EPA Lead Paint Regulations
Key message: Cleanup right. Use wet mops and HEPA vacuums. Traditional methods don’t do the job.
Cleaning Activities and Checking Your Work
This module focuses on how to clean the work area in order to pass both a visual check and either a verification check or clearance. A visual check means that an area has been cleaned to the point that no dust, debris or paint chips can be seen with the naked eye. The verification check involves comparing a disposable cleaning cloth used following cleaning to a standard verification card to determine cleanliness. Clearance involves taking dust samples and having them analyzed and compared with applicable dust standards to determine if the area is adequately clean.
Effective cleaning includes using specific techniques and following the proper order when cleaning. In this section, participants will learn:
- How to conduct an effective cleaning;
- The tools to always keep in your truck and at the work site;
- Effective techniques to clean up after both interior and exterior jobs;
- Safe disposal methods; and,
- How to check your work.
What is Effective Cleanup?
Just as you approach a job by planning the work to effectively contain dust and debris, you must approach cleaning by first having effective containment, then carefully following specific procedures to best clean the work area. The techniques outlined in this section should make your cleanup faster, more efficient, and more effective.
- Always conduct a visual check of the work area to make sure all work is complete.
- Proper waste disposal and checking your work are essential to the process of cleaning.
- The most effective cleaning will follow this sequence:
- Pick up all visible paint chips and debris.
- Clean and dispose of protective sheeting.
- For interior renovations: Walls – slowly HEPA vacuum or wipe with a damp cloth, working from high to low.
- For interior renovations: Other surfaces – thoroughly HEPA vacuum all surfaces including furniture and fixtures. Wipe any remaining surfaces with a damp cloth. The HEPA vacuum must have a beater bar for use on carpeting.
- Mop uncarpeted floors using the two-bucket mopping method.
- Visually inspect your work.
- Bag all waste in heavy-duty plastic bags, “gooseneck” seal, and dispose of them according to Federal, state and local regulations.
- Perform cleaning verification on windowsills, countertops and uncarpeted floors.
- Remove warning signs.
- Demonstrate how to “gooseneck seal” a heavy duty plastic bag and note that this will be covered again in the disposal section.
- Discuss why this cleanup sequence should work well.
- Picking up all visible debris and paint chips prepares a work area prior to the first HEPA vacuuming.
- Clean and dispose of protective sheeting. This step should come before HEPA vacuuming in order to collect any dust that may escape from the protective sheeting.
- HEPA vacuum the area from high to low. This first HEPA vacuuming will collect dust and debris not visible to the naked eye.
- Wet cleaning and mopping the area will further dislodge any lead-contaminated dust or debris not collected by the first HEPA vacuum. Wet cleaning also gets dust and debris that is “stuck” to surfaces.
- If necessary, a final pass with the HEPA vacuum or wet cleaning cloth will capture any remaining dust or debris left after the wet cleaning.
- The last step should be to check your work to make sure that visual check inspection can be passed, and all waste is bagged, sealed and disposed of in accordance with Federal, state and local laws.
A dust clearance examination may be required by Federal, state, tribal or local law, or it may be requested by the homeowner. If so, the clearance examination will replace the cleaning verification process. Clearance is required by HUD in many homes receiving Federal housing assistance.