The APM guide to dust during renovations
Dust. If you are planning renovation work, prepare for it to become a part of your life. Here is your need to know;
When will there be dust? The site will be dusty for the duration of the works. Once generated, it just sticks about. Particularly dust-generating works include Demolition, Cutting materials for joinery, and Tiling
Surprisingly, decorating is also incredibly dusty: if you are having full works redecoration rather than a ‘lick of paint’ prepare for many weeks of sanding plaster and base-coat to get a perfect finish… and clouds of fine, all pervasive dust.
If yours is an old house, there may well be decades if not more than a century of layers of paint… and it wasn’t unknown for paint to contain lead until the early 1990s (and higher levels of lead and also Mercury, chromium, cadmium and arsenates common pre- 1960). if your builders are sanding layers that old, the dust produced inevitably risks containing particles of lead and worse… See The Evil Dust for more horrors!
You should also expect the dust to continue to settle for some months after the work.
The Evil Dust
All dust is annoying. Some dust is also dangerous. Dust generated by cutting some kinds of stone, tile & surface materials contains silica – which when inhaled can cause the long-term lung disease Silicosis. Risks of silicosis can be reduced by ‘wet-cutting’ tiles, and wearing masks – but you should avoid going on to the building site at the dustiest times. Read more on staying safe during your renovation.
There Will Be Dust
Dust will get everywhere.
If specified, a contractor will take steps to reduce the spread of dust and to protect any fittings and furnishings left behind. They should also clean up as they go. However…
The only way to ensure your belongings do not get dusty is to take them away for the duration of the works.
If you live in a building with common areas, be prepared to pay your builders to protect the finishes and clean regularly.
The Dust Escape
Avoiding dust – APM top tips
- Move out for the duration of the build. If that isn’t possible for the duration, work with a project manager to identify when the dust levels will be unmanageable and make a plan for how to do the work in phases.
- Move all your belongings out. Prioritise soft furnishings which will absorb dust and release it for years to come.
- Book in a post-build clean and a follow up deep clean 3 months after move in.
If you’d like help planning your renovation project, dust and all, get in touch!