A huge way to cut down on dust, debris and other elements kicked up during a remodel is to protect and seal off the work area from the rest of your home. If the renovation zone is in the middle of your home, do the best you can to keep the mess contained to work area and main walk way.
- Section Off Work Area – Hang heavy-duty tarp from the ceiling to floor in all entrances/exits into the rest of your home. Use masking tape or duct tape to seal where all of the tarp edges meet floor, ceiling and walls. Even the tiniest gap will let out dust or dangerous particles. If you need to gain access through these tarps, consider using a self-adhesive zipper.
- Cover It Up – Cover all furniture throughout the house with tarps or drop-cloths. Textured furniture such as couches or beds can still attract particles even though you have sealed tarps up.
- Everything Must Go – Remove everything from the room where work will be taking place. Knick-knacks, furniture, clothes – everything. You want the room as barren as possible. For large furniture that can’t be moved, such as armoires or dressers, cover them with heavy plastic. Don’t allow gaps that dust can sneak into.
- Closet Control – Seal closet doors in the work area with masking tape. Go along the edges and especially in the gap between the door and the floor. This will save you from having to clean everything in your closet because it is caked in dust or debris.
- Walk-Way Protection – Make sure the walk way to and from the work area is protected. Place heavy plastic or tarps along the trail so the workmen don’t get muddy footprints or debris on your floors and carpet. Once the crew leaves for the day, you can take the tarps outside and shake off the mess.
- Safe Path – If your family or employees have to pass through the work zone, have your contractors supply a safe pathway clear of debris and danger. This walk way should be swept and made clear at the end of each work day. In the case of commercial renovations, you may want to post signs indicating wet paint or falling debris. Your employees can avoid danger or disturbing the work with a simple heads up.
- Daily Clean Up – Have the contractor and their crew stick to a daily clean up routine. Most do this automatically but double check that they will sweep dirt and debris up every night and keep tools and materials tidy and in one space.
- Vacuum First – Whether it is you or your contractor, make sure to vacuum first and then dust daily. Make sure to use a HEPA vacuum because they are able to trap smaller particles that a normal vacuum can not. If you don’t own one and don’t wish to purchase one, they are available to rent.
- Let Some Air Into The Room – Open up the windows in your home to allow proper ventilation throughout your home. This helps keep the air quality free of particles and can alleviate odors such as paint. If the weather doesn’t permit opening windows, follow the other options.
- Purified Air – Consider running a HEPA air purifier on high day and night during the length of the project. Be sure to change and wash the filters frequently because they will be working harder than usual.
- Air Scrubber – You might want to rent a commercial grade air scrubber. They are so useful in eliminating dust, wood, odors and other debris at a much faster rate than manual cleaning. Air scrubbers are better than traditional fans because they blow more concentrated air making cleaning or drying faster and can block dust from spreading to other areas of the home.
While it may cost you a little bit to seal up or protect your home, it is worth it in the long run. Cleaning up the thick layers of dust and harmful particles can be difficult and time consuming but a preemptive effort can save you from enduring big headaches down the road. It is always best to have crystal clear communication with your contractor so that your clean up can be a team effort to fully maximize the chance of success and stress-free maintenance.
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