Min­i­mize dust while ren­o­vat­ing

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Even though dust is ever-present both in­side and out­side of a home, when ren­o­va­tions are in full swing, dusty con­di­tions are of­ten ex­ac­er­bated. Whether a home is new or old, nu­mer­ous sub­stances can be stirred up when re­mov­ing walls, re­fin­ish­ing floors, re­mov­ing tile, or ex­pand­ing liv­ing spa­ces. These in­clude sil­ica from dry­wall, lead, as­bestos, paint par­ti­cles, and even waste from bugs or ro­dents. Home­own­ers who want to re­model with min­i­mal con­struc­tion de­bris float­ing through the air — both for health pur­poses and gen­eral clean­li­ness — may find these proac­tive steps help­ful.

• Pre­pare dust-con­tain­ment plans. If a con­trac­tor is in­volved, it is of­ten his or her re­spon­si­bil­ity to min­i­mize dust. Do-it-your­selfers must make dust con­tain­ment a pri­or­ity. Pro­tect­ing the floor and keep­ing the dust con­fined only to work ar­eas can be achieved with plas­tic sheet­ing and other bar­ri­ers.

• Des­ig­nate an en­trance and exit. The ex­perts at This Old House say it is best to choose one door­way as the only means in and out of a work area. Ide­ally, this door­way should lead to the out­doors. All other door­ways should be sealed on both sides.

• Re­move ex­tra­ne­ous items. It’s best to re­move clut­ter from the room, in­clud­ing any fur­ni­ture that can be taken out of the space. This helps items from be­com­ing dirty and haz­ardous par­ti­cles from set­tling into nooks and cran­nies.

• Close vents and reg­is­ters. If forced air sys­tems are part of the home, it’s best to di­vert air away from the work area. Block vents and in­take reg­is­ters so that dust does not clog the sys­tem or trans­fer to other rooms.

• Cut items out­side. De­sign ad­vice site Houzz says that some power tools have vac­uum ex­trac­tors to suck up dust at the point of con­tact, re­mov­ing 90 per­cent of dust where it is gen­er­ated. For those who do not have ac­cess to these tools, cut­ting and sand­ing can be done out­doors to keep dust out­side.

• Open a win­dow. If weather per­mits, an open win­dow can pro­vide ven­ti­la­tion. An­other idea is to cre­ate an air vac­uum in the work area. Pick­ing a win­dow at the far end of the work area and mount­ing a win­dow fan blow­ing out­ward can suck dust out and away from other ar­eas of the house.

• Clean up daily. By keep­ing on top of dust, in­clud­ing sweep­ing and vac­u­um­ing the work area fre­quently, dust will not ac­cu­mu­late and mi­grate else­where.

Dust is a com­mon side ef­fect of home ren­o­va­tion projects, but it can be min­i­mized.

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