We all would agree that to protect lung health one cannot ignore inhaled irritants. I’m talking about things like pollen, dander, dust, smoke, aerosol sprays like hair products & chemical air fresheners. While all of these products can cause varied irritation to you and your lungs you can typically take precautions to avoid them- or at best minimize them. Do you hold your breath while you spray your hair & then duck out of the room as fast as possible? Or maybe you constantly circle the campfire while your friends lounge so that you can avoid the drifting smoke trail? Little precautions that likely do add up to a difference!
The dilemma we were faced with this week was living in home through a large wall knock-out. Our biggest concern was the dust from the drywall that would have to be cut apart & removed. Below is a photo of what our home looked like from the outside with the existing wall. The foundation is poured & the subfloor laid for the kitchen addition, but otherwise our house has been intact throughout the early stages of the process.
The wall rip-out took place on a Thursday & we spent the days leading up to it cooking freezer meals out of anything & everything that I didn’t want to store during the process. Nine freezer meals later we hauled everything else in totes down to our storage room for the remainder of the summer. We have saved a dorm fridge, microwave & toaster oven for use as a temporary kitchen which I have set up in our dining room. It’s crazy but actually kind of comfortable. We’re all loving the fact that there are no dishes to wash & I was immediately surprised at how much food we apparently didn’t need in the house. We seem to be managing just fine on the dorm fridge storage even. We do have a full size fridge & freezer downstairs plus a deep freeze, so we keep our backup cold grocery items there. Here is the last photo of the inside of the kitchen- the wall to be torn out was home to most of the few cabinets & counter top space we had. How appropriate that we were also boiling a last batch of nebulizers in the kitchen when I snapped the photo!
So this brings us to the night before the big transformation…We chose to be away at work & school while it took place. I’m a little bit sentimental & really didn’t think I wanted to witness it all being torn out & in such a messy state, plus I really needed to be at work! When we returned Thursday evening the construction dumpster was full of the old & the existing kitchen was only a memory.
Getting back to the main point of this post- I wanted to share with you how we decided to best protect the rest of the house from the mess & dust that’s usually associated with this type of renovation. Our contractor didn’t feel that he ever had great luck using plastic & tape to seal off an area, so we opted to use a large sheet of plywood on each of the entrances to the rooms involved. The first photo shows just the plywood, screwed tight to the walls surrounding the doorframe and the second shows how we used painters tape to provide a further seal at the edges. Ensuring that no particles could travel through any tiny cracks that may have been left…
We also used a few rags to stuff in each of the heat & ac vents & sealed them off further with gorilla tape. I am pleased to report that we noticed very little if any dust was noticeable & if we ever decide that another remodel is needed somewhere in our home we would definitely use this method again!