Imagine this scenario: you need to clean out your shed. You go through the stack of shovels and tools in the corner. Try to put back together your toolbox. Move some boxes around. Raise your eyebrows at just how dirty your man-cave has become. You whip out your trusty vacuum and get to sucking up the dust. But you forgot one major thing – the exhaust on your vacuum is now inadvertently stirring up the dust into breathable particles. Here are a few ideas on avoiding this problem.
Extend The Hose
The most straightforward thing to do is move the vacuum outside and extend your vacuum hose. Because all vacuums exhaust air – they have to in order to work – it is best to put your vacuum in another room or outside. Most standard vacuums will accept a coupler which attaches two hoses together. This allows the vacuum to exhaust without stirring up dust in the room you are in.
We have a 25′ hose that can be coupled to other vacuums. Check it out here.
Spray The Floor
If your vacuum can accept wet particles and/or has a squeegee, try wetting down the floor. Take some disinfectant or water and give a nice coating across the floor. It will make the floor harder to sweep, but it will keep the dust down while you clean things out. Optimally, if you are working in a concrete spot, you can get things fairly wet and suck up the water.
If extending the hose or spraying won’t work for you, the next best thing is to see where exactly your vacuum exhausts from. Some exhaust from the bottom, some from the top. Others exhaust from the sides, and many exhaust from all around. If you can figure out which direction your vacuum exhausts air, you can point it towards the nearest exit. We only really recommend this as a last resort, as it will still stir up dust. But it will save you some dust flying around.
Know Your Environment
Certainly, normal dust is safer to vacuum up than some other types of dust. If you are cleaning up something like mouse droppings or other areas where rodents have been, you can stir up dangerous viruses like hantavirus. Be aware of your environment and use more precaution in areas without air flow.
Lastly, use PPE. Wear a respirator if you are in an enclosed area with lots of dust, use safety glasses. Use common sense based on your environment, and that will be the best way to protect yourself.
Have any questions on how our vacuums exhaust air or how to extend your hose? Give us a call at (435) 637-5885 and ask for Jeff or Megan!