ANNOUNCING DUST FREE FLOOR SANDING
This is very dusty, dirty work. Typically anything that can be reached by airborne dust becomes covered. The dust can be cleaned up, so while being troublesome, clean-up is not the most important issue. What is most concerning is the potential damaging chemicals that may be connected with such dust, not to mention that wood dust from some species of wood is found to be a carcinogen. I have been engaged in this work for over 30 years. It took me that long to finally become fed up with feeling awful at the end of the day from working in the midst of this dust haze. For the past 10 years I have worn a dust mask. It didn’t catch it all.
I began to explore what dust containment systems might be available to the floor refinisher. There are several offerings which target the flooring industry. For one reason or another, I took issue with each of them. Some lacked strong suction or had attachments which were cumbersome or could be damaged while in transit. Others had plenty of suction but were poor in regard to filtration. These could best be described as dust extraction systems rather than containment. Because of poor filtration, they may have a hose that blows the dust which goes past the filter to the outside of the house. I don’t know that the neighbourhood would be pleased with that approach. Also, it would require a door or window to be open during winter while the job is progressing.
Finally I started to look outside the flooring industry and discovered Latta Equipment. They represent Ruwac, the manufacturer of this system. Ruwac makes all sorts of vacuum systems from portable to fixed for large industrial applications. Technology that is used in manufacturing for materials such as flour, talc, toner and drywall. All of which are ultra fine particles that if not contained could destroy a whole batch of product being manufactured. An industrial vacuum of this nature concentrates on the amount of volume of air that is being produced and the proper amount of filtration to stop the dust. Easy task you ask? Well seeing that the vacuum is used non stop while I sand your wood floors the risk of clogging the ultra efficient filters is greater than if I was just cleaning the floors. I have to insure that from start to finish these filters do the job. The large 28 sq. ft. filter captures 99.97% of all dust down to .5 microns. To increase efficiency, we installed a 30 gallon drum with a cyclone lid ahead of the vacuum system. It captures 95-98% of the dust from the sanding machines right into a plastic bag, while the rest is caught by the filter and drops into a 9 gallon pan. Plenty of suction and great filtration. I can set up this unit in the house and leave no contamination. I have used the dust containment system on a number of jobs, and to date, I have observed no airborne dust. None on the windows, walls, or myself.
It takes more effort to move this equipment about, but on the positive side, I don’t feel sick at days end from inhaling dust. There is no need to stop every half room to empty a dust bag on my sanders. No need for dust masks or hanging of plastic sheeting. Clean up before coating is fast and minor.
While I wish I could offer the use of this dust filtration system to all my customers, there is one stipulation which must be met: I need a small floor space spot near the working area to set this up.
Dust containment used to consist of hanging plastic over doorways. It need not be so now. Customers of Face Lift Floors now have the optional advantage of having as near to total dust filtration and containment that is possible. That is nothing to sneeze at.
The manufacturers web site is now at lattaequipment.com.