Dust and books.
I've been having an off forum discussion of removing the smell of smoke from a book.

I am about to gut my first floor bathroom, and send construction dust through the house.

So I thought I'd bring both threads to the forum... But how to do this? I'm going to start two threads.
I'm talking about preventing construction (plaster) dust from getting on the books.

I'm pressed for time today. I've got 15 minutes now, and later the HVAC guy is coming to start an estimate on how much that pipe is going to cost to move.

First some history. The bathroom floor needs to go. The inner layer of three floor layers is rotting out, and probably has mold. I'm allergic to mold.

I'm trying to keep the construction limited to the first floor, and away from the guest bedroom, bathroom and open shelves of "other" books (i.e. non-Norton).

Today the HVAC guy comes, and I'm going to work real hard to keep the work to the first floor and basement.
{He agreed that the pipe to the second floor could be left as is, at the top of the 1st floor closet, and could fit all of the new pipe in the hall closet & craft room; AKA "the den".}

This still means opening a wall and plaster dust.

The den has a small pile of retirement debris, two of my sewing machines, two barrister book cases of Norton books, and a 12 foot floor to ceiling book case with my Norton reading copies (yes many of these are 1st editions, as sometimes it was just cheapest to just buy two)
The book cases will go upstairs (empty - move book case in it's parts - move books upstairs - refill), but the open shelves don't move easy. Actually won't move at all.

I'll drop cloth cover the desk with it's sewing machines. (and possibly take the wall hanging Mexican blanket out of the room)

So here are my questions. Should I move even the barrister's book case that won't be near the construction - i.e. dust getting in and glass fronts ???

Do I need to tape up the shelves top bottom & sides? For how long after the work is complete?

What about the rest of the house? The room has a door, but at some point the area where the HVAC has to go will be open to the hall closet, and the Hall closet will be open to the rest of the house.

This is a serious request, as the HVAC guy comes at noon, and I'll start by moving the first boxes at around 10 AM.
Got to go now.

So, I'm thinking of covering the book cases with plastic drop cloths. If I use the thin kind, I can blue-tape them to the top & sides.
I may not have as much problems as I thought.

I've emptied two shelves of the barristers book case closest to where the hole-in-the-wall will be poked, and each shelf of books fits in a paper carton (the types that reams of paper come in) with the top lid closed.

I'll definitely move the emptied shelves to the second floor. But haven't decided about the boxes of books... Maybe I'll move one of the sewing machines (lighter) up and anything else that is loose in the room. (Couldn't move the shelves that far. Turns out it is the design that collapses. I covered the one book case with the blanked on the front side, moved & assembled the other case front to front. I'll cover with drop cloth next week.
The normal "floor" storage items can go in my bedroom, or get moved upstairs.

I better see how big the drop cloths come as my next step.
Sorry I missed the opportunity to make suggestions ... but I was sick again (sigh).

For future reference (in case anyone else needs to do this) here are my overall suggestions for said conditions:
  • Buy some Damp-Rid to dry out the place (kills mold and mildew, reduces odors)
  • Consider using clingwrap to cover book cases that cannot be moved
  • Store books in plastic stackable containers, not cardboard (less paper dust and no bug problems)
  • Buy some Silica Gel Packets (Amazon has sellers that offer large batches) to keep the books dry
  • Use room fans to blow dust and moisture out of windows during the day
  • Use clingwrap to "seal" doorways and openings into rooms being renovated

Why clingwrap and not, say, trash bags? Because clingwrap is easier to apply. Of course, using a lot of paper or plastic creates a fire hazard. Keep electrical cords and other sources of heat away from the plastic.

Hope all went well for you.
The actual construction will be in stages.
1) End of July - cutting the hole in the wall of the den.
Many steps later:
N) Early October: Patch up the hole in the wall of the den.

