Welcome to RRPedia
Your Interactive Resource for EPA RRP Information

RRPedia logoLooking for accurate information about the EPA RRP rule?

RRPedia has been created by Shawn McCadden to help remodelers and others affected by the New EPA Renovation Repair and Painting Rule. 

Please read RRPedia Use and Contribution Information before using or contributing to RRPedia.


You Can Browse For RRP Topics By Using The Tags List To The Right

RRP Refresher: What is Vertical Containment and When is it Required?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Apr 08, 2012 @ 12:07 PM

RRP Training Refresher: What is Vertical Containment and When is it Required?

RRPedia Refresher Key


It’s probably been a while since you took your RRP Certified Renovator Training Class.  This blog post is offered as a refresher topic to help you keep important details about the RRP rule top of mind when selling, estimating or performing RRP renovations.


What is Vertical Containment

ZipWall vertical containment



Vertical containment refers to a vertical barrier consisting of plastic sheeting or other impermeable material over scaffolding or a rigid frame, or an equivalent system of containing the work area. Vertical containment is required for some exterior renovations but it may be used on any interior or exterior renovation.



Is vertical containment required for interior jobs?

Interior vertical containment for RRPNo, the use of vertical containment is not required for interior jobs, but you can minimize the amount of floor containment needed by making use of vertical containment for interior projects.  Floor containment measures may stop at the edge of the vertical barrier when using a vertical containment system consisting of impermeable barriers that extend from the floor to the ceiling and are tightly sealed at joints with the floor, ceiling and walls.  One advantage of vertical containment in addition to the reduction of floor area to be covered is the potential reduction of the floor area and other areas that will need to be cleaned on completion of renovations


Is vertical containment required for exterior jobs?

exterior vertical containmentYes, vertical containment, or an equivalent system of containing the work area, is required for exterior jobs where the property line is within 10 feet of the area of paint disturbance. In addition, vertical containment can also be used to minimize the amount of ground containment needed for a project.  Ground containment measures may stop at the edge of the vertical barrier when using a vertical containment system.



Creative Use of Vertical Containment

Cutt down door for carpetConstructing vertical containment can also allow the contractor to create a sealed working space within a room where the dust can be completely contained to a limited and controlled area.  The space created is referred to as a “dust room”.  This can be extremely helpful in reducing containment and cleaning costs in other work areas if painted components are brought to this area to be repaired or modified, and are then cleaned before returning them to their original location.  One example of this might be cutting down interior doors after the installation of carpeting.  Another might be ripping down head stops when installing replacement windows.


Additional Resources

What is a "Dust Room" and why consider using one for EPA RRP work?

Zip Wall video about creating a variety of vertical barriers using their products

Topics: Definitions, Work Practices, RRP for Dummies, Containment Considerations

Deleading vs. RRP Work: What's the Difference?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Deleading vs. Renovation, Repair and Painting Work: What's the Difference? 

Note:  The following information is from the MA Labor and Workforce Development Web site.

Lead Paint LawsWhile deleading activities conducted in residences and child-occupied facilities often involve work methods similar to those typically used in renovation, repair or painting (RRP) activities, such as replacing windows, painting and installing vinyl siding, the two types of activities are distinct from each other in terms of purpose and effect.


Deleading work is work conducted to achieve compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law through the abatement of lead paint hazards.  Carried through to completion, deleading work leads to the issuance of a document called a Letter of Compliance, which indicates that the property has met deleading requirements administered by the Childhood Lead Poisoning Program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (CLPPP) under the Massachusetts Lead Law and 105 CMR 460.000. In some instances, deleading work takes place after the owner has received an order to bring the property into compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law.  In other instances, the owner voluntarily decides to delead the property and seek a Letter of Compliance.

Renovation work (RRP work) is work conducted for a fee that disturbs more than threshold amounts of painted surfaces in pre-1978 residences (target housing) and child-occupied facilities (kindergartens, daycares, etc.), where the purpose of the work is other than the abatement of lead paint hazards or the achievement of a Letter of Compliance.  Renovation work is often carried out to repair, upgrade or beautify the property.

Lead-safe renovation contractor, Lead safe renovation contractorOnce you have made the initial determination regarding whether your project is a renovation project or a deleading project, the next question is how to choose a contractor who is licensed and qualified to perform the work.   Click on the following link to view a helpful guide on choosing a deleading contractor, “Deleader Contractor Information Bulletin.”  Click on the following link to view a helpful guide on choosing a “lead safe” renovation contractor, “Lead Safe Renovation Contractor Information Bulletin.” 

