This blog post is the first in a series to offer helpful tips for keeping your carpets (and therefore your home!) clean. At first glance you might think that drywall dust is something would only you need to contend with during a major renovation but that isn’t true. Small projects can cause big messes as well.
If you have ever had to mount anything on your walls, such as a curtain rod or towel rack, you have likely run into the need for a drywall anchor. And, if you have kids or pets that like to pull on curtains or towels, you have likely realized that the standard drywall anchors pull out much easier than expected! (But that’s a topic for another time.)
No matter whether you are using standard drywall anchors or upgrading to heavy-duty toggle bolts, installing them involves drilling a hole in the drywall, which, you guessed it, leads to drywall dust.
Now before you start thinking that drilling a relatively small hole won’t generate a huge amount of drywall dust, consider three points:
- It’s a fine powder. A drill bit (as well as self-drilling anchors) turns drywall into an extremely fine dust, which is easy to spread and tends to float around.
- Getting it wet is a mess. Drywall dust turns into a white, mushy paste if you get it wet, which means it creates very noticeable blemishes.
- The location. Securing something to a wall usually results in the dust falling down the wall into the corner where your wall meets the floor. This is troublesome because the dust has a tendency to settle into the edge of the carpet, making it more difficult to get to. The position also tends to leave dust on the upper edge of your baseboard, which is easy to miss, and turns it into the mess that keeps on giving.
So, while the volume of drywall dust generated from a few small holes is smaller than what you see in a renovation, it can create quite a mess. Therefore, the key to easy cleanup is to stop the mess before it spreads.
The Key to Clean Carpets
A little preparation can go a long way to keeping your carpets clean. If you have a helper, and a vacuum with a good filter and a wand attachment, you can have the helper hold the vacuum nozzle just below the area you are working on. This is a great solution if you have someone willing to help and you can put up with the noise. However, it’s imperative you have a good filter. Some low-end wet dry vacs may only have a foam filter that will do nothing more than spray a cloud of dust all over your room!
However, there is an even easier method that doesn’t require a second set of hands, a vacuum, or the noise. And best of all, you most likely already have everything you need at home.
A simple plastic bag and a small piece of tape is all you need. The photo to the right shows the set up.
In this case, I am using blue painter’s tape, but regular clear tape would work as well. In a pinch, you can also use duct tape BUT FIRST you need to make it less sticky. The easiest way to do this is to first stick the tape on an old t-shirt a couple of times. The tape will pick up fibers from the shirt on each pull and lessen the chance it will stick too tightly to your wall.
Apply half the width of the tape to back lip of the bag and the other half attaches to the wall. Position the assembly just below the area where you plan on drilling (in this case the “x” in the photo) and plan to reposition just below every hole. The closer the bag is to the the hole, the more dust it will collect.
When you drill the hole, the dust kicked out from the drill bit falls right into the bag. Once you are finished, you can simply seal the bag and toss it into the trash or seal it and save the bag for your next project.
The photos below show the drywall dust collected from the hole for just one toggle bolt. That’s how much dust was saved from falling into the carpet. You can imagine the amount that would be generated over the course of an entire project.
Of course, even the best prevention won’t eliminate accidents and the normal dirt that accumulates on carpets so that’s why we are here. Regular professional cleaning can help to add years of life to your carpet and keep your home clean.
Elliott S. Fishman, Co-Owner
Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.
About Elliott S. Fishman
Elliott Fishman, along with his son Brian, is the owner and operator of Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc. We serve the residents and businesses of Greater Cincinnati to include West Chester, Mason, Maineville, Loveland, Wyoming, Fairfield, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Hyde Park and Anderson Township. Elliott started this company in 1984, based on the belief that it takes Extra Effort to make each job a success. The father/son team puts the extra time, extra care, and extra effort go into every task they undertake – no matter how large or small the job. Extra Effort’s quality equipment, trained technicians and safe products have made the company a top choice for residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water damage / water extraction, fabric protection, odor control and spot removal.