There are a limited number of instances in which a homeowner will encounter drywall. It is used to build new walls during construction, and it is also used during renovations or during wall repairs. However, no matter when you use drywall, there is one thing it is difficult to avoid: the dust.
The dust from drywall can be very pervasive. If you don’t make sure to create a plan to control it before you start work, you’ll find yourself vacuuming drywall dust for what seems like forever. After all, drywall dust is extremely fine and powdery, with a consistency almost like flour, and even a slight breeze can send it flying everywhere.
So what should you do? Sure, you could vacuum drywall dust. Below you’ll find several tips on controlling and cleaning it up. However, one of the best ways reduce the work involved in drywall dust cleaning is to prevent airborne dust in the first place by using a dustless drywall finishing tool. Tools like the DrywalPro shave the joint compound off of the wall prior to painting, which eliminates the need for sanding, which is the greatest cause of airborne dust.
First let’s cover the basics.
Where Does Drywall Dust Come From?
When building a room from scratch, walls are built using 4′ x 8′ sheets of drywall. The sheets are usually attached to wooden frames. However, because every room in a home is unique in some way, the 4′ x 8′ sheets of drywall will need to first be cut to size so they can be securely fastened to the frames.
Once all of the walls in a new room have been cut and attached to the frames, they need to be painted. However, there is an important step that occurs before painting: plastering and sanding. Post-plaster sanding is the origin of airborne drywall dust.
Most often the plaster is sanded, but as mentioned above, certain dustless drywall finishing tools like the DrywalPro can eliminate the sanding stage, leading to a much more efficient and clean building process. That said, if you don’t have a tool like that, the following steps will help you keep your home or work area as dust-free as possible, meaning you’ll have less on the floor, less to sweep up, and less of a reason to use a dust mask or a wet dry vacuum.
Keeping Things Clean: Prep Work
To start, you’ll definitely want to prepare your work area by doing a few key things:
- Block and tape up any air vents
- Cover the floor, and move the furniture out (or cover it with plastic sheeting)
- Turn off your central air or central heating system to prevent spreading dust throughout your home
- Isolate the room by blocking doorways with plastic sheeting
- Open a window, and even install a small box fan to help suck any dust out of the room
You’ll also want to make sure that you get a dust mask and gloves. Breathing in the dust can be dangerous.
The Cleanup Itself
Once you’re prepared, you should limit the access to the area in which you’re working as much as possible. Anyone moving throughout the home will track that dust everywhere, on every floor, so to avoid a date with the vacuum, ensure that anyone not working does not enter the area.
Next, once the sanding has been done, use a cloth to wipe down the walls and ceiling first. Ideally you’ll have access to a wet dry vac like a Shop Vac as well, which is more effective than a cloth at removing the dust stuck on the walls and ceiling. Finally, you’ll want to sweep the floor or use a vacuum.
Depending on the size of the area you’re working in, you can also add sweeping compound, which looks like sawdust and helps you sweep up the dust and prevents it from becoming airborne. Another tip: carefully dump the dust into garbage bags, and close them up when you’re done working with them.
Once you have wiped, swept and used a vacuum, it’s time to wipe everything down one final time with a clean cloth – microfiber cloths are usually very effective. Simply dip them in water (not too much) and work your way from ceiling to the floor, making sure to clean the drywall dust off of everything – each light switch, door frame and windowsill.
Now you’re ready to paint!
Need Any More Tips?
Keeping the dust to a minimum after sanding your plaster is important. But have you ever been curious about how to repair drywall, especially for small holes? Click the link to find out more.
Small holes in drywall occur in every home at one time or another. You may have a hole in your wall as a result of an errant door handle, or you may have accidentally created some unsightly wear and tear due to furniture rubbing up against the wall over time. Whatever the case may be, if you need to fix it, we can help you do it.
And don’t forget – whether you’re a contractor or a do-it-yourselfer – using the DrywalPro tool is a fantastic dustless drywall finishing tool, and way to avoid all of the sanding issues mentioned above. Using it will make your cleanup a much easier process. It is highly recommended.