Topics: RRP Questions, RRP in MA, MA RRP Licensing, Legal Considerations, Definitions, Info for Landlords, EPA RRP for Dummies, MA RRP Lead Rules

Know the Difference Between RRP and Deleading To Avoid Breaking The Law

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Nov 03, 2010 @ 01:37 PM

Know the Difference Between RRP and Deleading To Avoid Breaking The Law

According to the Massachusetts Lead Law, any apartment unit or single family home with an occupant who is less than six years old must be deleaded. I bet if you are a Massachusetts resident you probably had no idea that this law existed. If you live outside of Massachusetts, you may want to find out if a similar law exists.

RRP and Deleading Deleading under the MA Lead Law requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under six live. Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint and lead paint on windows and other surfaces accessible to children. Owners are responsible with complying with the law. This includes owners of rental property as well as owners living in their own single family home. After deleading is completed, homes are "lead-safe", not "lead-free." In Massachusetts, financial help to accomplish deleading is available through tax credits, grants and loans.


Renovators need to understand that RRP work is not deleading. Your certification and or licensing to do RRP work does not qualify you to do deleading. If deleading is the customer’s purpose for doing the work, only a licensed deleader can do the work unless the property owner does the work himself. (If you are a MA property owner contemplating deleading work, see the note below)

RRP Instructor and RRP TrainingAt a recent RRP Workshop I presented in Marlborough MA, one of the attendees, wanted to make sure that everyone in the room understood the difference between RRP work and deleading. In the video below Lawrence “Skip” Moran of Lawrence J Moran, a licensed deleader and remodeling contractor, offers some clarification to help renovators avoid potential violations, fines and or challenges with their customers. Although some of the terms Skip uses in the video may be specific to Massachusetts, renovators around the country should heed what he has to say and check into deleading laws where they work before offering or performing deleading services for clients and or doing deleading at their own rental properties


Ma Lead Laws for Landlords


Note: In Massachusetts, an owner or agent (someone working for an owner without a deleader's license) can perform some specific tasks, but cannot begin any of those tasks until:

  1. The home is inspected by a licensed lead inspector
  2. The owner or agent is properly trained to perform the deleading work

For more information about what work may be done by an owner or agent and how to become trained, call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 1-800-532-9571

For more information about RRP for landlords in MA, contact the MA Department of Occupational Safety (DOS) at 1-617-969-7177

Topics: Videos, Sales Considerations, Legal Considerations, Definitions, Compliance Options, Info for Landlords, EPA RRP for Dummies, MA RRP Lead Rules

What is a Lead Paint Hazard (Paint-Lead Hazard)?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 @ 07:00 AM

What is a Lead Paint Hazard (Paint-Lead Hazard)?

National Archives and Records AdministrationLead Paint Hazard is a legal term.  The following information is from the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40: Protection of Environment, Part 745—Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention In Certain Residential Structures



§ 745.65 Lead-based paint hazards.

(a) Paint-lead hazard:

A paint-lead hazard is any of the following:

(1) Any lead-based paint on a friction surface that is subject to abrasion and where the lead dust levels on the nearest horizontal surface underneath the friction surface (e.g., the window sill, or floor) are equal to or greater than the dust-lead hazard levels identified in paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) Any damaged or otherwise deteriorated lead-based paint on an impact surface that is caused by impact from a related building component (such as a door knob that knocks into a wall or a door that knocks against its door frame.

Child chewing window sill(3) Any chewable lead-based painted surface on which there is evidence of teeth marks.

(4) Any other deteriorated lead-based paint in any residential building or child-occupied facility or on the exterior of any residential building or child-occupied facility.

(b) Dust-lead hazard:

A dust-lead hazard is surface dust in a residential dwelling or child-occupied facility that contains a mass-per-area concentration of lead equal to or exceeding 40 µg/ft2 on floors or 250 µg/ft2 on interior window sills based on wipe samples.

(c) Soil-lead hazard:

A soil-lead hazard is bare soil on residential real property or on the property of a child-occupied facility that contains total lead equal to or exceeding 400 parts per million (µg/g) in a play area or average of 1,200 parts per million of bare soil in the rest of the yard based on soil samples.

(d) Work practice requirements:

Applicable certification, occupant protection, and clearance requirements and work practice standards are found in regulations issued by EPA at 40 CFR part 745, subpart L and in regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 24 CFR part 35, subpart R. The work practice standards in those regulations do not apply when treating paint-lead hazards of less than:

(1) Two square feet of deteriorated lead-based paint per room or equivalent,

(2) Twenty square feet of deteriorated paint on the exterior building, or

(3) Ten percent of the total surface area of deteriorated paint on an interior or exterior type of component with a small surface area.

Topics: Definitions, Work Practices

Abatement vs. Renovation: Know the Difference

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 @ 08:00 AM

Abatements vs. Renovations What's the Difference?

