So here’s the deal.

Where are you working?

Is it a residential house.

Is it commercial?

Are you going to work at a Harley Davidson and they have a MUST in the contract that says NO sanding? Well what do you do then, you’ve got to sand right? WELL not exactly… you could wet sand or skim, which requires no to minimal sanding if you’re good enough at the taping/mudding process.

When I work in someone’s home I try and be respectful. I think it’s a drywaller’s responsibility to give the customer a heads up. “Hey Mr. homeowner, I’m gonna be sanding and creating some dust so you might wanna remove or cover up your electronics, curtains, anything you might not be able to put in the washer.” Hey if they offer to cover stuff up with some bed sheets or something, that’s great.

Otherwise I will cover the immediate area that I’m working on, immediate meaning anything that I think may get over spray on, texture and especially paint. This floor/furniture, etc. area may be larger than you think, especially if you are blowing air through your compressor and/or painting with a paint sprayer.

Cover far enough away or you may end up repainting doors, scrubbing carpets, hiring a professional cleaner, buying new furniture, amenities, let your imagination go wild, you name it, people want you coming into their home to do what you have to do, but let’s face it, if you were the customer, how would you feel if they destroyed or damaged something of yours? Hmmmm, oh yeah, you wouldn’t like it, maybe you’d demand it to be cleaned or corrected and maybe you’d even take legal action.

How long does it take to wrap something in plastic v.s clean it, replace it or get it fixed? Of course this should ALL BE in your bid. You may want to consult your insurance agent and find out what you are covered for. Then decide how much covering you want to do or not do and charge accordingly.

Lately we’ve also been using sticky plastic for carpets, especially carpet that is in the stairwell area. It’s a little expensive but you don’t use that much. Really makes you look professional & the customer can see you care about their carpet. The alternative is to take your shoes off so mud and paint don’t get on their carpet. Also if you have to wheel a compressor or paint sprayer in, then the plastic will protect for that also.

Roll up a towel and place it at the bottom of a door to plug up the gap to help prevent dust from going through.

orbital porter cable sander

Do they have products out there that can help? Oh yeah, they’ve got the gravity dust mud that falls vertically down. They’ve go orbital sanders that suck up MOST of the dust, not just from the air but also the walls/ceilings have less dust for when you go to paint and texture.

They’ve got spatter RESISTANT paint. So all this stuff does help. Does it totally eliminate paint spattering? Well no, but it does reduce the amount of spatter, unless you are painting a popcorn ceiling and the little pop corns fall down to the floor, making a mess. Then spatter or no spatter, what’s the difference right?

It’s probably not a bad idea to put a filter on the cold air return also. Cause if you don’t, dust can blow everywhere in the whole house. Another way dust can be contained quite a bit if you surround your work area 360 degrees with plastic. Takes a little more time and material but if the customer is concerned about dust, it might be a good solution.

Hey, question for you??? What do you do if you spill a gallon of paint on customer’s carpet? You can use Murphy (oil) Soap. I know this stuff works because my Aunt Dian used it once. Of course you wanna clean it up right away, don’t let the paint dry, obviously.

murphy oil soap

And i suppose you could ventilate by either cracking open a window or putting a fan in the door to suck some of the dust out. All these things are well and fine but most of the ways you do it, there will always be a certain amount of dust. So there will probably be some cleaning to do later.