NJ Lead Safe Law: Benefits of XRF Lead Inspection
Recently New Jersey passed NJAC Regulation 5:28A or more commonly known as the Lead Safe Certification Law. The regulation requires rental property owners to perform one of two types of lead paint assessments in their rental units built prior to 1978: A visual assessment looking for chipping/peeling paint OR collection of dust wipes samples.
Depending on the findings, a lead safe certification will be issued which is the proof of compliance with the regulation.
There are many nuances to this regulation but right now I want to discuss something that is only briefly discussed in the regulation but could be the most valuable assessment that a property owner can perform. This is lead free status achieved via a lead-based paint inspection performed with an XRF equipment.
Lead Free Certification
I could bore you with all the regulatory terminology from EPA or HUD but basically a lead-based paint inspection tells you, the property owner, two things. 1) Do I have lead paint and 2) Where do I have it? That’s it. Very simple but also very, very valuable information.
The Lead Safe Certification Law requires only a visual inspection for certain municipalities.This may sound appealing because it can be quick and cheap, and it meets the minimum requirement of the law. Unfortunately, you may end up spending more money and time fixing issues that would otherwise not have to. Let me explain.
Lead Based Paint Inspection Basics
Performing only a visual assessment, as required by the regulation, only looks for deteriorated paint (chipping, flaking, peeling paint) using the inspector’s eyes. Any, and I mean any, deteriorated paint would FAIL the visual inspection.
This can include a small half inch by half inch chip on one closet door jamb in the entire apartment. This is by definition a deteriorated painted surface and would result in a failed inspection. You would then have to hire an EPA certified RRP contractor to repair and paint the surface, which costs money. Then you would have to have the unit re-inspected to ensure the work was done properly. Again, more money.
How might you be able to avoid this?
A lead inspection will tell you if that chipping closet door jamb is coated with lead paint. If it’s not, then you don’t have to do anything about it to still comply with the regulation. Not all buildings built before 1978 contain lead. In fact, most buildings built after 1950 only have minimal amounts of lead on the interior. Knowing where the lead paint is can significantly reduce the possibility of having to make additional repairs after the assessment. Only deteriorated paint on surfaces coated with lead paint are required to be repaired. Even more valuable, if no lead paint is found at all in the unit, a lead-free certification will be issued. This certification is your get out of jail free card. A valid lead-free certification exempts the dwelling unit from the complying with this NJ law forever whether you are in a visual assessment municipality or a dust wipe municipality.
Utilizing XRF technology creates a path to lead free certification in New Jersey. By leveraging technology and addressing inspections head-on, landlords can ultimately save time and money by knowing with certainty if their units contain lead-based paint hazards.
LEW Environmental Service, long time NJ Apartment Assoc. (NJAA) and NJ Property Owner Assoc. (POA) member. We are the largest lead-paint inspection company and welcome the opportunity to share our 30+ years of experience and expertise to New Jersey property owners.
Are you ready to get ahead of lead laws? Call LEW Environmental Services today, questions are always FREE! 800-783-0567