We’ve lived in some hot, dusty places before. But when we stepped back into our place after the mud, sanding and texture was complete on the new walls, it was like taking a trip into outer space…cold, dusty, and surreal.
The guy who had been working on the sheetrock had asked to borrow our electric sander, because he said it would be a lot faster than using the handheld abrasive sponges we had bought for sanding. Although we noticed this new method was kicking up a lot of dust, for the sake of expediency we let him continue. After a few hours we left the farm, since I didn’t particularly like sitting around wearing a heavy duty mask.
When it was safe to return, a coat of white dust had settled over every surface in the house. It was one small step toward completing the upstairs renovation and one giant mess to clean up!
The odd thing was, in our haste to start getting the place ready to paint, we didn’t stop to consider why it was so blasted cold in the house. The furnace had been upgraded when we put in air conditioning, but we were building fires just to keep the house around 60 degrees. Periodically, we would have a mini heart attack when the freeze detection alarm would go off with the same intensity as if our house was being broken into.
I was using the Shop-Vac on counters, floors, and even walls after I found trying to mop up the dust with water was turning it into a paste. I didn’t want to pull out our nice vacuum, and after a few days I had permanently clogged the filter in the Shop-Vac. I think seeing that filter made my husband realize we might have a problem with the filters in the house, so he went and checked them.
Sure enough, there was so much sheetrock dust in the filters that it was preventing air from flowing through the system and heating up the house. By the time we figured all this out, however, we had burned through the propane in our storage tank and had to call the company to come out and fill us up. There was a couple day turnaround, so we once again left the dustbowl to spend some more time with family in a guest room.
If I had to do it over again, we would not have brought any clothes, furniture, or cooking appliances into the house before drywall was complete. I had thought by moving some of these items into the corner of the house farthest from the work that they would be protected from the dust, but sadly that wasn’t the case.
Instead, we painstakingly cleaned dust out of every shoe, handbag, coffee pot, drawer, or other item that had the misfortune of being in the house at the time. Meanwhile, I tried as politely as I could to respond to friends or family who wondered about how nice it must be to have some time off from work. Nice is not how I would describe living on the moon.