Indoor Air Quality in Homes
Remodeling Your Home? Have You Considered Indoor Air Quality?
Using Barriers to Contain Dust and other Pollutants
Regardless of what part of the house your remodeling project takes place in, there are good work practices that you can use to help minimize or prevent indoor air and other indoor environmental problems. Read more about Good Work Practices.
In general, you should address the following issues when remodeling your home.
|Energy Efficient Improvements|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)|
Read about Best Practices
Barriers should be used to contain the spread of dust and other pollutants from the work area to other parts of the home. A simple barrier consists of 6 mil poly sheeting taped over doors and other openings in the room. Poly sheeting should also be taped over any supply and return registers for the home's heating, cooling, or ventilation system which are in the room to avoid spreading the pollutants or contaminating the ducts. Having blocked off registers, you should be sure to provide ventilation for the area. An exhaust fan, with provision for make-up air, complements this strategy well. For more information, see the discussion of ventilation containment strategies which create a pressure barrier to prevent the spread of pollutants.
The following illustration, from HUD's Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work) illustrates how a barrier can be created which still allows access into the room. Note that for high dust jobs, or when generating other pollutants such as paint fumes, you may want to seal the room off completely from the rest of the house (without access from the inside). U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control - HUD