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ben319 07-07-2009 11:41 AM

Sheetrock dust under carpeting in basement... Please help.
Hello everyone. I'm in the process of moving into a new house with my family and I've been planning to live in the basement. The basement carpeting was installed earlier today. I went downstairs to check on the job right before they put the padding down and noticed a pretty thick layer of drywall dust covering the floor. I told the worker that I wanted to sweep it up and that I'd be back in 15 minutes, then I ran over to the grocery store and got a broom and dust pan (there wasn't any in the house. It's pretty much empty). When I got back he had already put the padding down. I asked him about the dust and he said he had cleaned it up, which was a lie because he didn't have anything to sweep it up with. So now there's a layer of drywall dust underneath the carpeting down there and I'm a little worried about breathing it in all the time and other negative effects it can have on me and the room/house.
I don't blame anyone but myself for this. The construction workers should have cleaned it up, but I could have checked it out earlier and cleaned it up as well. Placing blame now is pointless anyway.
Is there any way to get the dust out from under the carpet without destroying it? Is the dust completely covered and should I just not worry about it? It's industrial carpeting. Any help and suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

ben319 07-07-2009 04:28 PM


jogr 07-08-2009 10:06 AM

Ben, the dust is trapped under there. It's not coming up and getting into the air.

Brik 07-08-2009 10:17 AM

Yea, no worries. Only thing that might be an aesthetic issue is if there were a glob of joint compound of the floor and that was carpeted over you could have a bump that you would feel under foot. Ask me how I know about this!

diy'er on LI 07-08-2009 03:10 PM

hmmm, good quesiton. (consider this response the "thinking aloud" ramblings of a scientist, not really a DIY'er..)

Ok, if it were something overly hazardous like asbestos dust, of course it would have to be removed. But asbestos is harmful becuase it is like microscopic shards of glass that get caught in your lungs. It's "bad for you" becuase your lungs can't clear the tiny sharp particles. Most of the time, hazardous home improvement materials are either like asbestos/fiberglass, or they are toxic/carcinogenic compounds that degass.

Drywall dust is gypsum, paper, and whatever junk is joint compound. Much larger particles. Really, it's like chalk. I believe your lungs CAN clear that out. And the fact that the particles are larger means they are less likely to escape from under the pad. Also, nothing is degassing from drywall or joint compound (unless it's made in china or georgia pacific toughrock heheheh).

I think it's not really a big deal. I think the degassing new carpet and padding pose more of a potential hazard than the dust beneath. I think you're good.

Hope this helps!

ben319 07-08-2009 05:38 PM

Thank you all for the assurance. =]

Homedweller 09-15-2009 08:29 AM

Same problem, Drywall/Sheetrock dust under carpet

We have the same problem. Drywall/Sheetrock dust under carpet.
We moved into a house that had white powder all over the carpet. The house had just been professionally cleaned. We had the carpet cleaned again. When the carpet dried, there was even more powder than the first time. We decided to pull back the carpet because someone suggested that the drywall could have gotten into it. What we found was a layer of drywall dust under the carpet and matting, on the concrete. Whenever the carpet was cleaned, the powerful vac pulled it to the surface.

The problem is so pervasive that we now have to pull all of the carpet, clean the floor under it, and replace it with new carpet.

We have read a lot of information which explained that longterm exposure to drywall dust can lead to lung problems and other autoimmune disorders and even lung cancer (you may want to do a google search) Here is one site

We spoke with someone else who said said that this is actually a common problem that home occupants are unaware of because they can't see the dust once the carpet is installed...especially because most people are not able to supervise the workers as the home is being built. So in all, to get everything up quickly, the workers cut corners. When the carpet installers arrive, they don't clean up the dust that the drywall installers should have cleaned upon completion.

So you may be fine if you never clean the carpet....:no:

Hope this helps you or others! :-)

Maintenance 6 09-15-2009 03:35 PM

From your website: Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. There are other risk factors, but exposure to asbestos is the most important factor.
I am always a bit cautious to carefully read anything published by any "mesothelioma" organization. Are you aware of who is behind those websites, magazine ads and TV commercials? Funny thing, I never see statistical back up or any researchable sources for their statements. It's all carefully worded and very generic. Almost as though a lawyer.............:whistling2:

Believe what you choose to. If I beleive what is posted on there, then ALL insulation produced through the 1970s contained asbestos which is far from true.

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