How To Control Remodeling Dust

By Robert Robillard on Dealing With Dust

  BuildClean HEPA

Best Practice For Controlling Remodeling Dust

As a remodeling contractor I learned early on that learning how to control remodeling dust and keeping out of the non-remodeled portion of your clients home is often more important than the quality of your work.

There is nothing worse than having your client tell you they want you to pay for a professional to remove the plaster dust from inside their baby grand piano.

Over the years I have developed strategies and researched the BEST methods to control remodeling dust.    If you believe that any of the materials being worked on during this renovation contain lead paint you need to consult and follow the EPA Renovation, Repair and Paint guidelines as well as your local and state guidelines.  Here is my best practice list on how to control remodeling dust.

How to Control Remodeling Dust

BuildClean HEPA Air Filter

BuildClean HEPA Air Filter – Concord, MA

1.  Communicate the process to the homeowner:

Even with a hermetically sealed room you’ll get some dust.   Take the time to educate homeowners about each step you take to control dust.  They need to participate in these steps as well in order to ensure their success.  Explain that there will be some dust.  By communicating this you are setting expectations.  I like to tell clients to expect some dust and then try to follow the old adage of “promising less and delivering more” by keeping that amount unnoticeable.

2.  Isolate the work area:

Close doors and seal the ones your not using with blue tape.  I use the Zipwall Barrier System and poly plastic sheeting to create temporary wall and cordon off areas.

Watch a video on the Zipwall dual seal barrier system.

The ZipWall system has spring loaded, expanding poles that allow you install the plastic sheeting tight to the floor and the ceiling.  Coupled with special foam rails you can crate a fairly tight dust barrier, corridor or room as needed.

dust containment wall

ZipWall Dust Containment Wall


I designate one doorway into the house and install a ZipDoor Kit in that entry way to separate the remodeling area from the rest of the home.   I try to choose an entry way that also has a door to close to create a double barrier.

The beauty of the ZipDoor kit is it takes me only a few minutes to install and is ideal for jobs where I need to create a dust barrier and sealed access doorway .  One person can install it in under a minute and subsequently reduces labor cost and if you use care when removing it, you can use it again.

The key here is to isolate the work area from the rest of the house and to minimize the migration of remodeling dust.  If possible completely eliminate access from inside the house to the renovations area.  That means provide outdoor or alternative access to rest rooms, outside basement access to utilities, etc.

zip door kit

ZipDoor Dust Containment – Allows Access to Non-Remodeled Area

Work to establish a negative air pressure environment with outdoor air circulation.  Try to keep the windows and doors inside the non- remodeled home closed.


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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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