What’s the thickest dust you’ve ever seen? I guess I should narrow down the circumstances by specifying that I’m talking about dust in the house, on your stuff. No matter how great your answer, I bet I’ve seen thicker! I’ve seen some dust.
Maybe dust isn’t even the right word. What is the right word for a full blanket of ground-up building product over every surface? Covering? Forcefield?
I have a number of stories come to mind. Most of them involve cutting concrete because that’s the worst of all. (unless you count paint, but that’s a different deal ALTOGETHER) No, for the most part we’re talking about those times when the room addition is built and the time comes to cut a hole in the side of the house.
We perfected it over the years, but it was bad once or twice due to less-than-well-sealed plastic walls. I had a construction lawyer client once suggest that the level of seal we were looking for was known as “hermetically sealed“. I wasn’t certain of the word at the time, but I got his point.
The worst story though, hit much closer to home. In the doorway to my master bedroom to be exact. A man working for me felt that the best tool to reduce the height of the drywall surface to join the door jamb properly (1/2″ away) was a nice electric belt sander.
We didn’t have anything covered-up at all in the whole house and he ran that sander for plenty of time before the cloud reached my wife. Oh, Lord. I’m afraid for my life just recalling the situation years later. That’s how traumatic it was.
What a scene. He was oblivious, she was hysterical, and I was just like a deer in the headlights. We cleaned for
days months! That stuff never got totally gone until the next time we remodeled. It’s a good thing I had the leather sofa instead of the upholstered one.
So What Is The Secret
You’re asking me? Okay, I’ll tell ya. That construction lawyer client, he’s a pretty smart fellow. His word might have been over the head of most of the crew I had working, but his point was exactly what is needed.
When you remodel inside the house, the trick is to really build an air-tight enclosure that is sealed at every possible point of escape! Just imagine that the dust particles can think and that all they want to do is escape. You’re the warden. Lock those suckers down.
The Tools We Use
- 2×4’s at the floor, the ceiling, and at least every three to four feet along an open wall.
- Thick contractor grade plastic sheeting stapled every 12″ or less; cut to fit well and pulled tight!
- Good quality painters tape along the entire perimeter, even on carpet or tile.
- For a really great seal, do this on both sides!
- If you must make a door, you can install a zipper system available at your local store. But the best bet is to go in-and-out through an exterior door or even a window.
- For professionally done projects, the above helps with privacy too.
My former clients are probably looking at each other thinking…”did he do that?”
Here’s another one that brings my wife to mind. For a long time she has said to me, “why don’t you try that Zip-Wall stuff?” I never did, and the other day Zip-Wall followed me on Twitter. She got a kick out of that.