How to clean drywall dust?

cork2winFebruary 18, 2008

We will be laying the floor in our new house ourselves, therefore, that means cleanup is up to us.

We have a slab main floor that will be getting glue down cork tiles and ceramic tile, and upstairs a wood floor and tile will be installed over OSB subfloor.

Of course, before we do anything we have to clean the floors of all the drywall dust that's everywhere and DH tells me we can't use a shop vac because it will ruin the shop vac and the dust is so fine it just blows right through the filter anyway, ending right back where it started. So, how on earth do we clean all this up? DH is talking about mopping, and that sounds like no fun to me. Is there a better way?

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logista

You can get drywall dust filters for your shopvac. Don't ask me how I know this ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Drywall filters

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 8:01AM
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cork2win

Ha! Very good, thanks!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 9:33AM
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ogoopogo

I found that the walls can be done with a dry swifter cloth. Works like a charm!! The long handle & swivel head.. Piece of cake..

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 10:27AM
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bus_driver

Broom and dust pan first. A HEPA filter for the shop vac is very good. But huge quantities clog the filter quickly. So getting up the majority of the dust the quick and easy way first is my choice. The vac is the last step. Wetting the dust makes it stick and bond. Keep it dry.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 12:56PM
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allison0704

Home Depot and Lowe's both sell a "sweeping compound." One store keeps it in the cleaning section, the other with flooring. Just ask. Someone will know what you're talking about. Honestly, it keeps the dust down and makes it all sweep up. It's miracle-like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Product Lowe's carries

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 3:25PM
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brutuses

allison, thanks, I saw the OP message and the sweeping compound immediately came to mind, but I couldn't think of the name of it and there you were, right on top of it. My DH uses it and says it's fabulous because you don't get all that dust flying everywhere. He just finished cleaning up our drywall mess. It was in the cleaning isle at my local HD.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 3:36PM
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sniffdog

cork

I just rented a carpet cleaning machine at Home Depot and used that to clean my basement concrete floor - it is amazing - got tons of mud and dust up. Get the bigger machine and make a few passes - it operates like a shop vac but it also has a scrubing brush on the bottom that works the cleaner in. I used hot water in the bin and also used the carpet cleaner that they sell. The key is that the nachine does it's magic when pulling it backwards and you need to go slow - per the instructions.

I would vacumn the floor first to try to get as much surface stuff off - then use the carpet cleaner. That should do the trick.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 8:40AM
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cork2win

Thanks again everyone. We're going to just manually sweep up the majority of the dust then vacuum up what's left if we can find the filters for our brand of vacuum. The rented floor cleaner is a great idea sniffdog, thanks. We thought that there must be commercial floor cleaners available for rent, just didn't think that HD would rent them. Good to know.

I am *so* not looking forward to this part of the project!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 8:44AM
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sniffdog

you might want to rent two machines - I think I paid 29 dollars for 24 hours. it took me about 8 hours to clean about 3300 sq feet of concrete flooring by myself with the large machine - and that was with 2 passes over a bunch of it. with 2 cleaners going, you could get it done much faster.

i only wish i had found out about this sooner (got it off a GW post). I would have cleaned the entire house before any of the flooring went in. that would have greatly cut down the dust that showed up after we moved in. luckily that has setlled down after almost 2 months.

good luck.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 12:56PM
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pacountrygirl_2008

Our drywall contractor should finish up in 2-3 days. Unfortunately our wood subfloors are a mess! I did a search of previous posts & found one suggesting renting a rug cleaning machine to clean concrete slabs before floor is installed. Would we go about cleaning our particle board sub floor the same way??

Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 12:20PM
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pacountrygirl_2008

Our drywall contractor should finish up in 2-3 days. Unfortunately our wood subfloors are a mess! I did a search of previous posts & found one suggesting renting a rug cleaning machine to clean concrete slabs before floor is installed. Would we go about cleaning our particle board sub floor the same way??

Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 12:23PM
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pacountrygirl_2008

Our drywall contractor should finish up in 2-3 days. Unfortunately our wood subfloors are a mess! I did a search of previous posts & found one suggesting renting a rug cleaning machine to clean concrete slabs before floor is installed. Would we go about cleaning our particle board sub floor the same way??

Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 12:24PM
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meldy_nva

Particleboard quite often is not water tolerant. That means don't get water on it because it will swell and then crumble. Check with the maufacturer -- there are a couple that can survive being wet. And if you meant OSB or plywood, same goes [ask manufacturer] but it's far more likely they will be okay.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:33PM
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cork2win

You shouldn't have to clean your subfloor all that much. On particleboard, just scrape off the big clumps of drywall mud and vacuum up the rest.

Our concrete had to be cleaned because we were doing a glue-down cork tile right on the concrete. Most flooring laid over particleboard gets some sort of subfloor first, like luan, so no need to have the particleboard that clean.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 2:38PM
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pacountrygirl_2008

This website has been such a valuable resource throughout our entire build. Thanks so much everyone!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:37PM
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rivermind_frontier_com

We have been in our new house now for 10 months. The contractor said we would have some construction dust for a few months. 10 months later, we get, every day a light dusting on the granite counter tops, stove top etc.. Even when the furnace has not run for over a week. The contractor had the ducts cleaned and still we get it. Its a fine white powder, so I assume its drywall dust. I have sent a sample away to be tested. Someone said this is possible if they did not seal the drywall before they painted. Is this possible? That it wouold bleed through the paint. And how can we fix it? I have been having sinus problem for about 5 months now. The doctor does not belive it allergies. What are long term effects of this type of exposure? ANy help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:57AM
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elizawhyza

Rivermind, did the dust resolve? What did you need to do to get it under control?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 6:54PM
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snookums2

Sweeping compounds can, if not always, contain wax or oils. You can not use this if you are doing a glue down. Check installation specs or call the manufacturer. Specs for glue down state not to use them. I would caution using them with any other adhered surfaces too, like tile. Prep is to remove all products and contaminants from surface. Sweeping compound will leave a residue that can interfere with adhesion.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 6:14PM
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