Construction Clean Up: Dust Barriers
To minimize Dust in a Construction clean up, contractors must apply plastic over every entry point of a room during construction. The barriers contain the dust within the space. However, entering and exiting the barriers creates an opportunity for dust to escape into the rest of the home.
As construction cleanup contractors, we know how the debris will leave the room. If you are remodeling your kitchen, we may answer questions such as: how will you remove the demolished cabinets, countertops and drywall? Will they go through your home and out the front door? Can they be sent out a window or a garage to keep dust from reaching the rest of your home? The crew and contractors will only go into working areas in the home.
Outside the construction area, like in a doorway, contractors should place mats and floor paper along the construction walkway into the exit door. Additionally, the crew should cleanup at the end of the workday. Use vacuums and sponge mops to gather any settled dust.
Make sure plastic film blocks off the vents when using HVAC systems. However, be aware of returning vents. You cannot block returning vents because they keep the system running. Damage can occur if the air is not returning while the system is on.
For summer construction jobs, cleanups could be a problem. The systems can blocked off for a couple of hours while the work is happening. Within that time, the home starts to heat up. Alternatively, the contractor will turn off the system for a longer time and might work a morning or a weekend when the homeowners are out.
Sometimes, contractors place fans near windows to blow air into the construction area to create negative air pressure. When the dust barrier opens, the dust does not rush into the rest of the home.
Problems persist because you run the risk of blasting air outside. The construction air may contain lead dust if the home is older than 1972. Contractors can face big fines if they blow lead dust out a window.
If your home was built after 1972, construction work releases crystalline silica. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration warn, “these types of exposures can lead to the development of lung diseases including lung cancer.”
The overall rule of thumb is to never vent unfiltered air out of a building under construction.
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