Question and Answer

The Surface Protection Experts are here to answer any questions you have about surface protection or dust control products!  Call us at 866-788-6886 with any surface protection questions you may have and visit our website at www.buildsitepro.com for great deals on surface protection.   In this Q&A section we are more than happy to address questions emailed to us about things like carpet film installation, job site winterization, uses for adhesive foam, and much more.  If you have a question you would like to ask us, please contact us via email at surfaceprotectionexperts@gmail.com or post in our comments section!

Q:  The homeowner of my current remodel wants to stay living in the house during an extensive remodel.  I’ve advised her otherwise but she is determined as she has pets.  What is the cheapest way to keep her happy yet get my work done?

You are wise to recommend to her to leave the home during remodeling.  She is most likley unaware of the dust that will inevitably be present throughout the remodeling process.  Ideally, you can work in 1 room at a time with the door closed and off limits.  Since that won’t work in common areas, I would use protection products that can be rolled out for your work that day and then rolled back up and stored until the next day.  Surface Liner Vapor floor protection would work well for that rather than using a floor protection product such as Ram Board that would need to stay put.  In addition, I would make sure your workers do not use the interior bathrooms and I would cover the toilets with a Toilet Sheath (www.buildsitepro.com) which goes a long way towards keeping homeowners happy.   A good dust barrier system such as Zipwall can help control dust while you are working in a common area as you can use plastic and zippers to create a temporary room.   Ask your homeowner if that would be okay to keep up at night rather than having to dismantle it every day.  Make sure that all your tradesman know the homeowner will be there at night and that clean up is mandatory.  Good luck!

Q:  I need to protect some expensive sliding glass door jambs and tracks on a custom home I am building.  What works the best?

Most sliding doors have a standard sized track (Andersen made doors are wider) so a cardboard Ram Jamb fits nicely over the tracks and prevents dirt and debris from clogging up the track.  It will need to be cut to size depending on the width of the sliding door but it cuts with a scissors or chop saw easily.  The sliding door jamb can also be protected using a Ram Jamb by simply placing it around the sliding track.  Both of these can be removed at the end of the work day in order to lock the door.  Ram Jambs are available in 60″ long or 36″ long lengths and can fit jambs from 4″ wide to 9″ wide.  They are also made from recycled cardboard and can be recycled or reused.

Q:  I have just installed a wood floor and want to keep it looking great while I finish working on this custom home.  There are several types of shoe covers available.  What type do you recommend?  (4/21/2015)

To recommend shoe covers it helps to know your climate.  If you are in the rainy Pacific Northwest, you may want to consider a water resistant shoe cover made from Polylatex.  If water is not a concern, a polypropylene shoe covers such as those worn in the medical field will suffice.  There are also shoe covers available made from Tyvek which are very reusable and run extremely large for those workers with large feet.  All of these types of shoe covers are skid resistant and available at www.buildsitepro.com.  Do not purchase cheap polyethylene shoe covers as they do not have a skid resistant bottom and both you and your workers can be at risk for slipping and falling!

Q:  My window mullions on a large commercial project are getting stained and damaged from workers setting down tools, soda’s and all sorts of things on the flat surface.  What do you recommend I use to protect window mullions?  (4/7/2015)

This is a common concern on many commercial projects.  There are several options available.  1) One easy answer is to tape an edge protector to the edge of themu llion and then tape it with long lasting, UV resistant tape such as T-X268 https://buildsitepro.com/uv-threshold-tape-single-roll.html.  Edge protectors are now available in both 2.5″ wide and 4″ wide widths.

Intuit building with edge protectors on window sills

2) Another option is to use 4″ wide or 6″ wide Protecta-foam, an adhesive back foam strip to cover the mullion.  This method works well for short term durations and is not to be used in direct sunlight.  3) Corrugated plastic sheets can also be cut and folded down to the width of the mullion and used as a water resistant protection. 4) There are also 4″ wide V-board edge protectors available for wider mullions that provide impact resistance and are easy to use.