I'm assuming that the books won't get damp - because the good stuff will go up to the second floor. Or be covered.... Oh I do hope that the plumbing won't fail. I hadn't thought of that.
I'll brainstorm with my friends who are coming over Tuesday.

I've got a room fan right by my computer now. I'll have to think how useful that will be. I think I'm going to count on it being in the den & vacuum up the dust while the dust is being created.

Perhaps I can use that cling wrap on the 3 book cases with the first edition books that live in the living room. OR do you think I need to box/crate up those valuable books and move them to the second floor?

I've got lots of plastic bins, I'll need to empty them of Lego Sets (planned to go the Lego dealer store anyway)

Sorry - too tired to read the rest of the ideas - but Definitely thank you Michael.

I've pulled the books out of the barristers book case that "has to move". I've put the books in boxes, with one lined with plastic bag. the are under the den-desk right now. Since this should be temporary, I'm using cardboard boxes for now.

I plan to clean off the top of the second barristers book case & move that junk upstairs), then cover that book case with on old Mexican blanket, and have friends (coming on Tuesday) help me move the empty book case so that the glass fronts face each other. Then I'll cover both book cases with a plastic drop cloth (and tape the cloth together around the bottom of the two cases.

I'm going to move everything that I can lift, to the upstairs book room.

I had planned on covering the open shelves top to bottom with drop cloths. This might be a problem as the open shelves are not 'built in' but have a gap at the top edge, and around the back. I assume that by cling wrap you don't mean that stuff I put around food when I pack it, or microwave it? Does the stuff come in big sheets, i.e. for weather-stripping windows?
I may go back to the big thin plastic drop cloths, and blue tape to the ceiling and surrounding walls.

Note to self: borrow back the extra paper boxes from T. I'll just need them for 4 months max.

I assume that the contractors will be doing mold abatement if necessary, as there is no visible mold in the basement.

OK - so let us see about the protection of the house. PS: I'll be relocating my self to the guest bedroom & bathroom on the second floor during the actual "big gut".
I've got most of the loose stuff upstairs, and am almost ready to drop cloth the room full of open book cases. I think I'll move out the glass items, and the 2 glass shelves.

I've still got 2 weeks to get this room ready for dust.

I think I'll "cling wrap" the barrister book cases in the living room. Certainly the case(s) with the Norton first editions. Possibly the rest of the cases just before the dust starts.

I've found paint for the den (craft room) and will buy that same color for the outside carport (also on the needs work list), so I should have extra.
Next step is phoning the Asbestos removal people, and seeing if they need/can do the one heat duct that may have to have abatement.

I expect to have the Den ready for plaster removal in a week (AKA before July 4)

Boxes of books can go upstairs. I can always keep the door closed to the library room.

Still need to phone the store that buys back Legos. That will clear space, and big tubs for book storage.
The Den has been cleared & the remaining books drop covered.
i.e. Two barrister book cases are 1-fulll with bagged paperbacks & 2- empty. The big Mexican blanket is draped over the first one, & a drop cloth over both, and taped at the bottom corners.
The long wall of books has been covered by a 9'x12' drop taped at the very top molding. The tape was so sticky that it kept sticking to the plastic, so there isn't a single sheet. More like a sheet with ecru measles. But top, and closest side are fully taped. I'm still picking up the far corner to get to screw driver, random books & trash can. (Why did I put the trash can on the bottom shelf near the vacuum cleaner???)
Will you be able to get everything square away in the next 3 weeks or so before WorldCon?

Squared away before WorldCon? Probably not. Hence the advanced scheduling.

The first sledge hammer falls on Saturday 7/21

I probably should plastic wrap the Norton first editions this coming week, before the first plaster dust is created.

I am so excited. And a bit worried about the dust & the books.
I should have mentioned there are two sizes of clingwrap. I'm not sure if you can easily buy the bigger rolls used by industrial packers. I thought I saw some for sale on a moving site, though. The kicthen size will do just fine. It just takes longer to wrap stuff with the smaller rolls.
Are you thinking of covering each book, and putting it back in the book case?
I suppose, as most of these are hard covers with dust wrapper protection, I could lay a single layer of cling wrap of the tops of all of the books in a shelf.