Difference between abatement and renovationRenovators doing RRP work definitely need to know the difference between renovations and abatement.   Unless specifically licenced to do so, renovators are not allowed to do abatement work.  Renovators would be wise to make sure property owners know the difference as well.  Employees should also be clear on the difference between renovations vs abatement, so as not to misrepresent the work they are doing when discussing a remodeling project with clients and prospects.

Abatements vs Renovations

Abatement means an activity designed to permanently eliminate lead paint hazards. Abatement includes any of the following:

  • The removal of lead paint and lead-contaminated dust; the permanent enclosure (barrier) or encapsulation (special paint coating) of lead paint; the replacement of lead-painted surfaces or fixtures; the removal or covering of lead-contaminated soil; and any preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post-abatement clearance testing associated with these activities.
  • A project for which there is a contract indicating that a company will be performing work on a housing unit, day care center, preschool, or kindergarten that is designed to permanently remove lead paint hazards.
  • -A project resulting in the permanent removal of lead paint hazards, conducted by a certified abatement company.
  • What is abatement?A project resulting in the permanent removal of lead paint hazards, conducted by a company who, through its name or promotional literature, represents, or advertises to be in the business of performing lead paint activities.
  • A project resulting in the permanent removal of lead paint hazards that is conducted in response to a state or local government lead abatement order, as in the case of a lead poisoned child.

Abatements are generally performed in three circumstances:

  • In response to a child with an elevated blood lead level
  • In housing receiving HUD financial assistance
  • State and local laws and regulations may require abatements in certain situations associated with rental housing.

RRP ManualAbatements are not covered by the RRP rule.

Renovations are performed for many reasons, most having nothing to do with lead-based paint. Renovations involve activities designed to update, maintain, or modify all or part of a building. Renovations are covered by the RRP rule.



Other terms and definitions:

Painting and Coatings terms and definitions

Glossary and Definitions of EPA RRP Terms

Topics: Sales Considerations, Definitions, Info for Landlords, EPA RRP for Dummies

MA RRP Assessment Form Introduced By CLPPP

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 @ 06:02 PM

MA RRP Assessment Form Introduced By CLPPP

Recently Massachusetts Releases MA RRP Assessment formMassachusetts, one of the states delegated by EPA to administer and enforce the RRP rule, released a new form and protocol to be used by Massachusetts licensed lead inspectors when doing testing for lead prior to a RRP project.   Although under the Massachusetts and EPA RRP rules a certified renovator can use EPA approved test kits to do this testing, as an alternative some home owners and renovators may elect to have the testing done by a lead testing professional.  The following article was written by John MacIsaac of ASAP Environmental.  John is a leader in the lead inspection industry and currently serves as President of the New England Chapter of (LEHA), The Lead and Environmental Hazards Association.



John MacIsaac

John’s Article:

As of September 2010, CLPPP (Childhood Lead Poison Prevention Program) has produced a new report for RRP inspections.  It is called the Renovation Repair and Painting Assessment Report.  This new MA RRP inspection form will be used when licensed MA lead inspectors are testing surfaces that will be impacted during renovation of properties built prior to 1978.  The information on this report will definitively say which surfaces are positive or negative for lead based paint based on findings from an XRF analyzer or sodium sulfide solution purchased by the inspector from the state of MA.  If the surfaces tested negative for lead paint then the contractor is not required to follow the RRP protocol.  If the surfaces are positive for lead based paint the contractors are required to follow the RRP protocol for set up, containment, and clean up.

There has been a MA Lead Determination report in place since before the current lead law was enacted.  This report has been primarily used for testing for lead based paint as part of home sales.  It was also used for RRP inspections prior to the release of the RRP Assessment report.  The RRP Assessment report as well as the Lead Determination report cannot be used for deleading purposes.  In order to perform deleading activities for compliance with the MA lead law you will need a Full Comprehensive Initial Inspection and/or Risk Assessment.  Certified firms and the Lead Safe Renovators who work for them are not licensed to do deleading activities for compliance in MA unless they take an additional 4 hour deleading training course.  Since April 22, 2010 we have seen a number of deleading jobs for compliance that have had unauthorized contractors perform the deleading activities.  As a result of this the owners of these properties are getting letters of Unauthorized Deleading which does not remove them from liability from the lead law and they are also not eligible for  available tax credits of up to $1,500 from the state.


XRF Testing with XRF Gun 

It is important that property owners make the decision on whether or not they will or will not have testing done either by a licensed lead inspector or a lead safe renovator.  The property owners are required to disclose all findings, from a licensed lead inspector’s Lead Check EPA Approved test kit used for testing for leadRRP Assessment report or from a Lead Safe Renovator who has used an EPA approved lead based paint test kit to test surfaces for lead, to all tenants or potential buyers.


