Breathe easier with livable remodeling

Published in the November 19th, 2017 edition of the Houston Chronicle.

All remodeling projects generate dust. Air quality is a vital concern for homeowners who are undertaking a renovation especially if someone suffers from health problems such as asthma, allergies or other lung problems.

Even if the dust is completely harmless, it still is a nuisance and creates a mess. It is often the biggest complaint a homeowner may have about a remodeling project.

The EPA Lead Repair Renovation and Painting rule was enacted 2010 to protect homeowners from the hazards of job site dust. After these requirements, many contractors took dust control more seriously and have added equipment and procedures to their remodeling efforts to protect the health of families and pets from the potential hazards of dust.

It is possible to make a remodeling experience safer and more livable. If you are planning to remodel, talk to your remodeler and ask if they have a dust-control plan or practices, what the potential risks of the remodel are and what chemicals and tools will they be using during the remodel. It is also important to ask what you can do to make the area safer for your family and pets while the remodeling is going on.

Larry Abbott of Abbott Contracting has been practicing dust-free remodeling for many years.
“We start from the curb when we pull to the house, down the sidewalk and to the front door things are kept in order. A ‘tacky’ welcome mat will be in place to help clean workman’s shoes. When you open the front door, there is a layer of construction paper with blue tape, which protects the wood floors. From there you will see continuous floor drops and a plastic corridor wall leading to the work area. There will be layers of zippered plastic doorway to contain the dust,” he said.

Kevin Vick of Vick Construction & Remodeling said, “there are systems that contractors have that can virtually eliminate remodeling dust. They include barrier systems, fans, vacuums, and equipment that filters and scrubs the air back into your space. It is possible to eliminate 90 percent of job site dust by using this equipment, which results in increased client satisfaction.”

When you are considering hiring a remodeler, ask their approach to dealing with dust. Your remodeling project should make your home more livable and enjoyable, without adding stress, disruption or discomfort.