Dust hazard in house?

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Old 12-24-15, 06:39 AM
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Dust hazard in house?

I had a flooring contractor in my home to level my subfloor for hardwood install. They used self leveling compound on the floor. Many of the spots did not feather out as they'd hoped it would and decided to sand it down.

My house is now filled with Self Leveling concrete dust. Every possible surface of every possible room now has a thin layer of dust on it. I feel like I can taste it in my mouth. Obviously my wife and I plan to wipe down every possible surface in the home to remove this dust, and it's incredibly upsetting to us. More importantly...

1.) How hazardous is this to us in the short term/long term?
2.) Should we just use water and a sponge to clean this all up?
 
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Old 12-24-15, 07:09 AM
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You probably want to use a vacuum with a hepa filter on it to get the dust up from the floors. My experience with wiping cement dust with a damp rag just kind of smears things around and leaves streaks of dirty water. They could have just scraped the high spots without sanding. If you have a shop vac, get a hepa filter for it and get as much off the furniture as you can. Then maybe a swiffer brush to wipe the final down. Wear a mask as he exhaust from the vac will surely kick up some more in the cleaning process. So, work from one side of the room and clean in one direction so the exhaust is always blowing behind you.
 
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Old 12-24-15, 07:17 AM
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Thank you for the quick reply. I'm more concerned if there are any short term/long term effects of having this happen and of us breathing this in or if a residual will always remain in the air in our home now...
 
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Old 12-24-15, 09:04 AM
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In a few days, change out the filter on your heating and air system and you should be OK. I'm around dust all the time from building things. I wear a mask when appropriate, but not always. Your short term experience should pose no health hazards. Like I said, be mindful when cleaning up not to stir up too much. I recommend a hepa filter as it will surely capture the particles, a regular filter may release some back into the air. Better yet, tell the guys who thought sanding cement in your house was a good idea to come clean everything for you.

Off topic of cleaning - tell me about what subfloor you have that they leveled? What type of wood (ply or OSB) and how thick is it? What was the brand name of the self-leveling compound used? Did they put down any wire lath before pouring the SLC? Many are not designed for direct to wood applications without mechanical fasteners (wire lath) for it to grab onto.
 
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Old 12-24-15, 09:31 AM
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The dust will not be in the house forever. Czizzi explained the clean up well.

In this Holiday Season though, I would like to say hang these guys

This kind of dust is unacceptable, they should have warned you and given you a few options.
I have experienced reputable companies doing something about this, such as a cleaning credit. I'm not saying they'll do it easily.
 
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Old 12-24-15, 09:37 AM
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This kind of dust is unacceptable, they should have warned you and given you a few options
I agree! Did they mask off the room to prevent the dust from going into the rest of the house? Anytime I ever made any kind of a mess I felt obligated to clean it up.
 
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Old 12-24-15, 10:11 AM
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I mask off the doors and create negative pressure with a fan in the window blowing out. I open another window in another part of the house, and I then slit the plastic covered doorways just enough to let in air to replenish for what the fan is blowing out. All dust is confined to that one room with the majority going out the window. I just finished demo on a 1inch thick tile and mud bed shower that left no dust in the house. I was with a demo hammer basically jack hammering away.

While we await the news on the subfloor, my gut tells me that this will not be the type of company that will offer restitution for the mess.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 09:14 AM
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Hi all -- thanks for the many responses. The subfloor is plywood. After they screwed up the FLC and decided to sand it, I had a nice talk with the owner of the company and demanded that they remove all of the plywood that they covered with concrete, and redo it using shims/sistered joists -- which was what the intent of this project was from day one.

As for the dust. Within the last two days I've had a tight feeling in the chest and developed flu-like symptoms. My wife is experiencing the same thing along with constant sneezing. I put in a new furnace filter, one of those ones that cost a fortune but claim to pick up every possible thing out of the air. We've also been running air purifiers in our downstairs. We've basically holed ourselves off to our bedroom which seems to be the safest bet for now since the doors were closed when they sanded and there doesn't seem to be any abnormal dust in here.

Our parents are saying that we need to get our homeowners insurance involved to remediate the cleanup and any air quality issues going on in the house. I'm not sure if that's over the top and a good days worth of cleaning will fix this or if all of the counter tops and electronics will suffer from this layer of dust. Not to mention will there be very fine particles in the air, and for how long!? Ultimately it should be the contractor's mess to fix, but that isn't going to happen.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 09:37 AM
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my gut tells me that this will not be the type of company that will offer restitution for the mess
The contractor not owning up was the prediction by czizzi. Unfortunate.
I'm not familiar with the SLC, maybe someone can comment on that. I would guess the compound contains Portland cement which can be very irritating, and as you said, very fine particles.

I'd at least call the insurance to feel it out. Who knows, they might determine home is uninhabitable.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 03:10 PM
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Brian, any company that doesn't understand the materials that they are using will not stand by when something goes wrong. I would initiate a claim against their insurance (provided they have some). But it is my belief that they never used SLC before or they would know that it is not a "True" self leveling product, that troweling and massaging are needed. They also failed to know that lathe is needed over wood subfloors. Both signs of incompetence and flying by the seat of ones pants. Here is the passage from the installation instructions of a popular brand of SLC as it pertains to Plywood Subfloors and OSB subfloors.

Bonding to Plywood Surfaces
Plywood floors, including those under resilient flooring, must
be structurally sound and must meet all industry guidelines. A 2.5
lb/yd˛ metal lath must be fastened every 6" * 8" (15 * 20 cm) with
fasteners that have a galvanized or corrosion-resistant coating over
primed surface. A minimum of a 1/2" pour is required for single layer
plywood; for multi-layered plywood, the lath must be fully
encapsulated. For questions about proper subfloor installation, call
Custom Technical Services.

OSB Underlayments
OSB underlayments should be coated with 10-15 mils of RedGardŽ
Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane prior to priming
with LevelQuik Latex Primer. A 2.5 lb/yd˛ metal lath must be fastened
every 6" - 8" (15 - 20 cm) with fasteners that have a galvanized or
corrosion-resistant coating. A minimum of 1/2" (12.7 mm) of LevelQuik
RS can be applied over this properly prepared OSB


So, again to my off topic statement, is that what ever they did was wrong to begin with, the sanding is incidental to that fact. I would initiate a claim and unfortunately, find another contractor. They are on strike two, and I wouldn't want to see what strike three would be.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 03:24 PM
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Are there any young children there?
 
 

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