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Know and control your construction environment

Often, the quality of your finishes is dependent on the job site environment. Cleanliness is next to godliness, but humidity and temperature also play a huge role. We hear from many of our builders that clients don’t understand the importance of maintaining consistent temperature and humidity post construction, and it leads to swollen or shrunken millwork, buckling hardwood flooring and doors, mold, and other horrible things.

Maintaining a consistent environment during construction is equally important. Here are some of the best practices that our builders have been using to build the best possible homes in their markets:

1. Check the moisture content of the building materials throughout the process. Use a pin type moisture meter (General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter) to gauge moisture content when materials are delivered, then on a regular basis throughout the process. Use BuildTools daily reports/ job log to record the measurements. This provides a great means to look back on the project and determine the cause of potential failures. Date is key to understanding where things went wrong!

2. Once your project is enclosed, be sure to control the humidity and temperature.  We’ve found that the hardware store type temp and humidity meters are junk – put 3 of them in the same space and you’ll get 3 very different readings.  Then, they are only useful if you look at them when you are on site and record the info.  The best means we’ve found to monitor the indoor environment of projects is the Kestrel DROP D2.  These little units record temperature and humidity (and other items) on a regular basis.  Connect to their app and download a month’s worth of readings.  Many of our builders are installing these in every project, then uploading the log file to a folder in BuildTools Documents module.  Great insurance/ proof that you’ve maintained the environment of your projects.

Jobsite humidity control

3. Once you have the data, then you need to fight the natural environment.  Humidify in the dead of winter.  Dehumidify in the summer.  It’s an ongoing battle against mother nature.  Our advice – rent as much as possible.  Dehumidifiers get damaged and need a lot of maintenance.  We like the commercial units like the Dir-Eaz  for dehumidification and the AIRCARE Space-Save Evaporative Humidifier for humidification.  It’ll handle up to 2700 sq. ft. of space and runs a few days before needing to be refilled.

4. Control air quality and reduce dust to get the best finishes and keep your crews and your clients healthy.  We’ve heard from many of our builders that they prefer the BuildClean units.  Homeowners realize that a remodel (or new build) will disrupt their lives and their property.  They won’t accept the dust, hanging in the air and gathering on their things. Eliminate it while it’s still in the air & give your clients peace of mind, and build your business all at the same time?