According to the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality guidelines, the most critical component of air quality during a remodeling project is following proper work practices and containing dust and indoor air pollutants. Doing so will help to improve indoor air quality but you should also be using methods for effective odor elimination in remodeling.
There is little you can do about what goes into the air, but you can prevent your team from breathing it in by following safe work practices and using barriers and ventilation. Not only that, but there are some safe work practices which can minimize the dust and air pollutants that are produced.
Air quality is vital not only for the safety of your workforce but also for the comfort of those who live and work near the area of construction. This is particularly important if people are still living in the home while a remodeling project is undertaken.
Best Practices for Indoor Air Quality
To improve the air quality of the indoor area while home construction and remodeling is taking place, you must follow proper work practices which can reduce the dust and pollutants, but also protect yourself from the dust that is impossible to prevent.
Not only is it uncomfortable for workers to operate in polluted conditions, but in many locations, it’s also illegal for an employer to not take the necessary precautions to ensure that their workers are safe.
Follow Good Work Practices
Following good work practices can go a long way to minimizing the pollution of the air with dust and other environmental contaminants.
Correcting the underlying cause of an existing problem is vital. If you can’t fix this problem, then any attempts to minimize the dust and pollutants will be futile because they will continue to be produced.
An excellent example of this would be moisture on the inside of the walls which can cause mold which is not only unsafe to inhale but is also incredibly unpleasant. While it’s always wise to try to minimize the effects of working in these conditions, you should also make it a priority to fix the underlying problem as quickly as possible – otherwise face the prospect of mold removal.
Another common problem which faces old homes is lead paint. Inhaling lead dust is harmful, especially to children and in large enough quantities it can prevent their brains from developing properly which will lead to a drop in IQ.
It’s always best to assume that any homes built before 1978 have used lead paint and therefore you must take the necessary precautions when you are stripping paint and breaking down walls.
You should also do what you can to minimize the production of dust during your activities. Dust production is exceptionally high in activities like sanding and wall removal, but by misting a surface with water before the action, you can minimize the amount of dust.
Use Barriers to Contain Dust and Pollutants
It’s impossible to completely prevent the production of dust, especially when you are undergoing a severe construction project in a confined area. But what you can do is use barriers to prevent that dust from spreading to other areas of the home where a family might be still living, or your workforce could be resting.
A simple barrier could consist of a six-mil poly sheet which can be taped to doors and any other openings in the room such as holes or windows. You might also consider that there are ventilation points in the home such as fans, air gaps, and chimneys where dust could leak out of.
Using these barriers will not completely prevent the spread of the pollutants, but it will go a surprisingly long way towards the goal.
Remove Remodeling Odors
Construction can smell, there’s no doubt about that and when you work in it day in and day out you can often grow accustomed to it. But when a family goes to work and comes home, they will be appalled if their house smells of dust and pollutants. Odor elimination in remodeling is vital to a happy customer!
For odor elimination in remodeling, you need to use SMELLEZE. These small reusable smell eliminators are incredibly efficient, and they can repeatedly be used for years. Many construction workers fail to think about the odor, but your clients and team will be far happier with the process when the smell is limited.
When you are ventilating a house with fans, or just by opening the doors you are going to let a considerable amount of the indoor air out quickly. But what many don’t consider is that the inside of the house can quickly become depressurized, causing the outside air to be sucked back in through any other ventilation points.
The most common way for back drafting to occur is through chimneys because the polluted air leaves the house and floats upwards, only to suck back in through the vent. To prevent back drafting, you should ensure that fireplaces are closed if possible and if not, they should be blocked to avoid air from coming through and re-polluting the home.