Maine Lead Professionals and Their Services
Thank you for your interest in reducing lead hazards in Maine. Here is information on lead inspectors, lead risk assessors, lead design consultants and lead abatement contractors that do residential lead abatement work. These individuals and firms are licensed by the Department to provide professional lead services in Maine.
When deciding who to hire to identify lead in your home, day care or rental property, please consider the following:
Inspectors are trained to identify lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards. In addition, an inspection may also include collecting samples of your soil, water and dust to see if they contain lead at levels that may pose a health risk.
Risk assessors can perform inspections for lead, plus as part of a risk assessment they can identify different ways in which the lead and lead hazards can be reduced or eliminated.
Both lead inspectors and risk assessors can provide you with a complete lead inspection for your entire home, day care or rental property. Lead inspectors and risk assessors may also perform a limited lead inspection, called a lead determination. You should request a lead determination if you only want to pay for part of your home, day care or rental property to be inspected for lead. A lead determination may be particularly useful if you are considering renovating a specific portion of your dwelling and are unsure exactly which component(s) are painted with lead paint. In addition to inspecting for lead-based paint, you may also request that the lead inspector or risk assessor sample soil, water and dust if you wish to find out whether your soil, water or dust contains lead.
Your lead inspector or risk assessor is required to provide you a complete lead inspection or lead determination report. This report will identify where there is lead-based paint in your home, day care or rental property, and whether the condition of the paint is creating a lead hazard. If you hire a risk assessor to perform a risk assessment, the risk assessment report will include options for controlling, reducing, or eliminating the lead hazards from your home, day care or rental property.
Please note: To have your home, day care or rental property certified as "Lead Safe", the inspector or risk assessor must include soil, dust and water sampling in order to determine if they contain lead at levels that may pose a health risk .
If you decide to have lead abatement work done on your property, please consider the following:
You may want to hire a design consultant if your lead abatement project requirements are complex, such as coordinating lead abatement activities in multi-family dwelling units, or if you want a knowledgeable professional to monitor the work of the lead abatement contractor. A design consultant can provide site-specific lead abatement project specifications and can oversee the lead abatement contractor to ensure the contractor is following the plan and performing the work that is specified in the project specifications. Design consultants may also be licensed as inspectors or risk assessors, or work for a licensed lead abatement contractor.
For smaller lead abatement jobs, you may choose to work directly with a lead abatement contractor to decide how much you would like done and how you want the work performed. Every person who works for a licensed lead abatement contractor on a lead abatement job is trained and certified to perform that work safely.
Hiring Your Lead Professional
After determining the type of lead professional you need, your next step is selecting the professional who is right for you! We are providing this list to you to help you find people who are licensed to perform professional lead services; the Department does not endorse or recommend any individual or firm. You may want to consider the following during your hiring process:
Always ask for the lead professional’s license number, and double-check the number against the enclosed list.
When you are hiring a lead contractor, it’s always advisable to have the contractor come to your property to review the proposed work in person. Find out whether they charge for this service. If you have not had a design consultant create a work plan for your project, there is a wide variety of abatement options that the contractor will review with you . These include: replacing the entire component (for example, replacing leaded windows with more energy efficient vinyl windows); enclosing a leaded component (e.g., sheet rocking over lead-painted walls); encapsulating a leaded component (e.g., applying a specialty sealant to a leaded wall); or removing the lead paint from the component (e.g., wet-scraping or using a chemical solvent to remove the lead-paint). Most lead abatement projects are comprised of a variety of abatement options. Make sure that you understand what each abatement contractor is proposing. Knowing what your options are and which option best fits your needs will help you in selecting the lead abatement contractor that’s right for you. Design consultants and lead risk assessors may also assist you in developing the scope of work and selecting the appropriate abatement options.
When hiring a lead inspector or risk assessor, make sure you’re clear on the type of inspection (lead determination, lead inspection, or risk assessment) that you’re requesting. Be sure to ask them whether they will be using an "XRF" (x-ray fluorescence) instrument to determine the amount of lead in paint. An XRF gives an immediate read-out of the lead content of any painted surface tested, and is required to be used during a lead inspection. Dust wipe and paint chip sampling only may be used if you simply want to determine if there are any immediate lead hazards; this type of limited lead determination may not provide you with the information you need to prevent lead hazards from developing in the future.
Some lead inspectors and risk assessors will provide you with a quote over the phone. Knowing the number of rooms and the approximate square footage of your home, day care or rental property will help them give you an accurate estimate. If you want soil, dust or water samples taken and analyzed, find out what the costs will be. Also, find out whether travel time and mileage are included in the price.
Find out what type of insurance (if any) the lead professional carries. Lead contractors typically carry workers compensation insurance and specialized (lead-specific) insurance (either "occurrence" or "claims-made"; comprehensive general liability insurance does not include lead coverage). Lead inspectors and risk assessors generally carry professional liability errors and omissions insurance.
Once you know what you need and what you want to do, it’s always a good idea to:
- Obtain at least three quotes;
- Have a written scope of work/services describing exactly what services you expect the professional to provide; and
- Check the references of the last three projects/inspections performed by the lead professional.
If you have any questions about the work someone is offering you or doing for you, please call the DEP Lead Licensing & Enforcement Program at (207) 287-7688.
Help ME Be Lead-Safe!