Note:  This information was provided by John MacIsaac of ASAP Environmental, Inc.

If you are looking for forms and signage to help you with comply with the EPA RRP rule, I recommend you check out what The Lead Paint Forms Store has to offer.

Topics: RRP in MA, Definitions, Compliance Options, Info for Landlords, MA RRP Updates, Lead Test Kits and Testing


Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Oct 05, 2010 @ 08:00 AM


Scraping lead paintAs like many of you, I have definitely exposed my body to lead over the last 30 plus years I have been involved in remodeling.   As I learn more about lead poisoning and the symptoms of lead poisoning, I flash back to my younger years working for my dad’s remodeling business.   Back then there was little awareness or thought given to the way we worked when disturbing lead paint.   One summer I remember complaining of stomach aches, muscle pains and constantly feeling tired even after having the weekend off.   My parents took me to the doctor but the doctor couldn’t find any reason for these symptoms.  He gave me a terrible tasting medication to take daily and asked me to report back on how I was doing.   The symptoms would seem to come and go all summer long, but then went away when I went back to college after the summer was over.  This same scenario played over again the following summer.

Later I found out from my parents that the doctor had told them my symptoms were psychosomatic.   He made this decision because the medication he gave me was only a placebo but I was reporting improved health.  Looking back what was actually happening was that I was moving in and out of exposure to lead as I was moved from one project to the next.  If I gutted a kitchen and remodeled it I would get sick and the symptoms would appear.  After completing that project I might move to an addition or attic renovation project where I would have little or no exposure to lead.  My symptoms would come and go as I moved from project to project and as my body had time to adjust.

NARI LogoFortunately for me, in the early days of owning my remodeling business, I learned a lot about lead and lead safe work practices through the NARI/HUD Lead Safe Remodeler training program that came out in the mid 1990’s.  The current Certified Renovator training is only one day and really only teaches attendees how to contain the dust and debris.  Different than the current class, the NARI/HUD class was two days long and actually thought us lead-safe work practices that eliminated or significantly reduced the creation of lead dust and debris.  Attending that class was definitely worth the investment of time and money.  Both I and my employees changed the way we thought about the work we did and the methods we used going forward.

Lead poisoning is a serious concern, often confused with other illnesses:

(Note: The following information comes from the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety, Publication: # 17379-13-200-7/93)

Workers can be exposed to lead by breathing in lead dust or fumes from work activities, by eating, drinking or smoking in work areas, or by handling contaminated objects - and accidentally swallowing lead dust. Workers in many workplaces have so much lead in their bodies that they are slowly being poisoned. The symptoms may hardly be noticeable at first. But over time, lead can damage the brain, blood, nerves, kidneys and reproductive organs. This damage can cause serious disability: memory loss, extreme tiredness, emotional problems, even kidney failure, coma or death.

Lead Blood TestLead poisoning can occur when people are exposed to large or small amounts of lead over time. Lead builds up in the body and may cause temporary or permanent damage. A blood lead test can show whether your body has absorbed a dangerous amount of lead. A high blood lead level is an indication that lead is building up in the body faster than it can be eliminated.


There are many symptoms or signs that suggest a problem with lead, but they can also be symptoms of other illnesses. It is also possible to have lead poisoning without noticing any symptoms. If you work around lead you should regularly see your doctor, whether or not you are experiencing the following symptoms:

Early Signs and Symptoms of Lead Poisoning:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sleeplessness
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Irritability or nervousness
  • Poor appetite
  • Metallic taste
  • Reproductive problems 

Wrist dropLater Signs and Symptoms:

  • Aches or pains in stomach
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Weak wrists or ankles
  • Kidney problems

Note:  The Photo above shows wrist-drop in adult with lead poisoning and renal failure.

What to do if you have been poisoned by lead



Topics: Worker Training, Definitions, Health Effects of Lead, EPA RRP for Dummies, Work Practices, Personal Protection

What is Required To Become A Licensed Lead Inspector?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 @ 09:32 AM

What is Required To Become A Licensed Lead Inspector?

Licensed Lead InspectorMany remodelers have shared with me that they have been entertaining the idea of become licensed lead inspectors.  Recognizing the new EPA RRP rule as here to stay, many see doing inspections as an opportunity to diversify their business's offerings and at the same time add some much needed revenue due to our current economic challenges.

I asked John MacIsaac of ASAP Environmental, a lead testing expert and recognized leader in his industry, to write an article for RRPedia.  The article below was written by John to help contractors understand what is involved if they would like to consider become inspectors.  John pointed out to me that licensing requirements definitely vary from state to state.  John's article is specific to Massachusetts requirements, but should help provide a general understanding of what to expect if you seek to be licensed in other states.

