Sanding involves smoothing or polishing of wood surface with a mechanical sander or sandpaper. It is done to enhance the wood’s outlook, create an even surface, and eliminate dust before painting. In the process fine dust is produced that could be hazardous.
It is essential that you find a way to eliminate the dust as it will make your workshop messy and harmful to your health.
This piece will enlighten you on how you could clean off dust after sanding.
Put on a Protective Face Mask
The first and the most critical step is to clean off dust after sanding to protect yourself from the fine dust produced by wearing a face mask. During the process of drywall sanding, dust particles are made from the joint compound and into the atmosphere.
Some of the particles from joint compounds comprise of silica. You will be exposing yourself to lung cancer or silicosis if you directly inhale air with silica.
Fine dust particles can also bring about breathing problems, especially to those who have asthma or allergy issues.
To ensure that you are safe while cleaning off dust after sanding, you should always wear a face mask or any face protective gear to cover your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Preparations before Cleaning Up
You are required to turn off the heaters and the central air conditioners to eliminate the possibility of dust sucking into the ductwork.
To blow away air from your workshop, you should position your fan box facing the direction of the window; this will help to ensure that you efficiently eliminate the airborne drywall dust from your working area.
During this process, in addition to wearing a protective face mask, you should heat a helmet or a hat to protect your hair from the fine dust. It is also ideal that you put on a long-sleeved shirt.
It will also be wise to wear goggles to protect your eyes from the fine dust that will cause irritation when it gets into contact with your eyes.
Preparing the Area
You are required to block off all openings and vents using a plastic sheet. To minimize the amount of dust dispersed into the air, you could use heavy-duty plastic sheeting.
It would be best if you covered all the openings in your workshop, including the windows and the doorways, with it.
For best results, you should hang the plastic sheeting from the ceiling to the floor. You should then secure it with masking tape to prevent it from easily falling off.
Protect the Furniture and Cover the Floor
To protect your furniture from dirtying through the process of sanding, you remove them from the workshop, and if not possible, you could opt to cover them with plastic sheeting.
Most furniture, especially the upholstered furniture, could stain easily when exposed to dirt and dust, thus compromising on its fabric and overall outlook. You could use bungee cords to secure the sheeting.
Additionally, you should cover the entire floor of your workshop with place sheeting as you do sanding. Ideally, if you have carpet in your workshop, you could cover it with an adhesive plastic lining.
Turn Off the Air Circulation and Central Heat
If you fail to turn off the system, you will be compromising on its efficiency as dust will get into it, and it may end up not working as it’s supposed to. In addition, dust will be spread out to your entire workshop.
Even if you cover the whole air ducts with plastic sheeting as you sand, you still recommend turning off the circulation system.
Ensure the circulation are off throughout the sanding process, and then clean off the dust with a vacuum cleaner when you are done.
Due to regular sanding, your system’s air filter could be damaged; that’s why you should check them and replace them.
Cleaning the Floors
To clean the floors of your workshop after sanding, you are required to sprinkle floor sweeping compounds over it. The sweeping compound encompasses ingredients that help eliminate the dust from the ground, and this makes it easier to eliminate dust without making it airborne again.
It is essential that you strictly adhere to the directions of the manufacturers regarding the use of these compounds.
For maximum benefits, a vast array of sweeping compounds requires the user to wait for up to 24 hours after the application. After 24 hours, you are required to use a vacuum cleaner to clean the floor surface of your workshop.
You should ensure that it has a filter to protect it from malfunctioning during the process due to clogging.
Cleaning the Surfaces
With water and a wet cloth, you are supposed to squeeze it out to the point that it is almost dry. From the top, you are then required to wipe all the drywall. Before painting, you should ensure that the walls of your workshop are completely dry.
It is ideal that allows the walls to fully dry as the wet cloth could dampen the wall surfaces. Clean glass windows and doors as well as the drywall.
You should be keen on the horizontal surfaces in your workshop, including the windowsills, top side of the ceiling fan blades, and light switches, as they could end up rusting due to exposure to dust and moisture.
You are supposed to rinse the cloth more often as you work. After wiping all the surfaces in your workshop, you will need to use a vacuum cleaner again to clean your walls.
Joint Compound Alternative
It will be ideal to use other types of joint compounds that produce minimal amounts of dust during sanding.
There are other types of joint compounds that allow the sanded joint compounds to fall on the surface of your workshop rather than drifting in the air.
This makes it easier to sweep the floor without necessarily using the sweeping compounds.
Although it can be challenging to clean off dust from your workshop after sanding, the above guidelines will be of much help as it will help your keep your workshop sparkly clean. However, it’s vital that you put on protective gear to protect yourself from fine dust.