HOW TO PROTECT FLOORS DURING RENOVATION
Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or a DIY novice, following best construction practices and investing in the right protective materials will prevent damage to your floors throughout a remodel. Taking proper precautions for new floors secures your remodeling investment and guards against contaminating adjacent areas not under renovation.
Best Construction Practices Also Protect Floors
Contractors, subcontractors, and homeowners all benefit from establishing mutually workable expectations around “mess mitigation.” Generically referred to in contracts as cleanup, all parties benefit from clarifying cleanup practices and responsibilities for all remodeling stages (demolition through final walk-through). Opening a dialogue ahead of time will promote a cleaner job site. These best construction practices will keep your new floors safe and minimize the impact to other floors in non-construction areas:
- Plan a demolition route (both inside and out) to a large rolloff container for waste. If the path to the container is likely to get muddy, spread a thick layer of wood chips to reduce the mud tracked back into the renovation site.
- Floors benefit from a clean-as-you-go strategy. Ensure that those working on the remodel practice an “end-of-the-workday tidy” with shop vacuums and/or sponge mops to help control dust.
- Spend time sealing and ventilating the work area to protects floors, the rest of your house, and your family from all varieties of noxious substances that turn into a fine dust. This is especially critical during demolition. Ventilating the work area, like installing a fan in a window, removes contaminants from the renovation area and creates a pressure barrier. By creating a pressure barrier, dust will circulate less into the rest of the house. Depending upon the age of the home, you may wish to rent or even purchase an air scrubber.
Use the Right Protective Materials
- Sealing and Ventilation Materials. For residential remodels, using fire retardant plastic sheeting to seal your worksite isn’t a requirement, but it’s certainly a good idea. Americover’s 6 mil Fire Retardant Anti-Static Film makes great containment sheeting, and it can be used with a variety of pole systems.
- Floor coverings. Carpets, in particular, need a strong, durable, and puncture-resistant covering like Carpet Cover by Americover®. The covering features a water-based adhesive that it won’t discolor your carpets, and it releases cleanly when it’s time for cleanup.
When choosing a floor covering strategy for tile or wood, consider not only protection against dust and liquids, but what would protect that floor if a hammer is dropped on it. One method that can take a hammer drop is placing layer of rosin paper to a clean floor, that layer is then covered with a foam layer, and on top of that, pieces of Masonite are secured together. Although diligent, the rosin paper can actually leach red pigment onto your floor if there’s humidity or moisture.
An easier method is to cover the tile or wood with at least a 14mil heavy duty plastic sheeting. To add extra protection for equipment paths, place a walkway of Masonite over that.
- Helpful items. Sticky Mats™ should be placed at each work-area entrance. During construction, it also helps to have these at other entries to the home. Sticky Mats™ are convenient to use, because when one gets too saturated with gunk, you can dispose of that layer and use a clean sheet. Sticky Mats™ come 30 sheets per pad.
EasyZipHD Heavy Duty Zippers are also helpful for containment system entries. This 7-foot long, 3-inch wide zipper is designed to stick on tarps and plastic sheeting and creates a more secure dust barrier than simple overlapping.
Disposable booties are especially useful at the end of a remodel when floor protection has been removed in the work area and last-minute deliveries are arriving.
Protecting your floors not only protects your investment, it protects your family from construction contaminants. If you’re planning a remodel soon, plan ahead to implement sound construction practices, and buy the best materials that will keep your floors, home, and family safe. Americover is ready to help.