The Article:

The first step in being licensed as a lead inspector in Massachusetts is to attend a six-day, 48-hour CLPPP approved training course.  The course costs $1675 at The Institute of Environmental Education (IEE).  The training course teaches how to perform lead inspections and risk assessments in residential property in Massachusetts. Topics include background information on lead, sources of lead exposure, health effects for adults and children, regulatory information, testing equipment, and procedures for performing lead inspections, risk assessments, re-inspections and post compliance inspections.  Once the course is completed you have to take an exam given by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  You will need an 80% or better in order to pass the test.  There is no charge to take this test.

Blood Test VialUpon successful completion of the examination and a lead physical and blood test, you need to complete an apprenticeship program with a licensed Master Lead Inspector.  It costs between $3,000 and $5,000 to do an apprenticeship.  You must work with the Master Lead Inspector for a total of 80 hours and you must accompany the Master inspector on 15 inspections.  The 15 inspections will consist of 7 Initial Inspections (5 using the XRF gun and 2 using sodium sulfide), 6 re-occupancy reinspections or final deleading reinspections, and 2 PCADs (post compliance assessment determinations). 

Once the apprenticeship is completed the paperwork is sent to the Childhood Lead Poising Prevention Program (CLPPP) and they will issue you a lead inspector’s license for Massachusetts.  This license will allow you to do Initial Lead Inspections, Reinspections, and Lead Determinations.  It will also allow you to issue Letters of Reoccupancy and Letters of Compliance.  The license will only be valid in Massachusetts.  There is no reciprocity with your licenses, in other words you will not be able to use the license in any other state for inspections.  All other states in New England have their own licensing process that would need to be followed to inspect in that state.

After having preformed 75 Inspections or Reinspections you can apply for a risk assessors licenses in MA.  As a Risk assessor you can do risk assessments for interim control. 

CLPPP offers refresher courses that will need to be taken periodically to maintain your license.  They are a 1 day course with a test at the end of the day that you must pass in order to maintain your license

You must renew your license once a year.  For Lead Inspectors/Risk Assessors the renewal fee is $325.  For Master Lead Inspectors the fee is $425.

XRF GunBrand new XRF Machines go for anywhere from $15,000 to upwards of $30,000.  You may be able to purchase one used from the manufacturer or online.  It can cost upwards of $5,000 a year to maintain them. 

If you are a Certified State Licensed Renovator as well as a Certified Lead Inspector, Massachusetts will not allow you to do Comprehensive Initial Inspections, Risk Assessments, or Lead Determinations on your own property or a property you are working on (RRP) because of a potential conflict of interest.  You will be required to have it tested by another Massachusetts licensed inspector.

For information you can go to the following:

Childhood Lead Poison Prevention Program (CLPPP)

Massachusetts Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program’s database for lead inspected homes.

MA Department of Occupational Safety (DOS)


Institute for Environmental Education (IEE)

RMD Instruments

Thermo Scientific

Note:  This information was provided by John MacIsaac of ASAP Environmental, Inc.

Topics: RRP Questions, Definitions, Lead Test Kits and Testing

What Is The Lead Disclosure Rule?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 @ 08:22 AM

What Is The Lead Disclosure Rule?

XRF lead testRenovators doing RRP work will be involved with lead testing.  Lead testing for RRP related projects can be done by the certified renovator, a certified lead inspector or certified lead risk assessor.  The type of testing that can be done by each varies, but regardless of who does the testing written reports are required and, by law, certain individuals must be given a copy of those reports if lead is found.  The EPA RRP rule is specific about who must receive test reports if the testing is done for the purposes of an RRP renovation.   


House for sale signRegardless of the original purpose of testing (RRP or any other purpose), once a reports exists, the Lead Disclosure Rule below dictates who must receive the reports and when in regards to the selling or leasing of a property.  The rule also specifies what documentation must be created and maintained to prove the reports were distributed to the required parties.  Because of the considerations of the Lead Disclosure Rule, I recommend renovators get the property owner's written permission prior to conducting any lead testing.


The following information is from the HUD web site:

Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, also known as Title X, to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil. Section 1018 of this law directed HUD and EPA to require the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978.

What is Required?

Before ratification of a contract for housing sale or lease, sellers and landlords must:

  • Protect your familiy from lead coverGive an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards ("Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home" pamphlet, currently available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic and Somali).
  • Disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. The seller or landlord must also disclose information such as the location of the lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, and the condition of the painted surfaces.
  • Provide any records and reports on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards which are available to the seller or landlord (for multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units, when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation).
  • Include an attachment to the contract or lease(or language inserted in the lease itself) which includes a Lead Warning Statement and confirms that the seller or landlord has complied with all notification requirements. This attachment is to be provided in the same language used in the rest of the contract. Sellers or landlords, and agents, as well as homebuyers or tenants, must sign and date the attachment.
  • Sellers must provide homebuyers a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity.

