Q: The drywall guys left lots of plaster dust ground into our nice oak floor. What’s the best way to start cleaning it?
A: You should have a word with the plaster guys for not completely covering and protecting the floor. You are going to have to be very careful how you deal with this. Absolutely, under no circumstance, should you attempt to wash this off. In a recent issue of NWFA magazine there was a similar case presented. New floor. Pre finished with micro bevel. It is beyond me how people can make a mess all over this floor and not take steps to protect it. They vacuumed and then mopped the floor. The floor then cupped, with some boards actually cracking. It turns out, the water mixed with the drywall dust between the boards and reconstituted it, thus turning it back into active drywall patch. The new floor had to be replaced. Vacuum and vacuum until all the dust is removed.
P.S. You can also try using a micro weave dust mop. If need be, spray very small amounts on it, and wipe the floor one section at a time. Do this only after you feel you have captured all you can with the vacuum.
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