Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Is “Dust Free” a new standard or just a fable?

Dust Free at the Source

Our prospective customers are often skeptical when we tell them we can remove their tile and thinset “Dust Free”. They ask if they should remove all of the furniture in their home, “just in case”. They ask us if we provide and put up plastic and tape, “just as a back up”.

  In fact many confess after the job is done that they were really only expecting "Dust Control"  or “Low Dust” or even “Minimized Dust” in their homes. They never dreamed it could really be “Dust Free”. When asked why, many have said that they were told by professional demolition companies that “Dust Free” tile and thinset removal is only a “Myth” or is “Just Not Possible”. Many were convinced that “Dust Free” could only be a bunch of marketing hype.

It is time to set the record straight and have an honest conversation about what is and what isn’t possible regarding dustless tile and thinset demolition. Let’s first define “Dust Free”. Dust Free when used in the context of this blog post is actually, scientifically speaking, “Virtually Dust Free”. Let me explain. When we refer to Dust Free we are using this in the context of using HEPA filtration units and HEPA filtration vacuum systems. So in this context Dust Free can only be as free of dust as HEPA filtration can prevent.

Very fine thinset dust.

Let’s first define HEPA…

[Source -]

What does the term HEPA mean?

HEPA is an acronym for "High Efficiency Particulate Air" or "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance." This acronym refers to a filter that is manufactured, tested, certified, and labeled in accordance with current HEPA filter standards. There are several sub-classes within the HEPA classification. The minimum HEPA category requires the filter to capture 99.97% of the 0.3-micron (0.000012-inch) particles in the air passing through the filter.

What is it that makes HEPA filters so efficient?

The ultra-fine, glass-fiber medium captures microscopic particles that can easily pass through other filters by a combination of diffusion, interception and inertial impaction. To meet the minimum requirements of a HEPA filter, the filter must be tested and certified to prove that it will remove at least 99.97% (9,997 out of 10,000) of particles 0.3-micron in diameter from the air passing through the filter. Particles that size are about 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and 25 to 50 times smaller than we can see. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle (1/1,000,000 of a meter) is the equivalent of stopping a cotton ball with a door screen.

[End of Source Information]

“Dust Free” tile and thinset removal in practical terms, means that we would have to remove dust so fine that we are removing dust that is 25 to 50 times smaller than the human eye can see. It would also mean that we would most likely be leaving your home cleaner than when we arrived!

Floor Busters achieves “Dust Free” by using both HEPA filtration vacuum systems designed for tile and thinset dust removal and HEPA filtration air units that clean and recycle the air in the working areas . We also have each of our removal tools equipped with specialized shrouds that allow us to remove dust particles “Just-In-Time” before they become airborne. Our staff is trained using our entire Dust Free process.
 Dust Free Floor Busters

When it comes to flooring removal, quality Dust-Free Floor Removal is what we do. We specialize in providing professional results that are changing the standards in tile and thinset removal.

Dust-Free means your home does not become contaminated with hazardous material that can affect your health and belongings long after your remodel is complete. Our customers and their homes are not exposed to the consequences and clean-up required by traditional methods of removal.

If one of our competitors tells you that Dust-Free flooring removal is "Just Not Possible" then we invite you to speak with our many satisfied customers and have an honest conversation about our Dust-Free process. 

If you are looking for a professional company with truly environmentally friendly equipment that pays close "Attention To Details" then look no further, Floor Buster of Central Florida delivers.

Please take a look at the VIDEOS on our website for detailed demonstrations and witness Floor Buster's process for Expert Dust-Free Floor Removal.

Why settle for a company that only provides "Dust Control" according to their own standard of control when you can have Floor Buster's innovative process that is Dust-Free!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Problem with Dust and Tile Removal

  So what's the big deal about dust anyway? If you have been around any type of remodeling  project you are sure to have seen a little dust fly. Dust comes in many forms but the type we are discussing here today is silica dust. More specifically we are going to discuss “respirable crystalline silica”.

