Aren't hardwood floors the best? They're highly durable and offer years of beauty. Having said that, eventually a hardwood floor will start to show its age. But one of the great things about them is that you don't need to replace them. You just give them a good sanding, treat them with a little bit of varnish, and then they will once again look like new. Having said that, floor sanding can take a bit of effort. It also creates a lot of mess. If you or anyone in your family has asthma or any other kind of respiratory issue, you need to be extremely careful about the dust produced by floor sanding. So what are some ways to minimise this dust?
When Someone Else Does It for You
Floor sanding is not only messy, it's also loud. If you are hiring someone to do the work for you, it might just be easier to stay with a friend or family member until everything is finished. The company might even clean up for you afterwards. If this is not part of the service, you can easily do it yourself with a standard household vacuum cleaner. Don't forget to check your vacuum cleaner's filter a number of times throughout the process. Fine wood dust can easily clog a filter, reducing the general effectiveness of your vacuum cleaner.
A DIY Filter
If you're doing the sanding yourself, there's another kind of filter you can use. Take an HVAC filter and tape it to the intake side of a square-shaped fan heater. You might need to cut the HVAC filter to ensure it fits. This idea will work with any type of fan heater where the blades are safely contained in a plastic housing unit. It's simply easier to fit the HVAC filter to a square-shaped heater, as they are already roughly the same shape. Position the heater on the ground next to where you're sanding, with the intake side facing you. Turn it on, and the dust is attracted to the heater's intake, meaning it will collect in the external HVAC filter. You can discard the filter when you're done. In the warmer months, you will of course want to use the heater in one of its cooling settings.
You should also ensure that you rent a floor sander that has a dust collection bag. This resembles a small sack that is affixed to the side of the machine and will collect the majority of the dust (allowing the HVAC filter and fan heater to trap the rest). Not all sanders will come with this attachment, but it's certainly worthwhile looking for it. Remember to periodically check the dust collection bag while sanding, and empty it as needed.