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Attending Certa Pro Painters Can Be A Disaster If You Forget These 10 Rules

It was just last year when Certa Pro Painters received a fine from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for painting their commercial building without a permit. In that time, they painted the exterior of the Revere Medical Center on their own. They filled in the building with vinyl siding and did not bother to get the proper permits in order to do so. Now, the MDP is fining them $500 for every day they are in violation. Not only does this fine send a message to other painters who might be tempted to skip getting a permit themselves, but it also sends a strong message to businesses in Massachusetts that they cannot get away with painting without a permit.

The MDP is not the only state department that has been cracking down on painters. In January, 2009, the Department of Conservation sent notice to more than twenty companies operating house paint products that they were violating regulations regarding the maximum amount of lead that can be used in house paint products. Most of these house paint products had 50 ppi or higher lead levels. The MDP specifically cited Certa Pro Painting as being one of the house paint products that had high levels of lead. According to the MDP, the painter knew that his product was over-linking with lead, but he did not take the proper steps to reduce the levels of lead in the air and ground water surrounding his painting project.

When the MDP caught Certa Pro Painting by surprise, the company quickly got in touch with the state to express their outrage. LisaERA, the woman who oversees the enforcement division for the Department of Conservation, informed the painter that the company was “reviewing” the situation. She provided the name of the painter, but refused to release his name or say what further actions the company would take. It is not known whether the company will ever be brought into compliance with the various laws that regulate painters and painting. In the meantime, the MDP and DEQ are conducting investigations to determine whether their punishments will be sufficient for Certa Pro Painters. They have also requested samples from the painting contractor to see if they can figure out which chemicals are leaching from the surface of the home surface into the ground water.

Lead abatement is a complex process. It requires the expertise and experience of qualified professionals. This is exactly what the company did not possess. Their past record shows them to not only disregard their own safety regulations; they also apparently did not bother to investigate the possibility that lead might be present in the air, soil, or water of their client's property. They also did not test their clients painting for lead until after the job was already done and they discovered high levels of lead in the air and water.

How did these painters get away with such dangerous levels of lead poisoning? They apparently did not want to spend the money to have a background check performed on their painting contractors or on themselves. They apparently felt they would save money if they let others get injured. They didn't want to spend the money to replace the homes paint job, or the health risks associated with the toxic paint fumes. They were willing to put the lives of their clients at risk. But now, after being found guilty of poisoning people through the use of lead, they are being sued by thousands of homeowners who are suffering the consequences of their shoddy workmanship.

How are painters who are not covered by Certa Pro able to continue working in the state? It is up to the state's department of health to inspect and regulate painters. If an inspector finds that painters are using unapproved paints, that painters are violating safety regulations, that they are using lead-based paint that is dangerous, or that they are using unapproved solvents in work that causes harm to others, then they must be recalled and their licenses revoked. But how do you know when a painter has used the paint that he should have been using? How do you know whether the contractor is responsible for his own safety or the safety of those who will be living in his house?

Luckily, if you live in New York State, it is easy for the state to find out whether painters are licensed and how long they have been in business. There is a website called the State of New York Department of Health and Dependable Cosmetology which offers a list of licensed painters and general contractors. You can also contact them directly or visit their office.

There are some things that painters are not supposed to do while painting walls, ceilings, and floors. Painters are not supposed to paint bare wood, walls, or ceilings, nor are they supposed to chip plaster, peel wallpaper, remove mold, or attach paint to wallpaper. So how can you make sure that your home won't end up looking like a hospital after a night of renovating? Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable living inside of that particular home. If you would, then you shouldn't let other people do it either.

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