As part of the latest directives from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers for controlling the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the construction trades have been designated essential businesses. Remodeling-related businesses come under the heading of Critical Trades. That means your remodeling project can continue as planned in the Madison WI area.
All the specialists related to the remodeling industry – contractors, plumbers, painters, electricians and carpenters – have been setting a standard for jobsite safety for decades. They take protecting employees and the public very seriously. If you’re in the middle of creating a new kitchen or master bath, you don’t have to worry about extra exposure to the Coronavirus from construction.
Why doesn’t construction work increase the risk?
Most importantly, there is no evidence that the virus spreads through the air. That means that dust from the job is not carrying the disease into your house. The virus spreads through human contact – when fluids from one person comes in contact with another (sneezes, coughs, etc.)
Jobsite Concerns – Not Limited To Covid-19
Because they manage an assortment of risks on every jobsite remodeling professionals are well-equipped to isolate the work zone from your living space. While seldom called “social distancing” in the past, contractors have favored it for years.
Face it, contractors don’t want you poking around the jobsite at any time. Now there are even more good reasons. The craftsmen working on your renovation project are just as concerned with being infected by you as you are of catching something from them.
There are potential health hazards on every jobsite including the fine dust created when installing drywall and the caustic vapors from adhesives and solvents. It is no coincidence that major construction companies are donating protective clothing and face masks to medical facilities. Contractors consider respirators, gloves and mechanical air filters tools of their trade.
On many jobsites we’re using heavy-duty industrial air scrubbers with high-capacity HEPA air filters. These mechanical air filters capture small particles that may carry airborne contaminant.
In addition, we regularly isolate the work area from the rest of the home with plastic sheeting strategically placed to keep work zone noise and debris in and outside disturbances out.
Safety and health for our employees and your family is always a No. 1 concern.
Your remodeling professionals were committed to the catch phrase “We’re in this together” long before it took on the serious meaning related to a viral pandemic.
Your Remodeling Project – Not Quite ‘Business As Usual’
If you’re in the middle of a home renovation project, or about to kick one off, be advised that no matter how hard contractors try, they cannot promise “business as usual.” There are too many elements beyond anyone’s control as the government takes steps to control the spread of Coronavirus. Factors impacting your project may include:
- Material availability – it is not unreasonable to expect delays in obtaining the materials you want in your new kitchen, bathroom or elsewhere. Dozens of businesses are shut down so deliveries of everything from lumber to a new kitchen sink are on hold. It is also a fact of life that a large percentage of building products are imported from China. With trade from China restricted getting these products on a timely basis will be affected. That includes everything from kitchen cabinets to faucets and nails.
- Compliance concerns – with government offices shut down or shorthanded obtaining permits and scheduling required inspections may be more difficult. Permitting agencies are also deemed essential in the Governor’s directive, but the demand is straining available personnel.
- A shrinking workforce – anyone with symptoms of the virus are told to stay home. With every member of our team concerned with his or her health and safety plus the safety of their families, we may find ourselves shorthanded. Some people will feel obligated to stay home. We respect that. If they or a family member are ill, we don’t want them in your home either.
Steps Protecting Your Remodeling Project
No detail is too minor when it comes to protecting everyone on a jobsite in these unusual times. Everyone we work with has been instructed to pay much more attention to keeping things clean. That includes disinfecting high-touch surfaces every day – tools, tables, ladders, doorknobs, light switches, hardware and building materials to name a few. Additional safe-guard steps include:
- Using gloves whenever possible – disposable preferred for cleaning
- Wash your hands – wash them frequently, especially after handling materials brought in from outside sources and after taking off work gloves. OSHA goes farther, suggesting:
- Wash your hands for minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water – if running water is not available on the job use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face, especially around eyes, nose and mouth – with or without gloves on.
- Maintain “social distancing” – minimum 3 feet apart.
- Stay home if you are unwell.
Keeping every one safe requires attention to detail, being aware of your surroundings and applying a large helping of common sense.
Share Your Covid-19 Concerns
Anxiety is normal with the minute-by-minute reporting of the spread of a very serious virus. If you have doubts about taking on a remodeling project or continuing with one already in motion, contact us. Remodelers in Wisconsin do business under the Home Improvement Practices Act (Wisconsin Administrative Code ATCP 110). It governs trade practices in the industry and mandates the home improvement contracts and any changes to them must be in writing. Changes to start/finish dates for a project must be in writing, too. Changes in plans can be accommodated when everyone involved works to find a reasonable solution.
Westring Construction LLC has decades of experience and understands the stresses on homeowners and tradesmen. Put our experience to work and be confident in getting the highest quality workmanship, and responsible performance. Call Westring Construction LLC at 608-441-5435 or email us to discuss a remodeling project in your future. We’re committed to timely, high-quality work and customer safety moving forward under the cloud of the Covid-19 virus in Madison WI.