When a renovation, repair or other work occurs, working around finished portions of the building is inevitable. Sometimes a finished floor will be in a traffic area, where workers need to move equipment and tools. At other times, renovations and repairs may occur in the same room. Flooring and countertops can be the most vulnerable areas for damage.
In these situations flooring must be protected unless the contractor wishes to pay for new flooring or countertops. There are products available for surface protection, but unfortunately, this is not a one size fits all application. The type of protector needed depends on the work being performed, the chemicals being used, whether liquids are involved and whether heat is being applied.
Because of the different applications, a contractor should choose a distributor carrying a wide array of products. A company such as Trimaco, for instance, offers a wide variety of such products in its catalogue.
If the flooring is to be protected is a pass through area, a thick, sturdy contractor board will work for this purpose. It should be thick for impact resistance, up to 45mm. But also breathable if the flooring was just laid and is in the curing process. This would apply to new tile floors and newly finished hardwood. It should have some water repellant properties if liquids are being moved.
If there will be liquids in repair or renovation area, such as paint, varnish, cleaners, or where plumbing work is being performed, a waterproof protector should be used. There are thick films and boards with sealants available for this type of job. Because it to be used around liquids or wet areas, the product should provide some form of slip resistance.
Heat and Fireproof
Where welding or soldering is being conducted, a heat resistant covering surface is needed. The higher quality products are made from a Masonite type of material. The one downfall of many of these products is dust accumulation. This can cause longer cleanup times or worse, can enter the HVAC system. The contractor should seek a product that will not only stand up to high temperatures, but on that is dust free. If not dust free, a film over the covering can work.
In addition to board or paper coverings, the contractor should consider additional items for the work area. This includes tape and sealants for seams, baseboards, moldings and other areas. There are films available for window glass and carpet that can be self adhering or taped to the surface. There are also puncture proof films for covering duct work, eliminating the risk of contaminants into the HVAC system. The smaller investment will reduce the risk of returning to the job site for post completion repairs or clean up.