Selecting A Lead Contractor

Hiring a General Contractor

Before a property owner or homebuyer starts looking for a lead service provider, it's helpful to understand the type of services available:

Abatement - permanently (20 years or more) controls a lead hazard to limit exposure to harmful levels of lead. Abatement includes strategies such as component replacement, paint removal, encapsulation, or permanently covering bare lead­contaminated soil. Specialized cleaning precedes clearance testing, which is always performed at the end of an abatement project to ensure that dust which may be left behind does not contain excessive levels of lead. A certified inspector (who can not be an employee of the abatement contractor) conducts the clearance testing.

Supervisor - (Contractor) is any certified entity or person who is responsible for performance of the actual abatement within a lead abatement project.

Renovation - is the modification of any existing structure, or portion thereof, that results in disturbance of painted surfaces, unless that activity is performed as part of an abatement. Renovation includes, but is not limited to: the removal or modification of painted surfaces or painted components; the removal of large structures (such as walls, ceilings, large surface re-plastering or major re-plumbing); and window replacement.

Home inspection - is what many prospective home buyers obtain to determine if building systems (such as heating and plumbing) are in good working order, and to identify structural problems or other defects (such as roof leaks or peeling paint). A home inspection is not the same as a lead inspection or a lead risk assessment.

Lead consulting services - are performed to evaluate the presence of lead in a structure. Types of lead consulting services include lead inspections and lead risk assessments. These services are performed by certified inspectors and risk assessors.

Lead inspection - is an evaluation performed by a lead inspector or risk assessor to determine the presence or absence of lead­based paint on painted or coated surfaces.

A lead inspection is a surface-by-surface investigation designed to answer two general questions:

Lead inspections are generally performed using an XRF (X­Ray Fluorescence) analyzer, or by collecting paint samples and sending them to an EPA-recognized laboratory for lead analysis. A final inspection report identifies all surfaces with lead­based paint but does not provide the consumer with information about the condition of the paint, the presence of lead contaminated dust or soil, or options for controlling any hazards found.

In order to be exempt from Vermont Essential Maintenance Practices, your building must have an extensive, surface by surface inspection that indicates no lead paint is present.

Lead risk assessment - is an evaluation performed by a certified risk assessor to identify lead hazards from deteriorated paint, dust, and bare soil, and to identify options to control the lead hazards.

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Lead Abatement Contractors

Lead abatement means the removal of lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust, the permanent containment or encapsulation of lead-based paint, the replacement of lead-painted surfaces or fixtures, and the removal or covering of lead contaminated soil.

Lead abatement contractors are licensed by the Vermont Department of Health to permanently remove lead paint or lead painted building components. The Department of Health issues a lead abatement permit before the project starts.

The contractor also sends their licensed workers to a 24 or 32 hour training course to learn how to fix lead problems.

To learn about becoming a lead abatement contractor call the Vermont Department of Health at 1-800-439-8550.

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Selecting a Lead Service Provider

Ask the contractor or consultant to provide a written proposal that describes what they will do, the content of the final report, schedule, and budget. Use our Lead Service Provider Checklist for the kind of information to request

Obtain at least three bids in any category from which you might hire. You may choose to have the inspector/risk assessor consultant assist in getting the bids and hiring of the abatement contractor. You may choose to have the consultant manage the entire process. You can choose to do the hiring yourself, which may reduce any conflict of interest concerns.

Conflicts of Interest - In general, conflicts of interest relate to the potential for self-gain - usually, but not always - of a fiscal nature. A potential or actual conflict of interest exists when commitments and obligations are likely to be compromised by a person’s other interests or commitments, especially economic, particularly if those interests or commitments are not disclosed.

State program staff can assist you in providing information regarding on-file enforcement actions concerning lead consultants and contractors.

Questions? We can explain the abatement process and answer any other questions you may have. Call 1-800-439-8550.

Lead Service Provider Checklist

The following checklist can help property owners, home buyers, and renters ensure that their lead hazard evaluation or control contractor is trained, qualified, and capable:

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Essential Maintenance Practices Contractors

List of Essential Maintenance Practice Contractors for Vermont

An Essential Maintenance Practices (EMP) contractor has taken a four-hour EMP training course to learn how to repair paint safely. The EMP contractor receives a certificate of completion for taking the course.

EMPs are required in rental properties and childcare facilities and include:

These measures may reduce lead exposure for the short term. Keeping an eye on the condition of paint is necessary.

EMP certified contractors may also be a good resource for private homeowners.

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Licensed Contractors, Consultants & Laboratories

List of licensed contractors, consultants & laboratories [PDF]

These entities and consultants have been certified in accordance with the Vermont Regulations for Lead Control. Certified firms and individuals must be used to performing lead-based paint services in Vermont. If you have any questions, please call the Environmental Health Program at (802) 863-7236 or in Vermont (802) 439-8550.

Categories of contractors include

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Financial Assistance

The Vermont Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program of the Housing & Conservation Board provides financial and technical assistance to income-eligible landlords and homeowners to reduce the risk of lead poisoning caused by lead-based paint hazards.

Visit the Program Web site, or call 802-828-5064 or 1-800-290-0527.

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