remodeling dust question

karlsmomNovember 26, 2013

We are doing a remove and replace everything kitchen remodel - cabinets and appliances. DH and BIL will be doing removal, cabinet guy will be installing the new. There won't be any tearing out of walls. The kitchen is in an open concept great room. I would like to put up plastic sheeting around the kitchen area to contain dust. DH insists this in not necessary. He has asthma, and I will be the one cleaning up. What is your experience with this? Thanks -

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I recommend putting up something to contain the dust. We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation - using same footprint. The door to the dining room is the only opening to the rest of the house. We have a drop cloth hanging as a curtain to allow passage and when there is sanding, etc. they tape up a plastic drop cloth to seal the opening. So far it has helped keep the dust to a minimum. We shall see when they sand the floors in a week or so. Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Are you replacing the floor as well, OP? It seems like that is where you'd get the most dust - from the sanding of the floor. Replacing the cabinets, not as much unless they plan on cutting the connector pieces, etc in the same room.

I can see your concern about the dust, but we have a canvas curtain in one of our doorways - I *think* it is there to help contain heat, actually, until we get the doors installed. Ducking through it all the time is a massive annoyance...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:41AM
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With our remodel, we couldn't seal off the area to contain the dust, due to our layout (very open). Dust got everywhere. Most of that was from the drywall work (moving electrical, moving recessed lights, removing a pony wall, installing ducting for the vent hood, retexturing the ceiling). Sanding of the floors didn't create too much dust since the hardwood floor guy had supposedly "dustless" equipment. When I went to change out the furnace filter, I was surprised at how much junk was in the filter.

So, if you can put up a drop cloth to keep the dust down, you should try, even if you don't expect to do much drywall work. You might even want to put cheese cloth on the vent returns in the area.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:13PM
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We've done both drywall work, paint prep and floors over the last couple of months. Without question, it was the drywall work and paint prep (sanding) that created the most dust. But I'd still try to seal it off as much as you can (why not?)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Totally understand, as I have one of those DH's too, not one with asthma, but one who sees no need for trying to prevent dust settling on everything. Honestly, it is much easier for him not to cover everything, because he will not be cleaning the aftermath.

During our kitchen renos I was advised to hang an old blanket and slightly dampen it with water (misting bottle), that actually traps the dust better than plastic. But I would definitely try and contain the dust, or at the very least cover furniture, it is amazing how far that dust goes and settles. So, there will be no plaster work, and the sanding that goes with it?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:41PM
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My crew doing the tear-out felt that hanging a dropcloth etc was too much trouble and would be in their way. The tear-out of 50 years old cabinets and flooring created significant dust in the rest of the house. Then the wall opening, patching, skim coating and finishing -- although the drywall guy did hang a barrier, which confined most of the huge amount of dust to the kitchen-- again a significant amount reached the rest of the house (a 1200 sq. ft, with one doorway from the kitchen to the rest, and one doorway to the basement.) The floor sanding actually created the least problem!

I recommend definitely hanging a barrier, and also either buying or renting a shopvac (or 2, depending on how big your space is) and equipping it with a drywall filter; run it either in the kitchen (out of their way) or just outside when they are engaged in tearing out or sanding. I didn't think to cover the sofa in the living room, and it was visibly coated with drywall dust -- which is rather tenacious since it is so fine.

I am doing my final, every-square-inch cleaning now after all construction is done, and am still amazed at how much and where dust is still settling. I will change the furnace filter again when I am done.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I thought the OP said there wouldn't be any removal of walls? No drywall work? No flooring, just cabinet replacement and new appliances?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:56PM
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OP did write that no walls will be removed, but there is a lot of things that can require drywall work, especially if her layout will be changing (OP didn't specify if that will be the case or not).

This post was edited by gpraceman on Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 15:08

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Thanks for your responses. There won't be any drywall work or floor sanding

I think I'm going to insist on the plastic barrier, and turn off the furnace fan during this project.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 3:36PM
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If you have the heat or air running, you may want to cover the return air vents as well. It's amazing how far the smallest amount of dust can travel.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 2:24AM
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My GC put up plastic barriers at a couple of spots that made sense for protecting the rest of the house. It was a heavy plastic sheet that he taped really, really well to the walls, the ceiling and the floor. Then he attached a zipper to the sheet and sliced the sheet open. I don't know if the link below is to the exact brand he used, but it's the same idea.

We have a ranch and we are having work done in all the rooms on the public end of the house (kitchen, dining room and living room) including taking down a wall. It made a lot of dust. One of the places he put the barrier was where the entry hall led to the hall to the bedrooms.

Advantages: I swear I barely noticed any dust in the bedroom end of the house after a week's worth of demolition, for which we were out of town. It's inexpensive, allows you to go pass from the messy part to the trying to keep clean part of the house. I could leave it unzippered when there wasn't messy work going on and zip it up when they were doing something messy.

Disadvanages: It makes a narrow opening that starts a couple of inches above the floor. I managed to trip twice coming through it and fell hard. I like to wear crocs around the house for slippers and they probably weren't the best thing to wear for walking through this, as they're a big clunky shoe and that's what was catching. When I fell, I pulled the plastic away from the wall. My GC had done such a good, thorough job taping the plastic to the wall that I pulled away all the paint and a bit of wall board in spots. That wall was being painted anyway, so no big deal.

For me, the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zipper for plastic barrier

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 3:33PM
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I totally agree with others on this dusty topic. We replaced some kitchen windows this past spring. Since it was a full frame window tear out, they removed the siding from the exterior to access the windows frames. So the only drywall re-do inside was very minimal patching here and there. (All sawing was done outside. ) I put up plastic sheets and taped them to both doorways and yet we still had dust in other rooms and I was astounded at the amount of dust that little bit of repair generated.

Go for it! You have nothing to lose except time spent cleaning :)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 5:16PM
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A follow up - he flat out refused to put up the plastic. The sawdust was incredible. He had ashtma trouble that day and the next day. I did all of the clean up, of course, resisting a very strong urge to say "I told you so!" Stubborness will be the death of him.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Put up plastic, turn off your HVAC system while work is in process to keep dust out of the air handlers, use cheesecloth over returns when you turn on at end of the day.

Its like Easter grass, you will find sheetrock dust everywhere for the rest of your life. LOL

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 10:22AM
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My GC put up plastic and ran a good sized HEPA filter and there's still dust everywhere. I did cover furniture and TV too.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Just another point, as I'm still cleaning up drywall dust from our Master BR reno. Don't do the final major cleaning for a week or so, I did it too soon, and no sooner had I everything clean, that more powdery dust reappeared! I literally had to vacuum every hanger and every piece of clothing in my closet, think I will have to go over it all again, though hopefully not as thoroughly this time.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 4:07PM
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