How Contractors Can Protect Floors During Construction

How Contractors Can Protect Floors During Construction

Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or just getting started in the business, following best construction practices and investing in the right protective materials will prevent damage to your customers’ floors. Taking proper precautions for new and existing floors guard against costly damages and prevent contaminating adjacent areas not under renovation.

Best Construction Practices Also Protect Floors

Most contractors and subcontractors seek out floor protection for a variety of construction projects. Whether remodeling a room or painting, by establishing mutually workable expectations around “mess mitigation” can be helpful before beginning the job. Generically referred to as cleanup, all parties benefit from clarifying cleanup practices and responsibilities for all remodeling stages (demolition through final walk-through). It’s highly recommended to install a durable floor protection material before starting new construction, especially if it’s an extensive project.

Depending on your construction situation, and what types of tools and products you might be using, you can use anything from paper to plastic coverings to protect the floors. Either way, opening a dialogue ahead of time with your team will promote a cleaner job site. These best construction practices will keep new floors safe and minimize the impact to other floors in non-construction areas:

  1. Plan a demolition route (both inside and out) to a large roll-off 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.
  2. Remember that 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.
  3. Spend time sealing and ventilating the work area to protect floors and the rest of the building from all varieties of noxious substances. 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 building. Depending on the situation, you may wish to rent or even purchase an air scrubber.

Construction Sites Should Use the Right Plastic Sheeting & 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 Antistatic Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting makes great containment sheeting, and it can be used with a variety of pole systems.

Durable Floor Coverings

Carpets, in particular, need a strong, durable, and puncture-resistant covering like Carpet Cover Self Adhesive by Americover®. The covering features a water-based adhesive that 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 what would protect that floor if a hammer or another heavy object is dropped on it. One method that can take a hammer drop is placing a layer of rosin paper to a clean floor, followed with a foam layer, and finally covered with pieces of Masonite that are secured together. Do keep in mind the rosin paper can actually leach red pigment onto your floor if there’s humidity or moisture.

An easier and more versatile option is to utilize a self-adhesive covering that provides a single solution for several different types of flooring, as well as countertops, cabinets, appliances, and more. Americover’s Multi-Surface Cover Self-Adhesive Protection conforms to surfaces upon application, acting as a second skin to prevent scratches and stains while blocking out dust and debris. Another method is to cover the tile or wood with heavy-duty plastic sheeting. To add extra protection for equipment paths, place a walkway of Masonite over that.

Other Helpful Items to Protect Floors During Restoration Projects

The best way to prevent dirtying and damaging floors during construction is to address the source of the issue – in many cases, your shoes. Just like no one is allowed into a cleanroom without proper foot protection, anyone coming in and out of a remodel during construction should have to take proper measures to avoid bringing the outside in – or carrying dust and debris from room to room. Fortunately, Americover has a number of solutions to mitigate this issue as well.

  • Sticky Mats™ should be placed at each work-area entrance. During construction, it also helps to have these at other entries to the remodel. 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 with 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 floors helps protect your workers from construction contaminants and prevents damage to the remodel. Plan ahead to implement sound construction practices and buy the best materials that will keep floors and the rest of the adjacent areas safe. Americover is ready to help – give us a call at 833-261-6501 or email us at sales@americover.com.

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