6 Drywall Sander Safety Tips
A drywall sander is specifically made to work on sanding down the plastering compound used to patch rough drywall and sheet rock. Other sanders could be used to do the same thing that a drywall sander does but will be less effective. This particular job is not only somewhat hazardous but extremely messy. The drywall sander, like any other electric sander, needs to be used with caution. The article that follows will share with you several safety tips and proper handling of the drywall sander.
1. Proper Sanding
Many people that employ the use of a drywall sander do so by sanding each layer of plaster they place on the drywall. This needs to be avoided because the mess would be astronomical. It will also make the job last much longer than it should. Only sand down the mud after the third coat has been applied and dried.
2. Always Wear a Protective Mask and Glasses
As you use a drywall sander you are essentially creating a cloud of gypsum dust and plaster. This dust will not only cause your skin to itch but can severely damage your eyes and lungs. Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and a face mask so you never inhale the dust.
3. Never Wet
When you set out to use the drywall sander you should never use a wet sponge to do so unless working on a small area. When working on a large area, like a room, always work with a dry sander.
Typically when you work on any project in the home you open a few windows. This is especially the case with anything toxic or hazardous in nature. This, however, does not really apply to sanding drywall. You will be kicking up enough dust during the sanding process that opening a window will simply make it worse. The dust that is created is very fine and any introduction of wind can cause this fine dust to spray around the area covering everything. The cost to clean this added mess can be substantial and difficult.
5. No Pushing
When you use a normal electric sander you generally push the sander over the surface. Pushing the drywall sander against the mud can cause gouges and marks. Hold the drywall sander firmly as you use it but instead of pushing it you should wipe it from side to side. If you happen to make a gouge in the wall never try to use the sander to repair it but instead fill it with mud and then sand it down again.
6. Use Two Hands
An electric sander, drywall or not, is fairly powerful and will pull your hand around as you use. This can cause the sander to skip off the wall which can damage your hand and the wall if you are not careful. Refrain from using the drywall sander with one hand because you lack the control to keep the power sander from wandering off the spot. Instead, use two hands to apply even and firm pressure on the sander.