Renovate Right

You are right to be thinking about stopping renovation dust from getting into the rest of your home. The dust produced during renovation work contains contaminants that are harmful to human health, especially to young children and to a fetus. That’s why the best advice is for pregnant women and children to stay away from home when renovations are being done, unless the work area can be completely and effectively sealed off.

Renovation work is best done when the weather is warm enough that you don’t have to use your heating system and when any air conditioning system is turned off. This will help to keep dust in the work area. Ways to seal off the work area:

  • Close all doors to rooms not being renovated.
  • Hang plastic sheets across the doorway of the area being renovated. You will need three sheets of strong plastic with each sheet long enough to go from the top of the door to the floor. Tape one sheet of plastic to the side of the door frame and along the top. Tape another sheet on the other side so that the two sheets meet creating an opening. Tape the third sheet across the top of the door frame covering the other two sheets without taping either side. This arrangement keeps most of the dust in the room and provides an entrance way. Check the tape often and reapply more tape if the seal gets broken.
  • Cover any heating or air vents with wood, strong plastic, or cardboard that you tape down. This will prevent dust from getting into your heating/air conditioning system and getting blown into your house when the system is turned back on. Check the seal often as dust can get under the tape and loosen the seal. Add more tape as needed.

Other ways to control dust:

  • In addition to ongoing dust control, create negative pressure in a room by putting a fan by or in an open window in the sealed-off work area to blow fumes and any remaining airborne dust outside.
  • Cover and seal off any furniture or carpeting left in the work area. Use only clean, disposable covers for furniture. Clean up regularly. When the work is finished remove the furniture covers carefully and dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Take debris away from the work area in a covered bucket.
  • Leave work boots, coveralls, and hats inside the work area. Or put covers on boots when leaving the work area before passing through other parts of the house.
  • Put mops, brooms, rags, etc. in a plastic bag when taking them out of the work area so that they do not release dust on their way to being cleaned or thrown out.

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