“Blues Brothers” Now Appearing at steveworks

Move over Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi; meet the steveworks Blues Brothers*, the heart of our interior dust-control management team.  “Elwood” is a HEPA-grade negative air fan; “Jake” is a HEPA-grade vacuum.  Together, they keep all the dust contained in the work zone and continuously clean the air on the job site.

Neatness counts on a steveworks jobsite.  We start by sealing off the work area with plastic, spanning from wall to wall and floor to ceiling if we can.  Then we cut in a Fast Cap™ door with magnetic seals that close behind us when we walk through (I recently wrote a product review of the door for the Journal of Light Construction.)   We place a “Tacky Mat” just outside the doorway to pull the dust off our boots when we exit the work area. If we need to walk through non-construction areas we use a heavy roll of recyclable cardboard to make a pathway.

Once the work area is sealed off we install “Elwood”, a negative air fan that lowers the air pressure in the work area.  It pulls the dust in and exhausts the dirty air through a 12-inch hose to the outdoors.  Because we are an EPA certified firm and often work in old houses that may contain lead paint, the fan is fitted with a 0.3 micron hospital-grade HEPA filter to ensure that any lead dust is captured and contained.

At the end of each day and again at the completion of the job, we use “Jake” –again, equipped with HEPA filter—to vacuum the jobsite and our clothes, and to make sure no dust leaves the work area.

While no system is perfect, this comprehensive approach really does work.  We recently did a job for a client who was chemically sensitive and highly allergic to dust.  To show how effective our system is, we left a piece of glass just outside the plastic sheeting and performed a normal day’s work.  At the end of the day we performed a white glove test on the glass—literally—and it passed without a speck of dust.

Construction can be stressful.  Keeping your home as clean as possible is one way we strive to minimize the stress. Besides keeping your house clean, the Blues also create a healthier, more comfortable work environment for our crew.  It’s a win-win combination.

* If you don’t remember the 1980 comedy movie, check it out; it’s pretty outrageous.