Home fix-ups can release renovation dust into a home’s air. The dust can spread throughout your home, making cleanup difficult. And the dust even can cause respiratory distress. What to do to protect your home and family…
“Zipper tape”—a zipper designed to adhere to plastic sheeting—is an effective way to seal the entrance to the work area. It typically costs $10 to $20 in home centers.
Helpful: The extending pole system ZipPole allows plastic sheeting to be hung without stapling or taping to walls and ceilings (800-718-2255, www.ZipWall.com, $130.99 for a four-pole system on Amazon.com).
Use plastic sheeting to create an enclosed walkway from the work area to the nearest exit, too. If that’s impractical, at least place an adhesive doormat by the work-area exit to collect dust from shoes. Products include Pro Tect Floor Protection Surface Mats (800-545-0826 www.Pro-Tect.com, $58 for two 30-sheet mats) and 3M Dirt Catcher Super Sticky Mat (one 15-sheet mat for less than $30 on Amazon.com).
Warning: Basic plastic sheeting does not adequately protect carpets during renovations—workers’ feet are likely to pull it out of place.
Also, radiators and baseboard convectors in the work area should be covered with plastic during renovations. After renovations, vacuum the radiators (use a crevice tool if needed) and the baseboard convectors. For dusty “fin” tubing in the baseboards, use compressed air or a steam vapor machine to clear away any dust that got past the sheeting.
Helpful: If heating or cooling is needed in the work area, rent portable heaters or a window air-conditioning unit.
Source: Jeffrey C. May, principal scientist with May Indoor Air Investigations LLC, an air-quality assessment company in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. He is author of Jeff May’s Healthy Home Tips: A Workbook for Detecting, Diagnosing, and Eliminating Pesky Pests, Stinky Stenches, Musty Mold, and Other Aggravating Home Problems (The Johns Hopkins University Press). www.MayIndoorAir.com