Properly preparing for clearance is very important to reduce the chance of the clearance failing and leading
to added costs associated with site re-visits and additional sampling.  Most inspections will pass the first
time if the guidelines on this page are followed.
A final cleaning should be performed at least 1 hour after renovation activities have
ceased in order to let dust particles settle.  The best cleaning methods work top to
bottom and employ a "HEPA sandwich" routine which refers to HEPA vacuuming
first, then wet cleaning, then vacuuming again.
The inspector must know the exact work area(s) where lead paint was impacted in order to perform a
clearance.  A good description of the work area can decrease sample requirements and costs.  It's also
helpful to know the type of work and work practices that took place in each work area.  The inspector
will need access to all surfaces in the work area.  All plastic sheeting used for containment should be
The inspector must sample bare soil if it's present in the work
area.  If the bare soil is anywhere near the dripline of the house it
will likely fail clearance due to pre-existing conditions.  The best
solution is to discuss the matter with your client during bidding
and resolve the problem by including some form of coverage of the
soil in your work plan.  Common methods of coverage include
grass or other foliage, gravel, bark, concrete, or mulch.  If gravel,
bark, or mulch is selected then it must include a water permeable
ground cover fabric underneath.  This material costs around 10
cents per SF and mulch is available for free from Miramar landfill.
Once on site, the first task of the inspector is to perform a visual inspection.  Any amount of visible dust
in the work area will cause the clearance to fail.  If work was performed on the exterior of the home then
no visible paint chips can be present in grass, soil, foliage, and hard surfaces.  All horizontal surfaces in
the work area should be clean including baseboards, window frames, and furniture.  Don't overlook areas
up high that may be initially out of view such as the top of door frames and fencing.  
Work Area
Visual Inspection
There are many lead specific cleaning formulas on the market but research
suggests a regular all-purpose household cleaner will work as well or nearly as
well.  Sponges and sponge mops do
not work well.  For mopping it's best to use a
Swiffer type mop with disposable pads.  
Bare Soil Treatment  
On projects where soil coverage is not a practical option, and there is reason to believe the soil may be
lead contaminated, then it's advisable to have the soil tested in advance to show that your project did not
contribute to soil contamination. The clearance may still fail, technically, but the contractor will not be
held responsible.
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Preparing for a Lead Clearance Inspection
Lead-Asbestos-Mold Experts in San Diego
Certifications | Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance:  
$2,000,000 aggregate policy
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Consultant #06-3922
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Assessor/Project Monitor #17780
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