Keeping Critters Out During Construction


In older apartment buildings we almost expect to see the occasional bug or rodent. We might get startled but we’re not necessarily surprised when we come across one. We don’t like it, but we know it sort of comes with the territory. Over time, even properties without significant deferred maintenance can become safe havens for pests.

What about pests in multifamily new construction, or after renovations or remodels?

Not only do we have zero tolerance but it’s probably an indication of a much larger problem that started during the construction process. Stonebridge Builders, a local commercial builder specializing in multifamily renovation and apartment remodeling, takes special precautions during the demolition phase to ensure the environment is unappealing and uninhabitable for insects and rodents. 

Chris Tolar, Stonebridge Owner and CEO, says, “During a renovation or remodel, rodents generally aren't an issue, even if they had been prior to the start of the demo. They don’t like to be around people. So, with so many people on site, they’re not attracted to the area and any places that were previously home to mice and rats are destroyed in that process.”

The demo process also gets rid of infestations of bugs like ants and roaches. Removing old materials generally kills anything living there and a thorough cleaning process prevents future infestations. Tolar says, “When we pull everything out and strip the unit down to the bones, we clean thoroughly before starting any new construction. The cleaning process prior to the rehab and more importantly the cleanliness of the job site, is critical to preventing future infestations. We’re very conscious to remove all debris and/or food that could attract ants and insects.”

Once construction gets underway, Tolar says Stonebridge has guidelines committed to design, planning and the best construction practices for pest prevention. Because bugs love water, in planning a multifamily rehab, Stonebridge suggests several simple design strategies:

Select materials that are highly resistant to moisture and decay like certain pressure treated lumber and plastic or composite materials when applicable. Simplify plumbing by making sure it’s easy to inspect, maintain and repair if needed. Insulate pipes to prevent condensation and eliminate damp spaces that attract bugs. Replace carpet that routinely gets wet and never install it in bathrooms, laundry rooms, entryways and kitchens.

Once construction is complete, moving forward property managers should routinely and thoroughly inspect individual units adopting the EPA’s strategy of Integrated Pest Management, while also consistently making sure that residents are up to speed and educated aboutpest prevention.

If you’re considering a remodel or renovation to an existing property, regardless of it’s condition, confirm that you’re using a contractor like Stonebridge Builders, one that is committed to the best practices and guidelines for pest prevention for the long term.