Q:  I’ve got some commercial doors that I need to keep protected and clean.  Is there some plastic bag or something I can put over them once installed?

The installed hinges would prevent you from using a bag easily.  There is a new product on the market,  Door Armor that is an adhesive plastic you can place on the door.  I would be cautious using this product however as there may be adhesive residue left on a wood or metal door after use.  In addition, the company that manufactures this product is not known for standing behind their products.   It is also priced similarly to the much more impact resistant DoorGuard so there aren’t savings associated with using it.

Q:  I’m buying a new condo and have an issue with my dogs urinating on carpet.  What do you recommend for me?

I would close off as much of the house as possible to limit the area in which the dogs urinate as they will tend to go in the same area if possible.  I would recommend covering the carpet with a water proof floor protection product such as http://buildsitepro.com/floor-protection/multi-shield-runner.html or http://buildsitepro.com/floor-protection/clean-safe.html 

Both of these products are water resistant and can used long term over your carpet.  I would make a point to take the dogs out often after moving in so that they have less tendency to start urinating in your new condo.  Good luck.

 

Q:  I just purchased a UV threshold tape.  Does the door have full use while the tape is installed?  Can the threshold tape be used with sliding glass doors?

Absolutely!  UV threshold tape is a great product for preventing damage to thresholds.  While it is a thick and durable tape at 9mils, it is not so thick that it can’t be used in conjunction with the door.  As for using UV threshold tape with sliding doors, Builders Site Protection customer Teri Coulson recently reported that it works wonderfully.  Teri said, “We put the tape down over the tracks and then sliced it so that it we could fold it down into the channels, and then we placed another piece down in the channel itself.  The door still SLIDES!  The tape is slick enough that the rollers still roll, and the channel in the panel itself glides right past and over the tape.  It’s great!  We also put one on the regular sliding door with a standard sliding doors sill, and even IT still slides.”

 

Q:  I am a homeowner trying to figure out which remodeling company I want to redo my kitchen.  There are a lot of companies out there and I want  to make sure I pick the best one for the job.  What steps can I take to make that happen?

Finding the right remodeling contractor can be a long and painful process.  Since even small projects can be a significant monetary investment, it’s important to choose the right contractor at the right price. There are several steps homeowners can take before they choose a contractor that will save them potential headaches caused by hiccups during remodeling. Here is an easy-to-follow guide that ensures homeowners choose the right contractor for their remodeling project.

1) Shop around – Get recommendations from friends, family, or online resources to determine which companies are most reputable and dependable. Check out Yelp and Angie’s List to check customer satisfaction with various contractors and subs.

2) Know what you want – Before approaching contractors to discuss your remodeling project, make sure you have drawings or specs that illustrate what work you want done. It’s hard for contractors to create an accurate estimate based on vague ideas.

3) Get a few estimates – Before making your decision, get at least three written estimates from different contractors. Make sure each contractor does a thorough evaluation of work that needs to be done. Don’t necessarily go for the lowest bid; you want the best work, not necessarily the best price.

4) Make a contract – Make sure to draw up a written contract specifying materials, warranties, timetables, subcontractors, and other important information. It is very important to make sure the contractor and subcontractors are licensed and insured. The last thing you want is to be sued for workers’ compensation after an injury occurs in your home. Check with your insurance company to ensure you are covered from injuries/damage.

5) Check for lead paint – Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paints. Lead is a neurotoxin that, when disturbed, can cause serious health complications especially for children under the age of six and pregnant women. Read up on theEnvironmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. Make sure your contractor is RRP Certified and takes the necessary steps to comply with the EPA’s lead containment law. Compliance involves taking precautions to prevent the spread of hazardous lead dust generated from demolition or renovation activities. The contractor is required to give you a pamphlet explaining the harmful effects of lead paint and take steps to seal off the work area, provide personal protection for workers, and thoroughly clean every surface that has come into contact with lead dust. Ask your contractor about their strategy for addressing the RRP Rule before the project begins.

