how to reduce dust when sanding drywall

5 Amazing Techniques to Reduce Dust when Sanding Drywall

Drywall sanding produces huge dust. It’s like a dust storm that will cover everything. And what’s threatening is that inhaling this dust for a long time might cause several diseases including cancer.

This time, it’s all about a whole bunch of things you can do, to reduce dust when sanding drywall. You’ll find an effective and actionable solution to the problem. We covered 5 amazing techniques for both novices and professionals.

No matter what tools are at your disposal, you can follow a method that is in favor of you.

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Why Drywall Dust Reduction is Important?

Drywall dust will cause massive health issues in the long term. Therefore, professional drywall workers are in a risky zone.

Additionally, it’s hazardous for the home-owner as it creates a messy situation. To name a few, the importance of drywall dust reduction are:

1. Reduces Mess

Drywall dust creates a messy situation inside the home. But if you take the necessary steps (described below), you can easily reduce the mess.

2. Health Protection

As stated by the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), “Drywall joint compounds are made from many ingredients (i.e., talc, calcite, mica, gypsum, silica). Some of these have been associated with varying degrees of eye, nose, throat, and respiratory tract irritation. Over time, breathing the dust from drywall joint compounds may cause persistent throat and airway irritation, coughing, phlegm production, and breathing difficulties similar to asthma.”

Dust particles produced by fine-grit drywall sandpapers are super tiny. These types of sandpapers are used for the finishing phase. And that creates floating dust into the air even unseen. As you inhale, they easily get into your lung.

Following that, eyes in-contact will become red and skin will get dry. Using goggles and dust masks can save you from this problem. But that’s only your safety, what about other things in the home surroundings?

Hence, always the best solution would be the reduction of dust.

How to Reduce Dust when Sanding Drywall?

So, how do you minimize dust when sanding drywall?

We’re going to give you 5 different methods from which you can pick one in your favor. While you can still achieve a smooth polished finish within a very short time. Though it seems a little costly for a few options, in the long term, it protects your health and saves money.

And the methods include;

  1. Wet Sanding
  2. Using wet/dry electric vacuum sander
  3. Using dust barrier room
  4. Using a dust filtration fan
  5. Using low-dust drywall compound

We’ve described all the methods including necessary equipment, steps, pros, and cons.

So, no more dust during drywall sanding!

1. Dust Reduction by Wet Sanding

Necessary Equipment:

  • Sanding sponge
  • Bucket
  • Water

Steps:

  • Step-1: Take some water in a bucket.
  • Step-2: Next is to wet the sponge.
  • Step-3: Now squeeze it to remove the extra water from it.
  • Step-4: Rub the wall with the coarse part first.  Note that, start sanding when the sealing compound is dry enough.
  • Step-5: When the extra compound is almost sanded, rub the area with the finer side.
Pros
  • Less expensive technique
  • Easy process without any heavy sander
  • Doesn’t produce any dust, so no need to wear glass or mask
  • Good for sanding small areas like the screw holes, nails, or joints.
Cons
  • Not suitable for large area
  • Takes more time than other techniques

2. Vacuum Sander Dust Reduction Process

You can either use a wet/dry vacuum with a vacuum sander or, a drywall electronic vacuum sander. And we found It as one of the best techniques to reduce dust during drywall sanding. So, let’s have a look;

Necessary Equipment:

  • Vacuum sander + wet/dry vacuum with a hose
  • Or, drywall electronic vacuum sander

Steps:

  • Step-1: Take the wet/dry vacuum that has a pleated filter. Connect the hose with the vacuum and connect another part of the hose with the sander.
  • Step-2: Switch on the vacuum and you are ready for dust-free sanding.
Pros
  • Professional quality and fast result
  • Perfect for large sanding jobs
  • Gives almost 90-99% dust-free smooth sanding
  • Long handle helps to cover high reach spots
  • Electronic Vacuum Sander is easy to use and produces almost 0 dust
Cons
  • A bit costly for small scale projects
  • Some electronic sander is too heavy (choose lightweight)
  • Round shape sanders cannot cover the corners

3. Using Dust Barrier Room

This technique doesn’t reduce the dust but controls them from spreading inside the house. It is quite useful for old houses where you want to repair a specific side without leaving your home.

Necessary Equipment:

  • Telescoping poles/3rd hands
  • Blue and a gorilla tape
  • Dust barrier zipper door/ magnetic door
  • Thick polythene sheet roll/ zip wall system
  • Plastic suction tube
  • Dust filtration fan

Steps:

  • Step-1: Make a square shape dust barrier room by using the 3rd hands and thick polythene sheet.
  • Step-2: Put a polythene sheet on the floor and tape it off with the poly-wall.
  • Step-2: Set the dust barrier magnetic door on the poly-wall. So that you can pass through it.
  • Step-3: For better results, seal the polythene with the wall using tape.
  • Step-4: Set the fan on the uncontaminated side of the sheet-wall. Make a small hole on the poly wall to set the fan and tape off the polythene with the inlet of the fan. Join on a plastic suction tube with the inlet and keep the edge of the tube outside the home. Because of that dust will fall outside your home.  Now you can work inside the dust barrier room.
Pros
  • Good for working inside a house where people are living
  • Saves the house cleaning time and cost too
Cons
  • Doesn’t reduce dust rather controls it
  • Setting the dust barrier room can be a hazard for novices

4. Using a Dust Filtration Fan

This is another traditional way to control the dust. If you find that making a dust barrier room is much complicated, you can just use a box fan. Let’s see how –

Necessary Equipment

  • A box fan
  • Tape
  • Plastic sheet/polythene sheet
  • dust barrier zipper door/ magnetic door

Steps:

  • Step-1: Unfold the polythene sheet on the floor and tape it with the floor. It will help you to clean the reaming dust after finishing work.
  • Step-2: Set the fan on an open window so that the air flows outside.
  • Step-3: Set the dust barrier magnetic door on the doorway. Or, you can use a plastic sheet. Tape a polythene sheet or plastic on the doorway, so that air cannot flow through it. But whatever you use, make sure that a little space on the bottom of the door is open to flow air.
  • Step-4: Then start sanding.
Pros
  • Suitable for novice
  • Low costly and less time-consuming
Cons
  • Not good if your window is pointing to a neighbor’s house

5. Low-Dust Drywall Compound

Using a low dust drywall joint compound might be a magical solution. It reduces fine dust and produces heavier dust which won’t float in the air.  So you can reduce and clean them up later without much effort.

You can lend the polythene sheet taping idea from step number 4.

But it has one problem. It won’t give a smooth finish after sanding as coarse particles are used to build a low dust compound.

Bottom Line:

So that’s all we have, 5 amazing techniques of reducing drywall dust when sanding. We hope that helps you with a suitable way to try out. Feel free to ask if you have any questions and if you want to try any of them.

Let us below in the comment section, how that worked for you.

FAQs

1. Should I wipe down drywall after sanding?

Yes, it would be better that you sweep the drywall with a sweeping brush. But if you use drywall vacuum sander or, wet sanding, you can avoid sweeping it afterward.

2. How long does drywall dust stay in the air?

It may stay in the air for up to 5 days. Use a HEPA filter to remove the drywall dust. It will clean 99+% of dust within a couple of days.

3. Should I sand drywall after each coat?

Yeah, sanding after each coat is preferable. But if you are a finishing expert, you might tend to sand after every 2-3 coats.

4. Does wet sanding create dust?

No, it doesn’t. A wet sponge is used to sand in wet sanding which doesn’t produce dust particles.

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