COVID-19: 6 Ways to Minimize Risk During a Home Renovation
October 20 2020
Is it safe to hire a contractor now? You might be nervous welcoming a stranger into your home, and rightfully so. Since the pandemic started, we’ve had to limit contact and keep 6 feet apart from others. But this doesn’t mean you can’t renovate your house. There are several ways we can minimize the risk to COVID-19 during a home renovation.
Here at Skylight, our licensed general contractors have completed kitchen and bathroom renovations during the pandemic without a single outbreak to date. We’ll continue to take precautions to protect the health of you and your family. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to minimize your risk to COVID-19 during your construction project.
1. Require Contractors to Wear a Mask
The CDC recommends wearing a mask “around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” This prevents the spread of the virus. Plain and simple.
Though you can limit contact during a renovation, you might still need to access the construction area. Or crew members might need to walk through living areas to reach the construction area. This is why all crew members should wear masks while working in your home. No excuses.
2. Wipe High-Touch Surfaces at the End of the Day
The virus responsible for COVID-19 can linger on surfaces for 28 days, according to the most recent scientific research. This is why crew members should wipe down high-touch surfaces with a disinfectant as part of the end-of-day cleanup process. High-touch surfaces include faucets, locks, windows, doorknobs, and countertops.
Contractors who don’t clean up at the end of the day could put you and your family at risk.
3. Make Sure the Crew Cleans Their Hands
The CDC says handwashing is one of the best ways to stop the spread of the virus from one person to the next. This is because germs spread from surfaces when someone touches their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Crew members carrying out a home renovation during COVID-19 need to clean their hands frequently. This could be via a handwashing station or hand sanitizer. Ideally, crew members should wash their hands every time they leave the construction area, and every time they return.
4. Ensure your contractor is keeping sanitizing supplies
Sometimes, even a simple home renovation requires three or four crew members. So your contractor could run out of handwashing supplies. Set firm expectations that the contractor will restock supplies regularly. If supplies are running low, speak up.
As a homeowner, it is not your responsibility to provide crew members with supplies like disinfectant or cleaning cloths.
5. Lay Down Some Ground Rules
When your family’s lives are at risk, you must lay down ground rules before your renovation begins. Make it clear that crew members aren’t welcome in your home if they show symptoms of COVID-19. This isn’t rude; it’s considerate of others.
Insist that crew members who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms stay home and book a test. The contractor should carry out contact tracing to ensure anyone who has been in contact with these crew members gets tested. Unfortunately, not all contractors have the same safety protocols, so make sure to ask for this procedure up front.
6. Let Your Contractor Know if You Show Symptoms
If you (or someone in your household) shows symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, let your contractor know. It’s a two-way street. If a contractor is taking appropriate steps to stop the spread of the virus, you should too.
Many homeowners are nervous about renovations right now, especially if they will be at home during construction. Ultimately, you can never completely eliminate risk. But there’s no reason to pause your project if you follow the six safety tips above to minimize the risk to COVID-19 during your home renovation. Mask-wearing, handwashing, sanitizing, contact tracing, and lots of communication will stop the spread and provide you with peace of mind.
Note: Of course, if you are at high risk of complications from COVID-19, you might want to delay your project until the virus is better under control.
Are you looking for a COVID-secure contractor for your bathroom or kitchen renovation? Since 2016, Skylight has perfected the home renovation experience. Learn what makes us different from other contractors here, call us at 1 (800) 961-2580, or get a quote here.