Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Drywall Compound Dangers


devguru's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
DE

02-22-15, 08:45 PM   #1  
Drywall Compound Dangers

Hi everyone:

I need some advice about my townhouse. I am the 2nd Owner and the builder provided a 10 year warranty that the 1st Owner transferred to me. Also, the builder was nice enough to give me a one year fix it all Checklist after I purchased the house.

It's been a year and I am doing my Checklist and I want to know if I should wait to fix nail pops in my ceiling. I know the Drywall Compound can be dangerous and I have a toddler and a 5 year old living at home.

Should I just wait until I sell to protect my Kids health?

 
Sponsored Links
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

02-22-15, 09:14 PM   #2  
Welcome to the forums. Drywall compound can be dangerous if you breathe the dust made by sanding room after room after room of it without respiration protection. Likewise it can be dangerous if you eat it and let it set up in your intestines who set off those alarms? Rest easy. Prudent caution such as respirators and fans can keep dust down. Fixing nail pops won't create too much.

 
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 32,376
TX

02-23-15, 03:13 AM   #3  
I know the Drywall Compound can be dangerous
Can you cite sources for that? As Larry said its a mater of common sense when working with it as in everything you do in a house. Probably less dangerous then cooking with a toddler in the house but if you are aware of specific dangers please cite sources so we can address that.


I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


Last edited by ray2047; 02-23-15 at 04:20 AM.
 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 42,811
TN

02-23-15, 03:28 AM   #4  
I'm also not aware of any dangerous associated with joint compound other than what commonsense dictates. Often you can use a wet/damp sponge to smooth out j/c which eliminates sanding dust. That is what I normally do in an occupied dwelling, mainly so I don't make a mess that needs to be cleaned up I'd go ahead and get whatever needs to be addressed under the warranty done!


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
Keith Weagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 750
CANADA

02-23-15, 06:41 AM   #5  
Joint compound made before the 70's may contain aespestos. That could be where you have heard it may be dangourous. In a new home, you have nothing to worry about.

A 10 year warranty is also pretty impressive on a new home. Generally you only see 1 or 2.

 
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 19,331
NE

02-23-15, 07:32 AM   #6  
The silica is the dangerous component of joint compound, and as Larry mentioned, it's only when you are exposed to breathing the sanding dust for years and years without wearing PPE that you are susceptible to getting silicosis. It is an occupational hazard, not an environmental one. Breathing drywall dust is probably just about as bad as breathing just about any other kind of dust.

 
Handyone's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 5,451
CAL

02-23-15, 08:18 AM   #7  
Not to beat a dead horse here, but see Mark's post #4. Wet sanding creates virtually no dust. Fill your holes with the compound, which is no health hazard. After filling holes, you have a choice:

- Let the compound dry overnight and then wet sand
- Let the compound set up a little and use damp sponge to smooth it out (and maybe try to get a textured look) before it dries completely

Name:  dwsponge.JPG
Views: 1635
Size:  12.7 KB


Brian
Cal Contractor

 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 42,811
TN

02-23-15, 09:56 AM   #8  
Just to clarify, you can take a wet/damp sponge and smooth out regular j/c at most any time as it will soften up dried j/c. Setting type compounds can only be smoothed out with a wet/damp sponge as they set [before they dry] Unlike regular j/c, setting compounds are not water soluble.

I like to use the drywall sponge that has a handle - looks something like a grout float but has a sponge on the business end.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
devguru's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
DE

02-23-15, 10:13 AM   #9  
I'm completely new to this, so u guys know more than I do.

However, I went to Lowes and looked at some joint compound stuff on the shelves. Then I went to the manufacturer's websites and found links to their Material Safety Data Sheets. Some of them are really concerning!

One example: http://www.usg.com/content/dam/USG_M...n-61320001.pdf

I'm Extra worried because of my Kids. These studies are based on Adults but who knows how they affect Kids health. Paint me an Overconcerned Mom, but I want to extra cautious instead of not.

 
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 19,331
NE

02-23-15, 10:22 AM   #10  
Sounds like you should definitely put the house up for sale if you are that concerned.

This is nothing to worry about either way you do it, wet sanding or not. I could have sworn you said this was just a few nail pops.

 
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,666
AZ

02-23-15, 10:23 AM   #11  
As everyone said, it's purely a dust issue. And we are talking severe or chronic long term exposure. Getting it in the eyes can be irritating just like sand, blowing dust, or anything else. And how is it treated? Rinsing the eyes. Just like anything else.

Use the other techniques for smoothing as suggested. And keep the kids out of the room you are working in.

Consider yourself painted...lol.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Keith Weagle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 750
CANADA

02-23-15, 10:26 AM   #12  
If you look at the MSDS Sheet, it is saying what can happen with high dust levels and long term exposure. This would be sanding an entire room or house, not from small patch work over nail holes.

If the joint compound was as dangerous as you are suspecting it to be, I can assure you we would have much more strict regulations with the use of it.

If you still want to take every possible precaution, do as Handyone suggests and wet sand, or you can buy a sanding pole that attaches to a shop vac. Use a fine filter bag in the shop vac and all the dust will be contained with nothing airborne.

 
Handyone's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 5,451
CAL

02-23-15, 10:28 AM   #13  
Mostly, the MSDS refers to the compound in powder form. It may not explicitly state that. And obviously you want to stay away from sanding in the home.
If you use pre-mixed compound and a sponge to smooth it out, no dust is introduced into the home at all.
To elaborate: Joint compound is available in powder form and is preferred that way by pros. Just the act of transferring powder from bag into a mixing bucket will generate dust. You are not in that situation.

***Edit: I got in late. That's many opinions and I trust them all.


Brian
Cal Contractor

 
stickshift's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 18,479
WI

02-23-15, 10:36 AM   #14  
This is the important statement from that document:
This product is not expected to produce any unusual hazards during normal use. Exposure to high dust levels may
irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, or upper respiratory tract. Prolonged and repeated breathing of respirable mica
dust may cause lung disease (pneumoconiosis).
Yes, I believe you are being over-concerned but that's your call. That said, sending the kids to a neighbor's house for the afternoon and vacuuming everything when you're done would certainly suffice.

 
Search this Thread