How to Contain Dust During Messy Projects

Dust floating in front of window sunlight.

Home improvement projects can be messy, whether you decide to hire a contractor or do the work yourself. Sawing wood planks, sanding hardwood floors and drywall, and scraping off old popcorn ceilings are especially messy jobs. The gritty construction dust created during these projects can embed itself in the carpet, scratch hardwood floors, circulate through the ductwork and even work its way into your lungs.

Fortunately, keeping the mess of home improvement projects contained is fairly straightforward. You just need to know what steps to take.

Wear Disposable Booties

If you’re working with a rotary saw in the back yard and need to run inside for something, it’s a pain to slip off your work boots. The alternative to tracking sawdust inside is to quickly pull disposable booties on over your boots. This inexpensive solution is an easy way to keep your floors dust-free.

Create a Dust Barrier

It’s not always convenient or possible to contain sawing and sanding to the exterior. When you must conduct these messy activities inside, create a dust barrier to contain the mess to a single room. Here’s how:

  • Seal up all but one entrance leading to the room you’re sawing or sanding in. This means hanging a heavy plastic sheet over the doorway and sealing all sides with masking tape or blue painter’s tape to prevent damaging the finish. Then cover the entry door with two layers of plastic hung on each side of the door jamb. Keep the sheet on the inside of the room intact and slit the one on the outside down the center. These plastic skirts act as an effective dust barrier to contain the mess.
  • Cover the floor with a tarp or drop cloth. For large spaces, overlap tarps six inches and tape the seams with duct tape. Then tape the tarp to the baseboards or walls with masking or blue painter’s tape.
  • Refrain from running the furnace or air conditioner until the project is finished to prevent the HVAC system from circulating dust throughout your home. As an added precaution, tape kraft paper over return and supply registers in the messy room. If a window air conditioner is installed in the room, remove it prior to starting the project.

Wear a Dust Mask

This is essentially a dust filter that covers your nose and mouth to prevent you from breathing in fine dust particles. Simple versions are inexpensive and easy to obtain. For projects that involve painting with epoxy or other fumy products, a dust mask with a built-in respirator is recommended.

Place a Fan in the Window

Working in a dusty room can be overwhelming, even while wearing a dust mask. Help make the room a more pleasant place to work in by sticking a box fan in the window. Face the fan outward and turn it on to pull a large amount of dust outside.

Hire a Tidy Home Improvement Contractor

You can follow the above advice for DIY projects, but if you leave the job to a professional, make sure the technicians take steps to contain dust and clean up after themselves. Mr. Handyman is known for being prompt, courteous and respectful of your home. This means all Mr. Handyman technicians wear booties and follow recommended dust barrier procedures to protect the flooring and other finishes in your home during messy renovation projects.

We provide a number of home improvement projects to improve the look, safety and functionality of your home. To learn more about our offerings, or to schedule a free job estimate with a tidy professional, please contact Mr. Handyman today or call us.