We’ve found a great product contractors will love; which helps them stick to new Environmental Protection Agency regulations when installing egress windows in the basement.
Installing egress windows is a straightforward job – but it’s also a messy one. Contractors and homeowners looking to cut through brick, stone, masonry and wood to install their windows are going to churn out a lot of dust, grit and sawdust when they do so.
Unfortunately, dealing with this debris isn’t as simple as throwing a tarp down. Because paint chips, sanding, grinding and cutting can throw up a lot of dangerous materials (including lead, asbestos and brick dust) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now requires contractors stick to some strictly enforced health and safety guidelines.
Any contractor cutting away walls in a home built before 1978 now has to abide by EPA certification – and possibly even more stringent state regulations. Because of the likelihood of lead chips and other nasty stuff in the debris, it’s also recommended that home owners “doing it themselves” should stick to the same rules. One way to stay compliant is to use some kind of temporary containment to stop the dust spreading throughout your basement.
We’ve found Zipwalls to be a great product for that purpose. Affordable and easy to install, Zipwalls are like tents – creating artificial “walls” in your basement that can totally contain the dust and debris spewed out while you’re cutting the spaces for your egress basement windows.
Zipwalls are put together by creating a frame with spring-loaded poles – these box in the area where you’ll be cutting your basement window holes. Plastic sheeting – available from any hardware store – stretches between the frames and is pressed tightly against the ceiling with foam pads. The result is a totally enclosed workspace that stops dust and debris from billowing out into the rest of your basement.
As an added bonus, Zipwalls also make cleanup a lot easier. A Shop Vac can suck up the contained dust and powder in just minutes, and that can make installing your egress window a much quicker and more manageable job.