Renovate Right

Your everyday home vacuum cleaner should not be used to clean up the dust and debris produced during home renovation work. The contaminants in the dust you vacuum up can be blown out into other parts of your home the next time you use your vacuum. Your best options are to: 

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum that includes a filter and bag able to catching fine particles. If you don’t have one you can rent one and purchase the filter and bags at a hardware store.
  • Use a sweeping compound (available at hardware or building supply stores) that makes it easier and safer to sweep up dust. 
  • Use a damp mop or damp rags to clean up the dust. Clean the mop well after use. Throw out the rags.

If you are cleaning up a small area or job and only have your home vacuum, an option is to put a damp cloth over the vacuum exhaust to reduce the amount of fine dust that is blown into the air in your home. After this use, empty the bag and throw out the cloth.

Clean up will be easier when you take everything you can out of the work area and use tarps or drop cloths to cover any remaining furniture and carpets. Controlling dust during home repair work is really important to minimize the health risks. See related FAQ about controlling renovation dust.

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