When removing existing carpet and cushion remember that anything that happens to fall onto the carpet has the potential of staying in the carpet, depending on the type of vacuum and the maintenance schedule. One never knows what lies beneath. While the particulate that is not vacuumed is not going to be a real airborne issue, once the installer begins to remove carpet and cushion, that’s when it has the potential of becoming airborne. Unfortunately, we are seeing cases where drugs are being manufactured in a home and in several instances, these are rental dwellings. The chemicals are extremely hazardous and many of them end up in the carpet and cushion.
Ceramic and stone setters use dry cutting blades that can attach to a small grinder. These are great as a convenience cutting indoors for the setter but can create a lot of dust, which again is a carcinogen. Unfortunately, with the small grinders, there really isn’t a way of attaching a dust containment shroud. Here’s a technique that I use to minimize dust. Take a five gallon bucket, cut a hole on the side of the bucket the same diameter as your vacuum hose about 3/4 of the height of the bucket. Attach the hose to the bucket and now you have a dust containment system for your dry blade. Place the tile on the bucket, turn on the vacuum and make your cut. The bucket will also serve as your garbage can for the small pieces that get cut so you won’t have to worry about sweeping up all of your cut pieces. Thinset and grouts mixed indoors can create more airborne carcinogenic particulates. Yes that powder that is inhaled while pouring the bag in the bucket is cancer causing. Remember, if you wouldn’t want to breathe it in, neither does your customer.