will tell when many homes were built.

However, contractors should be aware that it is possible that the opt-out clause could be removed. “The Sierra Club and other environmental groups are putting pressure on the EPA to eliminate the opt-out,” says Toub. “They’re saying people aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions.”

As far as the training required, Toub tells contractors they need to get started “today” as “this will change the way you do business.”

He also tells dealers that the added measures that must be taken will cost money and he suggests not lumping it in with the price of window replacements.

“Put it as a separate item,” says Toub. “Tell homeowners, ‘If you test positive for lead, I’ll have to charge x amount.” He says this will help honest companies compete against those who don’t follow these rules and undercut honest dealers.

As far as what that price should be Toub says that is up to the individual companies.

“I’ve heard companies charging $25 per window. People are coming up with their own different formulas. I can’t tell you what to charge.”

Toub also reminded participants of the exorbitant costs that will be charged to dealers who don’t comply with these news rules–$37,500 per violation, per day.

So what happens to the companies who take the time to get certified and take the extra measures, all of which cost money?

“I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re going to start ratting out other contractors who don’t comply,” he says.

So companies definitely need to get started if they haven’t already. And from the number of questions asked on the webinar (about 51 from the 130 participants), many companies still have questions.

For more information on Kachina, including renovate right pamphlets, forms and training, CLICK HERE.

For the EPA’s Guide to Renovate Right which has all the information about the upcoming regulations and what contractors need to know, CLICK HERE.

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2 Comments

  1. Our window company is located in Southern California and has sent our installers to take the class already. We think this could be good for the whole industry because it is going to weed out the bad installer / contractors that don’t get certified. I think it will drive up costs a little but the job will get done right the first time. After taking the class I think alot of companies will be out of business if they don’t get certified. We were told the EPA will be setting up stings to catch contractors not following the rules. They also told us to call the 800 number to report contractors not registered or homeowners not going with a certified installer. Only problem I see is if there is 3rd party verification it will have a negative effect on homeowners doing the job in the first place or not doing it through a certified installer.

  2. The EPA has a good reference called “Using Barriers to Contain Dust and other Pollutants” Here is the link from their site. http://www.epa.gov/iaq/homes/hip-barriers.html. Barriers should be used to contain the spread of dust and other pollutants from the work area to other parts of the home. A simple barrier consists of 6 mil poly sheeting taped over doors and other openings in the room. Poly sheeting should also be taped over any supply and return registers for the home’s heating, cooling, or ventilation system that are in the room to avoid spreading the pollutants or contaminating the ducts. Having blocked off registers, you should be sure to provide ventilation for the area. An exhaust fan, with provision for make-up air, complements this strategy well. For more information, see the discussion of ventilation containment strategies that create a pressure barrier to prevent the spread of pollutants. ZipWall’s new ZipPole system is a great system for only $169, half the price of the original ZipWall Barrier System. Click here to learn more: http://www.zipwall.com/lp/lpZipPole.html

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