Containing Remodeling Dust

By Robert Robillard on Dealing With Dust

Dust Containment At The Job-Site

Unlike building a new home remodeling usually means working in someones house.

I find remodeling challenging and rewarding but the homeowner often finds the remodeling process annoying and a serious cramp to their lifestyle.

Remodeling dust is one of those homeowner annoyances.  Dust from plaster is the worst.

When remodeling, you should be taking precautions to prevent dust from spreading to other areas of the home.  Dust inevitably finds its way beyond the remodeling area and settles on all horizontal surfaces and duct-work. dust containment wall

There is nothing worse than seeing remodeling dust settle on a black baby grand piano two rooms away….. try explaining that one off.

Dust containment falls into two general categories:

1) Protecting floors

2) Confining dust to the remodeling area

Dust Containment:

Here are a few tips I use to keep dust from spreading into other areas.   Taking the time to follow these steps will make your customers appreciative and more likely to refer you!

Doorways:containing remodeling dust

Before the project starts, I pick the best way to enter the remodeling area and designate this doorway as the entry and exit to the work area.   This door is then sealed with plastic and receives a Zipwall zipper.

All other doorways and openings are up with 6-mil poly and masking or blue tape. For doorways that have doors I may close the door and seal up the seams.

Temporary dust wall:

We install 6 mil plastic walls to separate the work area from other areas.  To create this wall we use Zipwalls dust containment system called the “4 Pack Plus.”

The ZipWall® system also comes with two foam-padded rails that attach to the top ends of the telescoping aluminum pole to form a “T” alotemporary dust doorng the ceiling. The foam compresses to the ceiling and forms a super tight seal to prevent dust from penetrating and infiltrating the rest of your house.

HVAC ducts:

I then turn off any forced hot air systems running and seal up all vents, ducts and air returns.   If the system can not be shut down I tell the homeowner to replace filters weekly during the project.

Clean up and vacuum:

I try to keep debris and dust to a minimum throughout the day.   At the end of the day a thorough vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum ensures that the dust picked up stays in the vacuum and is not redistributed through the exhaust port like most shop vacs.dust containment


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of and ToolBoxBuzz, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at:

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