Skip to Content Accessibility Information

The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule FAQs - Home Improvement Commission

The RRP Rule:
Under the current Rule, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination and more.

Renovations performed by an individual or firm for compensation in residential housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 must be performed by certified firms using certified renovators and workers trained in lead-safe work practices. The rule also applies to landlords who perform work themselves in rental units.

  • Child-occupied facilities are defined as residential, public or commercial facility where children under age six are present on a regular basis.

Why did the EPA put this Rule into effect?
Lead poisoning is a serious environmental health threat, especially for children under six years of age. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children under six years are most at risk. Many homes and other facilities built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. This rule is a step in EPA's efforts to protect children and others from the health hazards created by exposure to lead-based paint.

What Type of Work Does the Rule Apply to?
This rule applies to any modification of any existing structure, or portion thereof built before 1978, that results in the disturbance of 6 square feet or more of interior painted surfaces (the size of a standard poster) and/or 20 square feet or more of exterior painted surface (about the size of a door).

This includes:

  • Modification or repair of painted surfaces such as doors, walls, ceilings, surface restoration, surface preparation activity (sanding, scraping) or window repair,
  • Removal/Destruction of building components, such as walls, ceilings, plumbing, or windows.
  • Weatherization projects, such as cutting holes in painted surfaces to install blown-in insulation or to gain access to attics or planing thresholds to install weather-stripping.
  • Renovations that convert a building, or part of a building, into target housing or a child-occupied facility are covered.

What Do I Need to Know as a Consumer?
If renovations are being performed in your home and it was built before 1978, regardless of the presence of children, your project is subject to the Rule. The Rule also applies to child-occupied facilities built before 1978, as defined above.

Before work begins, the Certified Firm or Certified Renovator is required to:

  1. Provide to you the EPA lead hazard information pamphlet, Renovate Right.
  2. Firms and landlords performing work themselves must be Certified by EPA.
  3. At least one individual working on or supervising the project must be a Certified Renovator who has received training from an EPA Accredited training provider.
  4. Adhere to lead-safe work practices.

Ask the person performing the work to provide proof that they are from a Certified Firm and are trained as a "Certified Renovator." Information on Certified Firms and Accredited Training Providers is available on the EPA website.

Are there any exceptions to the Rule?

  • Activities described above that are performed as part of a lead-based paint abatement project
  • Zero bedroom residential dwelling units, such as studio or efficiency apartments
  • Housing designated for those over age 62 or the disabled, such as adult communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes where no children under the age of six are or are expected to occupy the residence

Where Can I Get More information?
For more information go to the EPA website or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.