How to Control Dust on the Jobsite
Synergy Design & Construction shares its best practices for maintaining indoor air quality during a remodel.
The dust that comes with remodeling is not just a hassle for the homeowner; it’s also a health risk for the remodeling crew. With those concerns in mind, Synergy Design & Construction are doing their best to control dust at the Model ReModel jobsite.
“No remodel is dust-free, but it is possible to mitigate the severity of the dust and particles that are released both in the immediate job site and the rest of the home,” says Mark Fies, COO of Reston, Va.-based Synergy.
Synergy COO Mark Fies explains some of the equipment they use to protect homeowners and crew members from dust and other airborne particles.
Here are the best practices they recommend.
- Use dust barriers. Pressure-fitted dust barriers with zippered doors keep the construction areas separate from the rest of the house and limit the spread of dust. “We've used ZipWall Dust Barrier products—poles, zippers, and so on—for years,” says Mark. “We're also a big fan of the online store of Protective Products International. They have a number of products to control dust and protect homes from the foot traffic associated with renovations.”
- Run air scrubbers. “For dust control, we've used DefendAir HEPA 500 since 2012,” says Fies. “The original units are still operational and we can buy the pre-filters from Home Depot, so they're more convenient too.” These filters typically run all day, with the lead carpenter checking and regularly changing the filters. “We encourage homeowners to allow them to run overnight too,” she adds.
- Keep dust and debris out of the HVAC. “We cover HVAC vents and replace filters for our clients once the project is complete,” Fies says.
- Ventilate effectively. “Ideally, we want negative pressure inside the work area so dust is contained to the work area (and doesn't blow out that cracks), so air ventilation is usually just the clean air provided by the HEPA filter,” Fies says. “Depending on the space and stage of work, fresh air from open doors and windows might be appropriate.”
- Use additional air purifiers as needed. “If it’s for a smaller space or for additional protection outside the work area, we use the Whirlpool Whispure 500 HEPA filters,” Fies says. “No home remodel is dust-free, so if a client has allergies or is concerned about COVID, we highly recommend they run their own air purifiers in other rooms of the home, especially in bedrooms. We use air purifiers, including the Whirlpool Whispure, in our own home both prior to our remodel and now during it.”
Before demolition began in the primary suite, Synergy crew members sealed the rooms off from the rest of the house.
Want additional tips for keeping the air clean? Check out Synergy's advice for COVID safety protocols.