Or perhaps, since this is glass fronted, just using cling wrap to seal each of the shelves of books?
Then I would only need to cover the 5 shelves, and hope that the other 5 shelves of books, will survive with just the glass fronts?

Or would it just be easier to drape a layer of plastic across the hallway, between the bathroom & the rest of the house?

I've only got until Friday evening to do this...
No, I was thinking of just wrapping the book case right before the work is done. The idea is to keep the dust out of the book case as well as out of the books. No idea of whether you want to run plastic across a hallway. Remember it's a fire hazard. Don't do anything really dangerous.
OK - so starting today through late Friday - I can pull out my standard kitchen plastic wrap, and put a layer over the top front of the first glass front shelf, the next layer over the bottom of that & the top of the next. I've got some blue tape, that might just hold the edges tight.

OK - I've got some draft snakes that can go in front of the bedroom door (right next to construction.

I won't put up that hallway plastic. At least not yet.
Maybe hanging a cheap, stylish woven mat in the hallway would help. I don't know how common they are any more but I remember they used to be everywhere. You could toss it after the work is done since I am sure it would probably collect a lot of dust.
I've got a woven mat window curtain in the Porch, but that will be harder to lift & go around than plastic.

I've got several weeks before they demo the bathroom (actually not until after Labor Day), so I have time to ask the company what they plan to do.

For Tomorrow. I'll just plastic wrap the 5 glass front shelves with Norton Firsts. Everything else is already plastic wrapped. Save the other 5 shelves in the living room. Probably easiest to just plastic drop cloth those.
I had dust cover plastic so I used that.
This is thin plastic, which I masking taped to the book cases.

Advantage - this is draped over the things on top of the book cases (mostly dragons - but some minions and a few pieces of art from around the world.

Tomorrow the first demo hammer falls.
Well, yesterday the wall was opened. The Den had huge amounts of dust. My demo guy, approved my in Den dust proofing, but added a drape of plastic across the hallway , laid down a layer over the carpet, and another drape across the bedroom door.

I stayed outside reading while the (Den had visibly white air) closet was demo'd. I must say that the dust sheets held, and the living room didn't seem dusty - at least not an hour later, but I did turn the AC off.

So the books are safe - but I don't plan to remove the dust sheets until all work is done by end of September.

So - luckily I only draped the tops of the living room book cases. I was unable to re-shelf the book I was reading, but it is on top under the draping.

I've got one Norton reading copy on the to be read pile - and that won't go back on the reading shelves until all work is done.

So, I'll be reading off of the upstairs library shelves for the next two months - or my Nook.

I think that I'll have plenty to read, as the Norton late printings, book club, and some manuscripts are upstairs, as well as the Lackey, Moon, Charlain Harris, Jane Currey, Tamara Pierce, Laurel Hamilton, Tony Hillerman, Allingham, Dan Brown & Georgette Heyer, Spider Robinson, Bruce Coville, Severmeyer and lots of one-offs. I should have enough to read.
I'm glad your thorough preparations paid off. Kudos to the demo guy for being even more thorough! Sounds like you won't run out of anything to read. Although, if you do, drop me an email. I sponsor lots of anthologies and have extra epub copies I can email you.

Glad it's going well. In retrospect I guess we should have asked if the contractor had any suggestions for how to deal with the dust. But you might want to do some regular dedusting as well, if you have not planned on it. Remember you are breathing this stuff. And as someone who has dealt with respiratory problems since January 2017 (thanks to a set of massive fires upstate), I strongly recommend not breathing in any crap you don't have to.
Good point about respiration, Michael.

Irene, if you anything with an air filter, maybe change it lots more often?


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