Drywall dust is a known health hazard and a huge nuisance in remodeling and new construction.
Dust free sanding is the only way to go when finishing drywall. We see excessive drywall dust remaining in most new homes in the ventilation systems, outlets and switches, can lights, etc. Drywall dust is extremely light weight, and should be prevented from becoming airborne, and traveling throughout the job site. This is an easily controllable nuisance when utilizing readily available tools and techniques.
For remodeling jobs, or an occupied job site, dust-free sanding is an absolute must. Drywall dust is a nuisance to both workers and homeowners. Drywall dust harms computer and audio equipment. Drywall dust can contaminate every finish in the home including wall and trim paint, wood finishes, hardwood floors, and all surfaces.
Drywall dust can also cause
various adhesion problems, and contaminates paint
finishes. We have had clients spend hundreds of dollars
trying to remove drywall dust from ventilation systems.
We had one client who spent several thousand dollars
replacing ductwork, after dealing with continual dust
the first two years in their newly constructed house.
(The furnace was operated during drywall sanding,
without covering the return air ducts). We continually
talk to homeowners who have had major cleanup issues
in the rest of their house after a remodeling project.
This nuisance can easily be avoided with some widely
available tools and equipment.
We see great results with a system consisting of:
Cable Automatic Sander is light weight, easy
to use, and fast. It can be especially useful
to do-it-yourselfers who are inexperienced at
drywall mudding and finishing. You can easily
sand and apply additional mud as needed to achieve
the desired finish. The sander is also great for
sanding between paint coats or sanding after priming
new drywall. This system is available for rent
in some areas, or can be purchased through our store.
We see a tremendous amount of dust remaining in recently constructed homes. Dust-free drywall refinishing during new construction can greatly reduce or eliminate the amount of drywall dust remaining in a new home. The added cost of dust free sanding versus traditional sanding is minimal, and we encourage homeowners to seek contractors willing to utilize readily available methods to control drywall dust when sanding and finishing new drywall.
Before installing drywall, be sure wall studding
is sufficiently dry. Later shrinking of damp studs
is a prominent cause of nail pops- a common drywall
problem. Be sure to check moisture content of
studs before drywall installation using a Moisture
Meter to help prevent excessive stud movement
leading to cracks and nail pops.
More about Wood Shrinkage
Drywall Imperfections and Nail Pops
Drywall Dust Causes Paint Problems
Full resurfacing (skim-coating) of drywall during new construction can greatly enhance the finished appearance of walls, giving a uniform appearance, and eliminating the surface variations of face paper, joints, and fasteners. This can be especially beneficial for areas that will be highly illuminated by natural or artificial lighting, not always available during the construction phase. A full skim coat is also called for when finishing with a velvet, eggshell, or gloss finish paint. The automatic sander can be utilized for quickly sanding fully skimmed walls, providing a much more uniform and smooth finished wall.
Use 500w halogen lights to illuminate at a right angle down walls and across ceilings before priming or painting new drywall. It is easy to make drywall repairs and re mud before you paint or prime. If you plan to make repairs after priming, the result is generally visible slick patches, and paint appearance problems. Many drywall flaws are not discovered until painting is done and the lights come on. So light it up! Use your judgment which walls will be highly illuminated once finished, or walls that will get a lot of natural light, and consider a full skim coat of mud on those critical areas.
These tools and systems are available for rent in some independent paint stores.
Before installing drywall,
be sure wall studding is sufficiently dry. Shrinking of damp studs is a prominent cause of nail pops.
You can check moisture content of studs before drywall installation using a Moisture Meter to help prevent excessive stud shrinkage and movement leading to cracks and nail pops.
Place dehumidifiers in the house after framing , but before drywall is installed. You need to shrink and fit the wood to the equilibrium moisture before hanging your wallboard. We suggest hooking a hose to the dehumidifiers, because water will generally run steady for a few days or until the wood is sufficiently dry (10% moisture). At that point you are ready to hang your wallboard.
More about Nail Pops
Discussion- Drywall Dust
You can reduce the potential for pops considerably by screwing and gluing drywall. The Gypsum Association, for example, extends its screw-only on-center spacing for walls from 16 in. to 24 in. when panels are screwed and glued.