Ok, contracting folks, this conversation might get a little heavy, but we’ve got to put it out there. We know you’re beasts when it comes to renovations and building stuff and all that, but sometimes, all that awesome contractor energy can mean that certain things may be pushed to the wayside. Certain things, like dust management.

Sure, the client is happy with the fact that they’re getting their place remodeled, but they still, you know, live there and probably feel negatively about having dust and debris being thrown all over the place like a literal dirty bomb went off. In the interest of keeping both you and your client happy during the home renovation, we’ve got a few tips we’d like to share with you on how to keep your workspace (and surrounding areas) clean.

Cordon Off the Area
One way to make your clients happy and your life easier is to block off the area from the rest of the house. Often, your clients might not have the means or inclination to leave their home while it’s being remodeled, so you’ve got to ensure that they don’t end up eating dust for breakfast while you work.

These partitions typically consist of a series of extendable poles and plastic that act as temporary workrooms or shields to keep out dust from the day’s work. To set up your barrier, you should first ensure that the plastic is cut to the appropriate size.

Once you’ve done this, each pole should be set, one at a time, to gradually form the shape that you need. The plastic should be draped over the tops of each pole while still being loose on the bottom. Be sure that the spring located at the top of the poles isn’t fully compressed yet as this will extend them to the ceiling.

When all the poles are arranged, pull the plastic under each pole, and then place non-grip pads underneath so that they don’t fall over. Your final step is to tighten the spring until it reaches the ceiling. Said shields can be arranged into simple walls as well as “rooms” to protect the client and their things from sawdust and the like. You can also use dust barriers to form simple “doors” to cover entryways as well. There are multiple different brands to choose from too - ZipWall and Tyvek are just two of many.

Carpet Mask Works Wonders
Carpet mask is dust proofing for carpeted floors. Dust is a clingy little jerk and will stick to your shoes and literally everything else. Getting it into carpet is a never-ending nightmare. A carpet mask is a clear, adhesive substance that you apply to carpet to protect it from getting messy and gross. The surface is non-slip to ensure that you can do your job without tripping all over the place. It’s also tough and durable so you don’t have to worry about it easily tearing or ripping, either. One other piece of advice that we’ll give you is that you might want to vacuum the floor before applying the mask so that it adheres as well as it’s able.

Provide Yourself with Proper Airflow
There’s a lot of equipment that you can use to help combat and control the dust that’s going to build up throughout the reno. One of the most important things that you can do is have proper airflow. Not only is ventilation a great way to lessen your exposure to harmful fumes and particulates can help get rid of dust too.

Installing a box fan into windows near your worksite can help clear the air of any lingering dust particles. An air scrubber can work wonders in helping you manage airflow too. For those of you that may not know, an air scrubber is a kind of device that allows you to control air pollution - in this instance, dust - and keep it away from both you and the home’s inhabitants. Air scrubbers have huge hoses that can be run out of windows or other such openings.

Clean Up Afterwards
This is probably the best thing that you can do to keep your client’s house as clean as possible. Even with all of the previously mentioned dust control tools and procedures, you’re still not going to catch all of it. On top of that, there’s probably going to be a lot of trash and debris laying around too. Vacuum up any remaining dust and pick up any other kind of trash around the worksite each day. The client will be happier and this leaves less for you to do when you get back to your work the following day.

Keeping a client’s home dust-free or at least attempting to do so will go a long way toward keeping them happy. Sure, they appreciate the fact that you’re remodeling their home, but they’ll appreciate the fact that you respect the rest of their house too. Taking the time to reduce dust spreading throughout the house will strengthen your chances of referrals, as well. Clients will figure that if you care about their stuff, you’re liable to care about their neighbors’ or other peoples’ things too.

If there’s some other dust-control method that we’re missing or that you feel is important to mention, do it in the comments. Anything helps other contractors is welcome. We’re off now, good luck with your work, people! See you soon!