Dust Containment During Remodels
Dust Containment During Remodels. Whether you’re remodeling a new home or doing renovations on your current home – completing a DIY project or hiring professionals – protecting your family, pets, floors, and surfaces during the process should be a top priority.
Construction dust – the bane of any remodeling project – will inevitably find its way beyond the work area and into or on every nook, cranny, and exposed surface. It will travel on shoes, clothing, and indoor air currents through your home’s ductwork. Dust will blow into every room in the house and eventually clog the air filter on your HVAC system.
Why is dust from construction dangerous?
While normal household dust can be irritating enough, breathing in the dust produced by remodeling can further aggravate existing problems or create new ones, especially for children, pets, and the elderly. This dust – often laden with irritating chemicals – is extra stressful for those with allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and other sensitivities.
Pets, especially dogs, will sniff at and often taste anything, including dust or debris that might smell interesting. The dust can not only affect a dog’s delicate sinuses, it can also easily irritate their eyes and lungs.
How to Keep Your Home and Family Safe
By following these tips, you can help keep dust levels – and any potential harm to your family or home – to a minimum.
Seal all vents
This simple, yet often overlooked step will greatly reduce dust circulation by preventing airborne particles from entering your ductwork, thus blowing it throughout the home and clogging the system’s air filter.
First, turn off the heating/cooling system and cover all the vents in your home with resin paper or plastic. Next, install a new air filter on the HVAC unit to catch fine dust particles.
All flooring surfaces – linoleum, ceramic or porcelain tile, hardwood, cork, stone, bamboo, or vinyl – are susceptible to dust damage.
Having dust ground into carpet fibers or hardwood floors is completely unnecessary and easily avoided. You simply need to install proper protection for construction and remodeling to prevent floor damage.
- Heavy-duty sheets of plastic laid over carpeted areas will help protect carpets as long as they’re secured with specifically designed carpet tape or painters tape around the perimeter of the room.
- A growing number of professional and DIY home remodelers opt for using clear, poly-film sheets that adhere to the carpet surface. The film is resistant to punctures and tears – and sturdy enough to protect carpets from debris, foot traffic, spills, and dropped tools.
- Self-adhesive and reusable rolls of heavy-gauge plastic can be cut to fit any high-risk floor surface, stairway, or hallway. The top layer is made of water-proof plastic, thick enough to withstand high foot traffic.
- Resin paper has been used in the construction industry for decades. It’s easily cut to size and can be taped into place using most construction-grade tapes. Resin paper is a fast and inexpensive way to protect any number of hard surfaces in your home.
- Hardboard floor protection also comes in rolls and it is thicker than resin paper. Certain brands also afford you about 72 hours of waterproof protection in case something is spilled during the job. It’s less expensive than comparable floor protectants and easy to install.
Capture the dust
Using anything other than a vacuum during a remodeling job only stirs dust up into an airborne cloud. A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) vacuum, which can be rented at a reasonable rate, will pick up the finest dust that regular vacuums might miss.
Using the household shop-vac is a viable alternative if a length of purchased hose is connected to the machine’s exhaust port and fed outside. Always invest in a good HEPA filter for the shop-vac.
- Drive the dust outside by installing a box fan in a close to the work area. Blowing the interior air outside creates a slight vacuum that sucks dust out of the house.
- Clean all messes as they are created. Neglected dust and debris will be kicked up every time someone walks through it or transported to other areas of the home on the bottom of shoes.
- Tape heavy plastic sheeting over all but one doorway leading into the rest of the home. Install a zippered barrier over that doorway to allow foot traffic in and out of the work area while reducing dust contamination.
While there’s no way to avoid some disruption during a remodeling job, reducing the dust levels will let you breathe easier during the process knowing that your home and family are protected.