How to put up temportary sheeting over a window frame

5 May

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I really think this day was the most exciting so far.  The progress was remarkable and I can really feel the zen starting to kick in.  Most of all, I can see in the place!

One of the two boarded up windows was opened again, showering the place with some nice morning sun on the eastern facing front of the building.  I did this at the end of the second day of cleaning and the only reason I couldn’t take down any more is because the windows were all broken or missing.  Early in the morning after my first two cups of coffee, I went over to Lowes and picked up the most heavy duty plastic painter’s drop cloth.

Most plastic sheeting’s thickness is measured in “mil”.  Not to be confused with “millimeter” because that’s just way too thick.  My guess (and you can correct me if I’m wrong) is that “Mil” stands for “millionth” A heavy duty contractor’s trash bag is usually 3 mil. So that’s 3 one millionth of whatever. Painters drop cloths are translucent, meaning they allow light, but not detailed images, to pass through, and come in varied thicknesses ranging from extra lightweight .3 mil, to normal 1 mil, and what I opted for was the extra heavy duty 2 mil.  Not as strong as a contractor bag but it will do.

Extra Heavy 2 mil plastic sheeting.
Extra Heavy 2 mil plastic sheeting.

The importance of this is to withstand mother nature and her fury during the cleaning and renovating process.  I took down the boards covering two south facing openings and this let an enormous amount of wind to pass through the place, kicking up dust and blowing very fragile papers around.  The blustery day caught be by surprise since the sun was shining so warmly.

When the wind is blowing, pressure throughout the house increases and decreases, thus creating a push/pull effect on your temporary window.  This is why you select the thickest sheeting available.  The wind can push/pull on your plastic up to 30 times and hour or more on a windy day.  That’s over 5,000 times in a week.  You want it to stay secure.

Double wrap close up
Double wrap close up

Securing the plastic with wooden strips is preferred as staples or nails alone with quickly tear out. I’ve cut strips from the coverings that were already there and reused the nail’s and staples to put it back in place.  I also suggest wrapping the edges once or twice before securing down.  Added strength now, saved time from not having to do it again after a storm or any inclement weather.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope this post helps you along your construction journeys!

2 Mil Plastic Sheeting double wrapped
2 Mil Plastic Sheeting double wrapped
Southern Side Door Plastic

23 Responses to “How to put up temportary sheeting over a window frame”

  1. Matt Lynch June 3, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    I have this same plastic covering my window openings temporarily at my house. The contractor cut three half-circle, U-shaped flaps about 8 inches long in each window opening. They have the effect of reducing the pressure differential between inside and out and reducing the strain on the plastic. Given that the flaps are ‘hinged’ at the top, they hang down straight when wet and keep most of the water out.

    • Michael June 4, 2014 at 12:06 am #

      Thanks for the tip Matt! There’s still a bunch of dust in my place so I’m trying to keep the cross winds to a minimum. I might have to do a few cuts though…

  2. Becky Siegel October 23, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    I didn’t realize the house fire was your former home until I was speaking with your brother last month.And now, to read “the rest of the story” is even more upsetting.Poking around I came upon 49 Col. Tpke…which is only a couple of blocks from where I grew up. Seeing the pharmacy bottles with Dr. Salm’s name was a treat. He brought both of my children into this world and was a wonderful human being. I have scoured every inch of this blog, the textures are wonderful…I love the molecules that still exist. I truly think there are molecules that contain the love of history, yesterday, and people within the Schneider family. Uncle Arthur, your Dad, my Grampa (uncle Philip), Jimmy and now you and your brother treasuring the family history and that of the area. Thank you for a wonderful evening viewing and reading your work. This has really been a treat.

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