The good thing with concrete floors is that they do not need to be completely removed and replaced when they start to look worn down. With proper grinding and polishing, the initial charm and beauty of old concrete floors can be brought back. Concrete grinding is, however, not a job for those who are accustomed to throwing caution to the wind, as there are real health and safety risks involved. The grinding action of the grinder's rotating discs used to make concrete surfaces smooth and level has the potential to generate large clouds of carcinogenic concrete dust at the work site, and this poses a serious human health hazard. If you are going to perform a concrete grinding job by yourself, it is important that you be aware of how you can keep dust levels down, so you can protect yourself and others from getting exposed to the health-deteriorating concrete dust.
Follow these tips to ensure you stay safe and minimise the amount of dust produced during your DIY concrete grinding undertaking.
Protect yourself first
Your first and perhaps most important line of defence against concrete dust generated when you are grinding concrete is wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). There are many different types of PPE that will be required for the job, but to specifically protect yourself from concrete dust, you will need respirators and eye protection. This way, the harmful dust won't be able to get into your lungs or eyes.
If you live in a region that experiences prolonged summers, then you really appreciate it when it rains. The rain waters your lawn and garden, but also reduces the amount of dust that flies in the air when you are on the road. The same effect can be achieved when you grind with water. Hosing down the surface of your concrete floors as you go on with the grinding will help limit dust levels in the air. The water traps dust particles before they can spread in the surrounding environment.
Install dust suppression systems
You might not be able to prevent your concrete grinders from producing dust when they are being used, but you can definitely do something to make sure your equipment reduces the amount of dust being spread into the air. Equip your grinders with HEPA filters to help catch the dust before it can pollute the surrounding areas, and lead to severe health complications. Alternatively, you can ask someone else to clean after you with a HEPA vacuum cleaner, so as to trap the dust immediately.