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British Lung Foundation
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I'm in a quandary. On the estate where i live my council have decided that the extensions we have are unsuitable. (There are problems with

some) At first they said they would be replacing them, however their intention now is to bring everything inside the house. to do this this they will be demolishing part of the house.They are bringing the stairs forward, bringing the bathroom to the top of the new stairs, knocking down 2 walls, upstairs, knocking down a wall in the kitchen. (which will take between 7-12 weeks) You can if it's really necessary move out while the work is done. You have to leave your carpets and things like that in the house, it will all be covered up. My concern is I don't really want to leave my house empty while workers are going on, i don't think they do as good a job as when you are there. Even so my big concern is the dust, all of us know how that can play our lungs up. They say they will hoover after they finish. Can anyone tell me how long it takes to get rid of brick/plaster dust completely.

10 Replies

Good Morning Mustcarryon - From my bitter experience I would advise you to move out completely. We had work done in the house - big work done and my husband was ill. It wasn't just during the buiding work it was afterwards as well. The damn dust gets everywhere. And over that sort of timescale it will affect you. I can understand your concerns though. It is a difficult one but please put your health first and perhaps if you moved out you could visit regularly to check on the progress.

I never found a way of getting rid of the brick dust but we did use a really thick plastic - is it called visquin and taped up all the other doors to try to stop the dush getting into every room and even made a curtain of it which definitely confined it but everywhere in the house had dust. I would talk to the council and explain that you will need it more than hovering because or your health. Good Luck TAD xx (PS it might be worth a call to the helpline they might know of a good way to prevent the dust doing any damage) xx


What an awful situation - but do move out as TADAW says. In the building trade, they used to spray water into the air to settle brick or other "heavy" dust. Obviously it's not going to help with vast quantities but it would help with your breathing if needed after they've got rid of the bulk of it. Good luck - hopefully they'll do a good job of cleaning up after themselves.


How awful for you and having to move out too. I agree with the others - you must make them aware of your illness and how the dust could affect you. Good luck with it all x


I go along with past comments. Dust will have an adverse effect on your breathing so you will have to move out while the work is ongoing. I assume the council will pay for you to move somewhere for whatever the duration is ..


I agree with all, move out, if possible. put away anything you don't want touched by the dust. Yes, you can cover carpets and that. But from experience of council workers, they do leave dust, even if they vacuum. I had to clean a carpet which had been covered, so do protect everything that you can, even the furniture. Because what they do, for instance, is to move something, tools of bags and put them where it's convenient for them. That can leave marks. Poor you, I hope you can move out.


All good advice above. Definitely agree that you should move out - for the sake of your health. Much more important. And also to talk to the council re a proper steam clean afterwards. Perhaps friends/family will help double clean it before you move back in.

My brother worked for his council upgrading housing stock and he always ensured his workers were super-tidy. Not sure if councils have their own workers now or if the tender work to private companies.

My kitchen fitter sealed off the kitchen from the rest of the house to stop dust from going anywhere, but he wasn't knocking down walls. Mind you, they have to work in that air so it is in their interest to tidy up as they go.

That is some major work being done and I am sure it will be lovely when finished, but you need to be out of there while it is going on.


I can't add to all the excellent advice you have been given. I am just stressing that for your own sake you must move out. Its an awful dilemma to be in but your lungs are far more important than keeping an eye on the workmen. Maybe you could get a friend to regularly go and check on your place, and take anything of particular value with you. I'm sure everything will turn out ok, but it is a worry while you are waiting for it to happen. Please, please do not stay in the house while this work is going on as you will probably end up being hospitalised due to all the dust etc. Far better to be out of the house in other accommodation than a hospital. Good luck with it, and take care. hugs xx



Having been in a situation where major work was done to my house - the upstairs became our home for several months. My chest became very bad due to the dust and stress of the whole thing. My advice would be pack up the whole house, lay it on thick with the council explaining about the issues with your chest and asking them to pay for storage including carpets.


please immediately get a filter mask that painters use with a valve in it and use it whenever the air has dust in it



Sorry to hear of the upheaval if possible move out of the property before work starts, explain your condition to the council, ask workmen to line doorways with thick plastic sheeting have the house thoroughly cleaned before you go back hope everything works out


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