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Paint chips on the ground

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Doug Wegener

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Im sure some of you long time FHA guys have had to deal with this.


I went for a final inspection and all of the areas have been scraped and painted. BUT they left all the paint chips on the ground.What do you do?


If anything the cure is worse than the disease.

Just report what I saw and refuse to clear the condition? Any special language?
 

TC

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Those chips have to be removed prior to closing. Or you could ignore it.

TC
 

timd354

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Im sure some of you long time FHA guys have had to deal with this.


I went for a final inspection and all of the areas have been scraped and painted. BUT they left all the paint chips on the ground.What do you do?


If anything the cure is worse than the disease.

Just report what I saw and refuse to clear the condition? Any special language?

You absolutely must report what you saw and refuse to clear the condition. It is now a worse health/safety issue than it was before.
 

Tom Woolford

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Apparently the person who did the remediation of the Lead paint, was not properly trained. The chips should have been collected and disposed of in a hazardous waste disposal site. What they accomplished was to transfer the contamination from the house to the ground. Now they have a bigger problem.
 
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jtinmichigan

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Here's the deal on paint chips, from my take, as a former Cert. Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessor. (Gave up the ship, too much liability working with people who didn't give a crap.........but thats another story).

If the home was built prior to 1978, by definition, it may contain lead-based paint, which was banned at that time. That is not to say that homes newer than that can't have lead paint, it was still on the shelves as late as the mid 80's. They just stopped making it in 1978. Paint chips on the ground are a potential source of lead poisoning. But you cannot tell if they contain lead above Federal guidelines by looking them or using the little test swabs that they sell at Home Depot. They must be tested by an accredited lab.

So, what to do? Being as I have worn both the lead paint hat and appraisal hat at the same time, (appraiser first, lead later) I have had to deal with this for several years even though I am not in the lead paint business anymore. My recommendation is that if the home is built prior to or in 1978, that you disclose this fact and that the presence of paint chips was noted on the ground. You do not need to say that there are lead paint chips, because you don't know if they contain lead or not.

Not all paint contained lead even in its heyday. Homes prior to the early 1900's could contain some lead, but lead was more expensive at that time and fewer homes were likely to have it. From the 1920's through 30's alot of lead paint was used, right up until WWII when lead use dropped off due to war requirements. After the war we started seening latex type paints come in to existence and as they were cheaper many of the newer tract style homes built after the war in the 50's and early sixties were using this type of paint with lead-based paint again being more expensive you were more likely to find it in the nicer, more upscale homes. It is generally a superior paint as it is harder and hold color very well, but again more expensive. This is just a rough guideline based on available data and personal observation from a couple hundred paint inspections but it does give you some idea of the back story.

At any rate, you must disclose for your own safety and that of the future occupants. (imho) Not to mention your duties to your client to report what you have seen. The potential liability if a child gets lead poisoned by something you should have made a note of, or that your pictures may (and probably shoud) show, is huge. Not to mention that its the right thing to do. If your client wants to follow up on it fine, if not fine, but you've done your job and disclosed a potential hazard.

The biggest thing you should consider in this is that Lead-Based paint chips are sweet and kids will eat them like candy. It would sure be a shame to have a kid get poisoned because you didn't want to tell your client the truth, which might kill a deal. (Not saying thats the case, I just understand that many will have that question come up in their mind when something like this shows up.)

Anyways, thats my 2 cents.
 

jtinmichigan

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Michigan
Tom, there was not necessarily "lead remediation" in this case. Just scraping paint and leaving the chips on the ground is not an issue as long as they are not lead-based. Messy or Sloppy, but not criminal. Thats the point, if its not lead-based, its not contamination. Again, you can't tell if its a problem unless an acredited lab tells you it is, or you have a portable x-ray fluoroscope. (pricey little basta***s).

Nothing in the OP's post lead me to believe that this was a remediation job.

The trick is to disclose to your client and note that if they are concerned about this item that they are responsible to contact the appropriate Certified Risk Assessor of Lead-Based Paint Inspector (Both are licence levels just like us) to determine if the chips are lead-based. Nobody else is qualified. (period.)
 

Doug Wegener

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Oregon
Tom, there was not necessarily "lead remediation" in this case. Just scraping paint and leaving the chips on the ground is not an issue as long as they are not lead-based. Messy or Sloppy, but not criminal. Thats the point, if its not lead-based, its not contamination. Again, you can't tell if its a problem unless an acredited lab tells you it is, or you have a portable x-ray fluoroscope. (pricey little basta***s).

Nothing in the OP's post lead me to believe that this was a remediation job.

The trick is to disclose to your client and note that if they are concerned about this item that they are responsible to contact the appropriate Certified Risk Assessor of Lead-Based Paint Inspector (Both are licence levels just like us) to determine if the chips are lead-based. Nobody else is qualified. (period.)

Report was CB3 with one of the following conditons: " Defective paint surfaces, improvements built before 1978.Properly prepare and paint peeling paint surfaces"

***********************************
I have no idea if it was lead based paint. Since it was painted 3 years ago, almost certainly it wasnt. However, it was peeling paint and the home was built before 1978.

I dont see how I could clear it not knowing if the paint is lead based paint.

I'll call HOC tommorrow. Any input appreciated.
 

Wendy

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Feb 23, 2004
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Florida
.......The biggest thing you should consider in this is that Lead-Based paint chips are sweet and kids will eat them like candy. .....

I've always wondered what would make a kid eat them. Now it makes a bit more sense.
 

jtinmichigan

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Feb 7, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Well, in that case there is an issue, even though we do not know if it is lead-based.

I would not clear this home as it was a defective paint issue to start with.

I would put in a statement to the effect that defective paint surfaces have been corrected but debris was present and may present a potential hazard to current or future occupants.

Again, its disclosure to your client. And huge liability for you down the road if you don't. Also, just because it was painted 3 years ago doesn't mean anything as its the layers of paint below this which may be the real issue. Typically paint does not peel off a single layer at a time but releases from the underlying substrate (wood siding, etc.) due to a variety of causes from water infiltration, abrasion or impact, etc.

Actually the term "clear" is not even a word I would use. This is a term that the Risk Assessor or Inspector uses after testing to ascertain contamination has been removed.

It should be noted, as an aside, that even if the paint contains lead above federal guidelines (1mg/cm2) that lead may not be an issue (for painted surfaces) even if it is deteriorated. Fed Register/EPA guidelines for defective paint surfaces have minimum square footage/percentage of surface deterioration requirements. By defintion, Deteriorated paint is a lead-based paint hazard only if it is "greater than 2 square feet of deterioration on components with large surface areas (interior walls) or greater than 10% of total surface area of small comonents (trim, wihdows etc.) or greater than 10 square feet on large surface exterior areas. (exterior walls)" and if it contains lead in excess of Federal standards.

This does not apply to lead in soil which is determined to be a hazard at the following levels:

400 ug/g in high contact play areas

2,000 ug/g other residential yard areas

5,000 ug/g triggers federal abatement requirements

Again, the level of the hazard can only be determined by lab testing.

CYA is the word of the day.
 

Doug Wegener

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oregon
Lot to this lead based paint hazard stuff.

Jtinmichigan, thanks for your input.

I think an entire continuing ed class on this lead based paint hazard stuff is needed for appraisers. Does one exist?
 
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