Dust Extraction & Controlling Jobsite Dust

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Controlling dust at the jobsite.

A good dust control strategy is essential to being a professional contractor and keeping your customer happy throughout a construction project.

I’ve learned early on that learning how to control remodeling dust by keeping it out of the air and non-remodeled portion of your clients home is often more important than the quality of your work.

Dust Extraction at Jobsite

There is nothing worse than having to spend an hour or more cleaning the job site after a sanding, cutting or drilling application created airborne dust. Worse yet is to have to pay for a professional to clean the site because the airborne dust you created stetted everywhere in the house.

Dust inhalation can cause occupational asthma, silicosis, cancer and other debilitating respiratory diseases. When cutting masonry and concrete, it is vital to take precautions to protect yourself against the silica in those products.

I’ve written several articles on best practices to control remodeling dust. One of those practices is to capture dust at the source using dust extractor vacuums. This means using a quality tool-activated HEPA vacuum to suck up the dust at the source, as it is created.

Dust Extraction at Jobsite

Capture dust at the source in two ways:

  • Have a helper hold a HEPA vacuum at the tool making the dust, or;
  • Use a tool activated vacuum and a dust extractor hood that attaches to the tool and captures the dust during the cutting or drilling application.

Dust Extraction At The Job Site

Dust control and dust extraction shouldn’t be an after-thought and should be incorporated into your operations to maximize your work along many dust-controlling practices.

Dust Extraction at Jobsite

If you take the time to tool-up properly and set-up your construction site for dust extraction and control you will enjoy the following benefits:

  •  Save time and money with your clean up time
  •  Increase your production and efficiency
  •  Improve your work site air quality, less air pollution
  •  Professional approach to your work, impress your customers
  •  A clean and safe working environment
  •  Compliance with laws and regulations
  •  Improved quality of the finished product

Click here to read over 400 forum posts on dust management and vacuums.

Click here to see how I capture dust and 7 useful dust extractor features.

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Robert Robillard is the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter, Assistant Editor of Tool Box Buzz and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. Rob hosts the Concord Carpenter... Read more

15 comments on “Dust Extraction & Controlling Jobsite Dust

  1. Kevin

    Some good information here Rob.
    What is that red box with the filter on it? a small neg air machine?
    There seem to be more manufacturers introducing pulse-cleaning action vacs.


  2. Henry Alicea

    I use festool hepa vacuum with a Oneida dust deputy on top this way you only have to empty the box on top and after 20 or more empty trips the bag remains empty. Love them so much I own three a CTL 26 AC a CT26 and CT 36
    The ac is for my planex sander.

  3. Jason

    I have been struggling to select the right system to go with since it doesn’t seem like the industry is looking to make dust collection interchangeable. May have to go Bosch, even though I am a huge Milwaukee fan.

  4. Andrew

    Good article Robert! It is important for your clients projects and they do notice.

    We started a few years ago using a shopvac hooked to our miter saw to help cut down on dust. Then the green kool aid was taken and now we try and incorporate dust control in as much as we can. We have the Midi with the tool trigger and it is great.

    Guys need to realize they can buy after market adapters to trigger their shop vacs they already own. Add in a bag and good cartridge filter and you can achieve good results without blowing a budget.

  5. Christopher

    I’d love to try this Bosch Hepa filter while grinding out masonry joints. We tried using a rented Hilti and it just couldn’t handle all the dust. Fair to say maybe the unit needed to be serviced cause generally Hilti is a beast. We were working around students from UofT in Toronto and wanted to better protect from them from airborne silica. I myself was wearing a respirator. Will give the Bosch a try when I can! Thanks for the article

  6. Maynard

    For many years we didn’t use any type of dust control and we were cutting cement fiber board”. Then we went to dust mask then respirators now respirators with hepa vac. Silica is bad news.

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