A productive activity you could do when you’re stuck at home is to remodel rooms or living spaces that have seen better days. Renovation offers many benefits to property owners, including increased resale value, improved comfort, and the opportunity to personalize your interior.
Renovations, however, might involve construction work that can affect overall indoor air quality. If you or anyone in your family has respiratory conditions, such as dust allergies and asthma, you’ll need to minimize airborne contaminants during and after the home improvement process.
Here are a few ways to keep the air clean in your home:
Purify the Air
Many remodeling tasks, such as removing wood casings and taking out old drywall, have the potential to generate dust. Minimize the amount of dust and allergens in the air by using a home air purifier. Use the machine on frequently visited areas, such as the bathroom and the living room.
When shopping for an air purifier, choose ones with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, a component that effectively captures microscopic allergens in the atmosphere. Also, pick a machine that gets rid of odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that might be present during the renovation.
Install Makeshift Dust Barriers
If the home improvement project is limited to one area or room of a home, enclose that area as much as you can. Hang plastic wall dividers to isolate the dust. Alternatively, you could use reinforced cardboard to seal off the affected area. Use masking tape to keep the cardboard in place. These dust barriers can do a lot to minimize the spread of airborne dust and other allergens while the construction work is in progress.
Safeguard Your Home’s Ductwork
The ductwork inside your house is a possible conduit for dust and other allergens to move from one area to another. Before you start your home improvement project, make sure to protect your HVAC duct system. Close all the vents and cover them with plastic wrap. Also, refrain from using them while the project is in progress.
Here’s why this is important: removing construction debris that has made its way into the ductwork can be difficult. Using the duct system while you’re renovating will lead to months of dirty air introduced in various areas of the house.
If you need to regulate the temperature inside the house, you’ll need to invest in alternative solutions, such as renting space heaters or portable air conditioning systems.
Select Eco-Friendly Construction Products
If you’re doing a DIY construction project, you should get sealants, glues, and paints that contain little to no VOCs. These eco-friendly products have minimal effects on indoor air quality. You can easily find these products at major home improvement centers.
Cover Absorptive Materials
Furniture and upholstery, such as carpets and couches, can absorb dust and even spread it around your home. If you’re unable to relocate them to a different area, cover and seal them using heavy-duty plastic.
Use Air Scrubbers
An air scrubber, also known as a negative air machine, is a device that removes dust, odors, and other pollutants. This equipment is similar to a vacuum machine — they suck in dusty air, filter it, and blow clean air. You can use these small, portable machines while the renovation work is in progress.
If you’re hiring a general contractor to take care of your construction project, make sure they understand how your air scrubber works. They should know when and how to change the air filters on these machines.
Flush Out Your HVAC System
Sometimes, dust and debris might enter your HVAC system despite your best efforts. If this is the case, perform a final flush on your HVAC after the renovation work but before occupancy. This means leaving the doors and windows open and allowing your house to ventilate naturally. You could also switch on your HVAC machines and turn up the settings at maximum for a few hours to flush out the dust. Don’t forget to change the air filters afterward.
Monitor Your Home Air Quality
An indoor air monitoring system provides data about the air quality of your house. Check the readings and take steps to minimize indoor air pollution as needed.
Perform Final Cleaning
Once the renovation work is completed, you can come across bits of debris lying around the construction site. Once the dust has settled, conduct a thorough cleaning of your home. If you need help, consider hiring a service provider that offers post-construction cleanup.
These tips will help keep the indoor air clean in your house. Following these recommendations will help you avoid the negative effects of construction dust and enjoy the results of your home improvement project.