The Dirt on Renovation

by Michael Blackburn in


Drywalling looks easy, right?  You put up some large pieces, tape and mud between them, give it a light sanding and get priming.  

I used to think that!

I had previously not done a lot of drywall work, and when I did, I had the benefit of a good friend who did a lot of the work for me. He made it look effortless with what looked like a fairly simple process of putting drywall compound on seams, taping them, a couple layers of mud on top, and a light sanding to smooth the edges out. 

I, on the other hand, have probably ended up sanding off half of what I put on the wall in an effort to smooth out my divots, crevasses, and the air bubbles caused by my novice mudding skills. That, in itself, is not the problem, it's the dust created by the sanding. It gets anywhere and everywhere inside the house.

Dust on a dresser in the room next door 

Dust on a dresser in the room next door 

So how do you control the dust?  

Create Negative Air Pressure. 

Hospitals utilize negative air pressure for patients in isolation so that the contaminated air from that patient does not spread to the rest of the hospital, so why not use it to keep the dust from contaminating the rest of the house? By putting a fan in the window blowing out, and opening another window or door in the house, you keep the air only flowing into the room and reduce the amount of dust that can escape into the rest of the house. 

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A box fan might have been more appropriate in this situation, but you work with what you've got!

Using negative air pressure really does keep dust from escaping the work zone.  That's especially important when you have 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 cats tracking it all through the house!