Maintaining your home environment free of hazardous substances is critical to keeping you and your family safe and healthy. Here at Tri Span Environmental, we are certified and licensed in the abatement and restoration of your home from all types of harmful materials.
Removal of Lead Paint
The greater Los Angeles and surrounding areas have an ongoing problem with lead paint and potentially contaminated soil. It often goes undiscovered until major areas of older homes begin to be stripped of materials during an innocuous renovation. Removal of lead paint is dangerous due to the inability to avoid exposing it to the air. Lead poisoning can happen through inhalation of the lead dust particles that fill the air. Specialists will have the necessary equipment and protective clothing it takes to safely remove the lead from your home and adjoining soil.
Asbestos Testing and Abatement
Asbestos is a deadly fiber found in older building materials that gained popularity for fire-retardant and insulative qualities. It’s another substance that can harm humans when released into the air and inhaled. The bad thing about asbestos is the long period of time that can go between exposure and illness. If your San Bernardino or Riverside County home is tested to have the presence of asbestos, professional removal by experts at Tri Span will completely eliminate every trace.
Fire and Water Damage
The smallest of house fires in your Los Angeles County home can bring complete chaos to life. It’s hard to plan on what to do to bring normalcy back to each day. The home might be deemed uninhabitable until cleaning and repairs are done. You can call on us at Tri Span to begin to clean up right away and make the plans to begin reconstruction right away.
Complete Mold Removal
Science increasingly backs the health risks associated with mold growth within your living space. A mold problem always begins with tiny spores that enter the home through ventilation, windows, doors, and can attach to clothing when outside. With the right mix of air moisture and an undisturbed space in your Los Angeles area home, mold will attach and begin to reproduce at a fast pace. Complete removal is required to improve the air quality and protect your health.
Before 1978, lead was a common additive in paint. However, lead is now known to be a dangerous neurotoxin which can lead to serious health conditions, such as mental retardation and behavioral problems, especially for children who are exposed.
Given the dangers of lead when present in a building, federal and state laws now mandate disclosure of the presence, or potential presence, of lead paint in buildings when they are sold, leased, or rented, if the building was constructed before 1978.
Lead Paint Disclosure Laws in Southern California
Southern California real estate transactions are under the jurisdiction of federal and California state laws concerning lead-based paints. When properties are sold, leased, or rented, the seller, landlord, or property management company is required by law to inform the buyer or tenant about the potential of lead-based paint, if the building was constructed before 1978.
Real estate contracts for the sale of houses require the seller to provide the buyer with the following written information concerning lead-based paint.
- A pamphlet published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.
- A written report detailing any known presence of lead-based paint in the building.
If the property is an apartment building or other multi-unit structure, the seller must also provide:
- Copies of all reports about lead-based paints used in community areas of the property.
- A contract attachment with a Lead Warning Statement, stating that the seller is in compliance with all lead-based paint notification regulations.
The buyer must also be given ten days for conducting a lead-based paint risk assessment. This requirement can be waived by buyers of residential homes.
Renters of properties built before 1978 must also be given information by the landlord concerning lead paint, including the EPA pamphlet mentioned above.
It is the legal and ethical responsibility of property sellers, real estate agents, landlords, and property management companies to comply with these laws concerning disclosure of lead-based paints in their buildings.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is good news about house fires in the U.S. In 1975 there were over 723,000 such fires, but this figure had dropped by 2015 to 365,500.
Fewer house fires, and less injury, property damage, and death from such fires, is welcome news. Unfortunately, fires in homes are still all too common, and recovering and cleaning up after a fire at home is often a major challenge for individuals and families.
Steps in Recovering from a House Fire
Here is advice from the American Red Cross on what to do first after a house fire:
- Be attentive to the physical and mental well-being of everyone involved in the fire, especially children, and elderly people. Provide immediate first-aid or medical care followed by emotional support.
- Keep a close eye on pets and do not let them stray. Placing the pet in the care of family, friends, or a kennel can reduce anxiety for both people and animals.
- Remember there are many ways the stress of a house fire can affect people in the family, and how each person is affected differs with their temperament and age. Feelings of tiredness, anger, confusion, sadness, and numbness are common, but they usually pass quickly.
- Discard any food which was exposed during the fire.
- Let loved ones know you are safe and where you are staying.
- Do not enter the building until it has been cleared by the Fire Marshal.
Cleaning-Up After a House Fire
After making sure everyone is okay after a fire, it is important to move on quickly to arranging for clean-up. The more time that passes after the fire, the more damage is done to possessions inside the home from smoke and soot.
Water damage is another problem requiring fast action. Water soaked furniture, clothing, floors, and ceilings need removal from the site, ventilation, and cleaning as soon as possible to minimize loss. Once you have permission to enter the building from Fire Department officials, do so only with caution and while wearing work boots and other protective gear. Keep children and pets away from the site during the clean-up and rebuilding process.
Up until 1978, lead was commonly added to paint and used in over 38 million homes in the U.S. Lead is a naturally occurring metallic mineral and was used in paints as a color additive, for hastening the drying of the paint, and for its water resistant properties.
Since 1978 in the U.S., lead has been banned as an additive in paints, but many older buildings still have layers of lead-based paint on walls and ceilings. Often this hazardous mineral is lurking beneath the surface of lead-free paint which has been applied over it. If the surface deteriorates, becomes damaged, or is disturbed during repairs or renovations, lead dust and particles enter the environment and pose a serious long-term health risk.
Renovating the Right Way for Lead Safety
Sellers of homes must now give written notice to buyers and renters informing them of the presence of lead-based paints in the building. Federal laws also require building contractors to provide clients with a pamphlet called “Renovate Right” whenever the work involves removal of over 6 square feet of the wall surface on the inside or 20 square feet on the outside of the building or any work at a child care facility or the removal of any old windows.
Removing old lead-based paint is a job for trained and equipped specialists with state certification in these procedures. The California Department of Public Health now requires certification for anyone involved in any of the following areas of lead abatement work:
- Inspectors and assessors must have an I/A certificate to take paint chip or soil samples for lead testing, visual inspection of the property, preparation of reports on lead hazard for a specific building, proposals for abatement, and inspection for the lead after abatement work had been done.
- Sampling Technician certification allows a person to do some of the tasks of an I/A certificate under their supervision.
- Project Monitor certification is for people who manage construction projects involving lead abatement.
- Supervisor certification allows the oversight of daily work on the construction site.
- Worker certification is for laborers, carpenters, and other workers who work on construction sites involving lead removal and abatement.
Tri Span Environmental is a building contractor specializing in certification for all types of lead abatement work.
As a homeowner, you do everything possible to protect your family. Some of the dangers to their well-being are easy to spot. Others, however, are not so obvious. One of these is lead paint. Once a common household item, it’s now recognized as a leading cause of developmental disorders in children. Regrettably, most of the public is unaware of the dangers these toxins pose to growing minds and bodies. Continue reading “The Dangers behind Lead Paint” »