If you’re in the middle of a renovation or addition and your project unexpectedly stops here’s what you can do to keep things organized and clean while you wait for work to resume.
Close Air Vents & Replace Filters
Because construction dust can get sucked into return air ducts and clog your HVAC filters and small particles can pass through the filter and coat surfaces in your home, it’s recommended to keep air vents closed during a project and especially when a project is paused, to ensure this dust does not transfer to the rest of the home. Make sure to change your HVAC home filter while construction is paused to keep clean air flowing during the downtime. If the work area is located where your return vents are located, make sure to keep the system shut down completely and use portable heaters and ac units in other parts of your home to ensure you don’t damage the system.
Build A Temporary Wall Of Plastic
Dust goes everywhere air flows, so it’s best to restrict airflow, in order to restrict dust particles from being transferred. Unfortunately, a loose curtain of plastic hung with a few strips of tape won’t do the job, so make your dust barrier as airtight as possible, by completely sealing the top and sides of a doorway with tape and a sheet of plastic to create a dust barrier. If you can’t seal the bottom edge with tape, you can lay a board across it. Make sure to use heavier 4- or 6- mil plastic and add an adhesive-backed zipper for easy entry and exit when the job resumes.
Keep Things Organized
Make sure to wrap up any loose wiring and tape it to a wall or frame. Cover any open piping and bend over any nails or screws sticking out. Keep building materials organized in sections, to avoid hazards, should you need to enter the job area for any reason. Also, make sure that any surfaces or materials that have been installed and could be damaged such as countertops, fixtures, and flooring are protected.
Use Booties To Walk Around The House
Because your home is still an active work area that has been paused, it’s easy to transfer dirt and debris, even if you have properly sealed off the work area. Other areas of your home or property may be disturbed and allow debris to be transferred throughout the home. You can use a pair of protective shoe covers to protect from this, as it’s easier than untying and retying your shoes or boots when you need to run to a part of the house without floor protection in place.
Set Up A Fan
A fan blowing out the window of the affected area helps to keep dust levels down, and it creates a slight vacuum in the work area. This makes sure that any gaps in your dust barrier will let air flow into the work zone, while keeping dusty air out of surrounding rooms. Be sure to close large gaps around the fan with cardboard or plastic, so any wind from outside doesn’t blow the dust right back inside. For the best airflow, it’s best to crack open a door or window on the opposite side of the room.
Use A ShopVac To Vacuum And Add An Extra Hose When Vacuuming
Because dust has probably transferred to other parts of the home, while the project was active, it’s best to use a shop vacuum for a while, to ensure damage to your regular vacuum does not occur. However, the exhaust stream from a shop vacuum can often raise more dust than the vacuum sucks up, so it’s best to connect an extra vacuum hose to the exhaust port and run it outside through a window or door. This will prevent dust from spreading further and ensure you don’t damage your existing vacuum.