Types of Housing Covered?

Most private housing, public housing, Federally owned housing, and housing receiving Federal assistance are affected by this rule.

Effective Dates:

The regulations became effective on September 6, 1996 for transactions involving owners of more than 4 residential dwellings and on December 6, 1996 for transactions involving owners of 1 to 4 residential dwellings.


Sellers and lessors must retain a copy of the disclosures for no less than three years from the date of sale or the date the leasing period begins.

What Can You Do?

If you did not receive the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards form when you bought or leased pre-1978 housing, contact 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).


According to the HUD web site, this content was current as of March 4, 2008.  Click here to view this information on the HUD website

Topics: RRP Questions, Definitions, Documentation Considerations, Info for Landlords, EPA RRP for Dummies, Lead Test Kits and Testing

Painting and Coatings Terms and Definitions

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 @ 08:20 AM

Paint cans and brushPainting and Coatings Terms and Definitions:

The following is a list of general terms and definitions related to painting and paints.   This information is not specific to lead based paint or RRP work, but is listed here as a resource.



Terms and Definitions:

Acrylic: A synthetic polymer used in high-performance latex or water-based paints. As the paint's binder, acrylic resins enable the coating to last longer and retain its color.

Acrylic Latex Paint:Water-thinned paint which employs acrylic resin as the majority of the binder. Other binders which may be added to reduce cost or add specific properties include styrene, epoxy, and poly-vinyl acetate.

100% Acrylic Latex Paint:Water-thinned paint in which only acrylic resin is used as the binder medium. Typically the highest quality latex paints used for a wide variety of architectural coatings, 100% Acrylic Latexes have superior adhesion, long-term flexibility, breathability, alkali resistance, toughness, and color and sheen retention.

Acrylic Resin:Resins which have established a pre-eminent position among coating formulators, having shown superiority in such respects as color and gloss retention, alkali and oxidation (chalk) resistance, hardness, adhesive and cohesive strength, and overall film durability. Generically, resins resulting from the polymerization of derivatives of acrylic acids, including esters of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, acrylonitrile, and their copolymers. Also known as acrylate resins.

Adhesion:The ability of dry paint to remain on the surface without blistering, flaking or cracking. Adhesion is probably the single most important property of paint. Wet adhesion, the ability of dry paint to adhere to the surface in spite of wet conditions, is particularly important for exterior house paints.

Airless Spraying: Process of atomization of paint by forcing it through an orifice at high pressure. The effect is often aided by the vaporization of the solvents, especially if the paint has been previously heated.

Alkyds:Resins used mostly in trim paints, inside and out, although some medium duty equipment and marine enamels employ these resins as binders. Most often alkyd resins are found in vehicles employing aliphatic hydrocarbons (mineral spirits or other refined petroleum distillate) as thinner. Alkyds offer good leveling properties and cure to a relatively durable film, but tend to yellow interior and embrittle with age. Color and gloss exterior is only fair, and alkyds are highly prone to failure exterior on surfaces containing even moderate levels of moisture. Chemically, alkyds are synthetic resins formed by the condensation of polyhydric alcohols with polybasic acids. They may be regarded as complex esters. The most common polyhydric alcohol used is glycerol, and the most common polybasic acid is phthalic anhydride. Modified alkyds are those in which the polybasic acid is substituted in part by a monobasic acid, of which the vegetable oil fatty acids are typical.

Binder:The binder cements the pigment particles into a uniform paint film and also makes the paint adhere to the surface. The nature and amount of binder determine most of the paint's performance properties -- washability, toughness, adhesion, and color retention. Acrylic polymers are the binder of choice in producing quality high-performance latex paints.

Bleaching: Loss of color, usually caused by exposure to sunlight.

Blistering: The formulation of dome-shaped, hollow projections on paint, often caused by heat or moisture. Can also be caused by solvent entrapment in a paint film which has surface dried before the solvent has completely escaped.

Chalking: Formation of a friable powder on the surface of a paint film caused by the disintegration of the binding medium due to disruptive factors during weathering. The chalking of a paint film can be considerably affected by the choice and concentration of the pigment. It can also be affected by the choice of the binding medium.

Color Retention: The ability of paint to keep its original color and resist fading.

Consistency: The resistance of a paint to flow. A paint with high consistency flows slowly; a paint with low consistency flows readily.

Cracking: Breaks or splits in the paint's surface.