6) Use surface protection – Make sure your contractor uses surface protectionand dust control throughout the remodeling process. Protective coverings for valuable fixtures such as flooring, granite countertops, high-end cabinetry, doors, etc. prevent damage and help to ensure your project will be finished on time and within budget. A contractor that takes the time to protect your home’s fixtures shows that they care about your customer satisfaction. Dust generated by knocking down walls, tearing out floors and cabinets, and other demolition activities can spread throughout the home if the work area is not properly sectioned off. Make sure your contractor requires workers to wear shoe covers, uses sticky mats at entrances, and erects ZipWall dust barriers to contain dust kicked up from remodeling activities. This will ensure that the rest of your home will not be covered in dust and dirt while your remodeling project takes place.

If these simple steps are followed, your remodeling project should be free of complications. As long as you are upfront with your general contractor about project deadlines, expectations, and surface protection requirements, the remodeling project should run smoothly and be a source of pride for both homeowner and contractor.

 

Q: I used an adhesive carpet film to protect my carpets and when I removed it, it left a sticky residue. What is the best way to clean it up?

Great question!  While adhesive plastic carpet protection was a great new product for the construction industry many years ago, the products have changed and been improved.  Unfortunately the older adhesive formulas had the possibility of transferring residue if conditions were not perfect.  This is by far the most common question we are asked; “How do I remove adhesive residue from carpet film or prevent if from happening as I once used it and had a problem?”. Adhesive carpet films are a great low-cost temporary carpet protection, but they can leave adhesive residue if the manufacturer’s instructions are not strictly followed or based on the type of adhesive used to manufacture the product. To reduce the risk of adhesive transfer, try the following tips:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s directions. If a carpet film manufacturer states that the film should not be left on for more than thirty days, do not leave it on for sixty.
  • Use films made in the USA. These films are higher quality and have better warranty protection than films made overseas.
  • Always test carpet film on a small area first. It’s important to check for any negative impacts the adhesive may have on the carpet on a test area before it is applied to the entire carpet. This will catch most adhesive transfer issues BEFORE they happen.
  •  Choose a water-based film. Water-based adhesives are much easier to  remove from carpeting, so if you have the option to choose one, go with the water-based carpet film.  More adhesive issues occur when using solvent based films!
  • Never install adhesive carpet protection on damp carpet.
  • Never install adhesive carpet protection on newly installed glue-down carpeting. Allow 72 hours for the carpet to breathe and offgass before applying adhesive protection.
  • If its hot, shorten the application time by half. If its extremely hot out and a carpet film is recommended for thirty day use, cut it to fifteen days to stay on the safe side.
  • NEVER apply adhesive carpet film to wool carpets. This invalidates the carpet manufacturer’s warranty and may ultimately cost a builder thousands in replacement costs.

Of course, adhesive transfer may happen from unforseeable circumstances such as intense heat, heavy traffic, or if the film was just left down for too long.  Following is a description of what to do in case an issue arises:

  • If a water-based adhesive carpet film was used, simply rent a steam cleaner and steam carpets. The water-based adhesive can be removed by warm water.
  • If you used solvent-based carpet film, it is a little trickier to remove the adhesive. Visit your local hardware store and pick up a citrus-based cleaner. This will make the removal process a little less labor-intensive.
  • If the carpet is discolored, unfortunately there is no cure. The affected area must be removed and replaced. This is why it is so important to make sure there is no moisture from the slab or offgassing glue before applying adhesive carpet film.
So there it is! The Surface Protection Experts’ recommendations for removing adhesive residue from carpet films. If you follow the manufacturer’s directions and make sure to use high-quality USA-made products, you should not encounter these problems.  High quality carpet film, made in the USA is available from www.buildsitepro.com.  If you are a builder who has dealt with adhesive transfer in another way or who has questions/recommendations, let us know in the comments!

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