Durability: The degree to which paint withstands the destructive effects of the environment to which it is exposed, especially harsh weather conditions. Durability has two aspects. Its protective properties safeguard the substrate from degradation. Its decorative properties allow the paint to retain its attractive appearance.

Efflorescence: An encrustation of soluble salts, commonly white, deposited on the surface of coatings, stone, brick, plaster, or mortar; usually caused by salts or free alkalies leached from mortar or adjacent concrete as moisture moves through it.

Elasticity: The ability of paint to expand and contract with the substrate without suffering damage or changes in its appearance. Expansion and contraction are usually caused by temperature fluctuations. Some substrates such as yellow pine expand at different rates depending on the type of their grain. Elasticity is a key to durability. Acrylic binders are noted for their elasticity.

Enamel: (1) Topcoat which is characterized by its ability to form a smooth surface; originally associated with a high gloss, but may also include lower degrees of gloss, i.e., flat enamels. (2) A class of substance having similar composition to glass with the addition of stannic oxide, SnO2, or other infusible substances to render the enamel opaque.

Extender: A less-expensive ingredient than titanium dioxide that fills out and extends the pigment's capabilities. Extender cannot be used without pigment. Some common extenders are clays, calcium carbonate, and silica.

Fading: Lightening of the paint's color, usually caused by exposure to light or heat.

Film Formation: The paint's ability to form a continuous dry film. This process is the result of the water or solvents evaporating and the coming together of the binder particles. A continuous dry film repels water.

Flaking: The detachment of pieces of paint from the substrate, caused by a loss of adhesion and elasticity. Also known as scaling.

Glycol:A co-solvent, combined with water in aqueous (latex) systems to form the total thinner. Various glycols perform various functions, however, they are generally valuable as brushing agents and for temperature stability (ethylene glycol is the chief ingredient in anti-freeze). Generically, CH2OHCH2OH. General term for dihydric alcohols; ethylene glycol is the most simple of the glycols.

Grain raising:Swelling and standing up of the wood grain caused by absorbed water or solvents.

Hiding Power: The ability of paint to hide or obscure a surface, color or stain over which it has been uniformly applied. Hiding power is provided by the paint's pigment.

Holidays: Application defect whereby small areas are left uncoated. Syn: Misses, Skips, Voids, Discontinuities, Vacations.

Industrial paint: Paint that would normally be used to paint industrial items such as structural steel, chemical plants, and pulp and paper mills. It usually has greater chemical resistance and a faster drying time than regular house paint.

Intumescent Coatings:Fire retardant coating which, when heated becomes plastic and produces nonflammable gasses, such as carbon dioxide and ammonia. The gasses are trapped by the film, converting it to a foam about fifty times as thick as the original paint film. At this stage, the film solidifies, resulting in a thick, highly insulating layer of carbon, which effectively protects the substrate from fire.

Joint cement: Cement used in dry wall construction as a bedding compound for joint tape and as a filler for nail holes.

Joint tape:Special paper tape or paper-faced cotton tape used over joints between panels of wallboard to conceal the joint and provide a smooth surface for painting.

Latex: (1) Stable dispersion of a polymeric substance in an essentially aqueous medium. (2) Fine dispersion of rubber or resin, natural or synthetic, in water; the synthetic is made by emulsion polymerization. (Strictly speaking, after polymerization a latex is a solid dispersed in water, and therefore is not an emulsion. Latex and emulsion are often used synonymously in the paint industry.)

Latex Paint: Water-thinned paint made with synthetic binders such as polyvinyl acetate or acrylic resins. In contrast to oil-based paint, latex paint dries fast, flows smoothly, and cleans up easily with water. High-performance latex paints contain 100% acrylic resins.

Leveling: The ability of a coating to form a smooth film without brush marks appearing. Higher quality latex paint has superior leveling ability.

Linseed oil: A drying oil used in paint, varnish and lacquer.

Mildewcide: Chemical agent in quality paint that retards mildew, a common problem in humid climates.

Peeling: The detachment of paint from the surface in ribbons or sheets. Like flaking, the result of loss of adhesion.

Pigment: Finely ground, natural or synthetic, inorganic or organic, insoluble dispersed particles (powder) which, when dispersed in a liquid vehicle to make paint, may provide, in addition to color, many of the essential properties of the paint: opacity, hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance. The term is used to include extenders, as well as white or color pigments. The distinction between powders which are pigments and those which are dyes is generally considered to be on the basis of solubility. Pigments being insoluble and dispersed in the material, dyes being soluble or in solution when used.

Polymer:This binder is produced from petrochemical feedstocks. The binder's polymer particles are small in size and carried in water. The binder polymers and water mix is known as emulsion.

Primer: The base coat, or first complete coat, of a paint system that is applied to an uncoated surface. Primer can be latex or alkyd paint.

PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate): A colorless, thermoplastic, water soluble, resinous high polymer derived from the polymerization of vinyl acetate with a catalyst; used as a latex binder in certain, generally lower quality water-base coatings.

PVC (Pigment Volume Concentration): The ratio of the volume of pigment to the volume of total nonvolatile material (i.e., pigment and binder) present in a coating. The figure is usually expressed as a percentage.

Resin:(1) General term applied to a wide variety of more or less transparent and fusible products, which may be natural or synthetic. They may vary widely in color. Higher molecular weight synthetic resins are generally referred to as polymers. (2) A solid, semi-solid, or pseudo-solid organic material that has an indefinite and often high molecular weight, exhibits a tendency to flow when subjected to stress, usually has a softening or melting range, and usually fractures conchoidally. (3) In a broader sense, the term is used to designate any polymer that is a basic material for coatings and plastics.

Sandpaper: A sheet of abrasive-coated paper that is used for smoothing rough surfaces.

Satin finish: Semi-gloss finish.

Silicate:Any one of a large family of substances chiefly used with titanium dioxide, the primary pigment, as an extender pigment. When used in moderation, these silicates (magnesium silicate, aluminum silicate, etc.) are valuable in helping control gloss, aid brushability, and increase hold-out properties and overall exterior durability.

Solids: The solids content of a paint that is left over after the solvent evaporates. Same as nonvolatile.

Spattering: Droplets of paint that spin or mist off the roller as paint is being applied.

Surfactants:Contracted from surface-active agents, these are additives which reduce surface tension and thereby improve wetting (wetting agents), help disperse pigments, inhibit foam, or emulsify. Conventionally, they are classified as to their charge: anionic (negative); cationic (positive); nonionic (no charge); or amphoteric (both positive and negative).

Thinner:The thinner and binder together form the paint's vehicle. Water, the thinner used in latex paints, evaporates as the paint dries, allowing a smooth paint application. Turpentine or spirits are the thinners in oil-based paints.

Thixotropic: Adjective which describes full-bodied material which undergoes a reduction in viscosity when shaken, stirred, or otherwise mechanically disturbed and which readily recovers the full-bodied condition on standing.

Tinting: The final adjusting of a color of paint to the exact shade required.

Titanium Dioxide, Anatase (TiO2):A high opacity, bright white pigment of the chalking type, used as a prime pigment in paints, rubber, plastics. Prepared from the mineral ilmenite, or rutile ore.

Titanium Dioxide, Rutile (TiO2):A high opacity, bright white pigment of the non-chalking type, used as a prime pigment in paints, rubber, plastics. Prepared from the mineral ilmenite, or rutile ore.

Topcoat: A coat designed to provide a finish capable of providing protection and color.

Undercoat: For unpainted surfaces, the coat between the primer and the topcoat. For previously coated surfaces, the undercoat is applied directly to the old paint.

Vehicle: The liquid portion of the paint, in which the pigment is dispersed; it is composed of a binder and a thinner.

Vinyl: (1) The unsaturated, univalent radical CH2: CH -- derived from ethylene. (2) Any of the various compounds containing this group, typically highly reactive, easily polymerized and used as a basic material for coatings and plastics. (3) Any of the various plastics, typically tough and flexible.

VOC (Volatile Organic Content):Any carbon compound that evaporates under standard test conditions. Essentially, all paint solvents except water are VOCs. Federal and state governments are beginning to limit the amount of volatile organics found in paint because of concerns about possible environmental and health effects.

Volume Solids: The volume of pigment plus binder divided by the total volume, expressed as a percent. High volume solids mean a thicker dry film, improved hiding, and high durability.

Washability: Ease with which washing will remove dirt from the paint's surface without causing damage.

Weathering: Paint film deterioration as a result of exposure to the weather.

Wet Edge: Edge of a wet painted area which remains workable. When painting large surfaces, it is generally necessary to join up to the edge of a paint film which has been left for an appreciable time; when this can be done by blending this edge with free working paint without any lap showing, the film is said to present a wet edge.

Zinc Chromate: Bright yellow pigment which chemically is substantially zinc chromate, although its precise composition is rather complex. Its chief use is in anti-corrosive paints and primers for steel.

Zinc Oxide: A fine particle, white pigment used in rubber, paint, and plastic industries for mildew resistance and film reinforcing properties.

Zinc Rich Primer: Anti-corrosive primer for iron and steel incorporating zinc dust in a concentration sufficient to give electrical conductivity in the dried film, thus enabling the zinc metal to corrode preferentially to the substrate, i.e., to give cathodic protection.

PAINT/COATINGS DICTIONARY, © 1978 by Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology.

Topics: Definitions, Paints and Painting