Silica is one of the most common naturally occurring elements on earth. Many construction materials contain silica. You can find it in products like asphalt, brick, cement, concrete, drywall, grout, thin-set, mortar, stone, sand, and tile. Silica or more specifically crystalline silica in finished products is all around us. So how is it a problem? The problem is when it becomes "respirable crystalline silica”. By blasting, cutting, chipping, drilling or grinding materials that contain silica, ultra fine silica dust powder is created that is hazardous to breath. Most folks do not know that it only takes a very small amount of the very fine silica dust to create a health hazard. In fact OSHA has regulations on Permissible Exposure Levels (PEL). The National Institute for Occupational Safety also has recommended exposure levels. The state of New Jersey even puts out a flyer titled "Dry Cutting & Grinding is RISKY BUSINESS". In this flyer they state "The key to preventing silicosis is to keep dust out of the air". 

So what is Silicosis? Silicosis is a disabling, irreversible and incurable lung disease caused by silica particles that scar your lungs. The lungs react by developing hard nodules and scarring around trapped silica particles. Although severe cases involve those with prolonged exposure, silica dust is truly a hazardous material that should be avoided by all. Inhaling crystalline silica can lead to serious, sometimes fatal illnesses including silicosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis (in those with silicosis), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Breathing this dust has also been linked to kidney disease. 

Tile removal and dust:
Using power tools to remove tile can release massive amounts of fine silica dust into the air. One pound of dust can be generated from an area as small as one square foot. This dust is so fine it gets every where including walls, ceilings, AC vents and even inside cabinets. Using only hand tools can reduce airborne dust somewhat but the trade off is the huge amount of labor involved in comparison to using power tools. Using hand tools will not give you the smooth floor-ready finish that power tools can achieve with a fraction of the effort.

How can you control the dust in tile removal? 

  • Plastic and tape: We have seen plastic and tape used as a barrier but this does nothing for the room you are in and dust ultimately gets spread to other rooms anyway.
  • Wet grinding/chipping: In some states only wet grinding and wet chipping is allowed. while this controls the dust adding water for wet grinding and chipping for tile removal just creates a big muddy mess that no one should have to deal with. 
  • Dust Vacuums: Vacuums are very effect at removing dust. There are two problems with this method. One problem is the vacuum itself. Consumer grade vacuums are not designed to handle a large volume of fine dust. The filters on these types of vacuums plug up easily within ten minutes of use. Plugged vacuums lead to dust blowing out of the vent of the machine and can burn up the motor prematurely. The other problem using vacuums is properly directing the vacuum where it is needed most, the point of contact on chipping hammers, grinders and waste bins.
What is the solution to dust regarding tile removal? Hire a professional that can provide "Virtually Dust Free Tile Removal" services. Floor Busters of Central Florida specialized in this area of service, The heart of our tile removal service is the use of powerful non-clogging industrial Hepa-filtered dust collection vacuums. All power tools including chipping hammers, grinders and even waste collection bins are tooled with vacuum ports that keep the finest dust particles from becoming airborne. The results of our service produce healthier, cleaner and faster tile removal than any DIY or traditional method of removal.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tile Removal 101:

   Traditional Methods Vs Virtually Dust Free

 Traditional methods of tile removal involves chisels, hammers and grinders. Sometimes a worker uses hand tools and sometimes they use power tools. These tools excel at popping/chopping tile loose from the thin-set mud that is used during installation to hold the tiles in place. When the mud is dried the tiles are basically concreted in place. The process of removal becomes a balance of brute force to chisel the tile up, to controlled calculated blows that won't damage the sub-floor below. After the tile is all chipped away and removed the floor is then ground smooth and re-leveled.
   While the mechanics of the removal are pretty straight forward, most Homeowners don't realize that the thin-set mud is transformed into a very, very fine powder. The other thing that most people don't realize is the massive quantity of this dust that is produced. For example a 15' x 15' room is 225 square feet of flooring area. In a room this size the thin-set that has to be removed in order for your sub-floor to be ready for new flooring would weigh approx 225 lbs. Approximately one pound of dust per square foot of flooring.

What is so bad about 225 lbs of very fine dust? The most obvious answer is that there isn't an effective way to contain it once it is airborne. If you talk to folks that have lived in a home and have had their tile removed with traditional methods of removal the story is almost always the same.

The story starts off like this...
"I thought that when they put up the plastic and the tape that this would stop the mess in my home. We have dust in our clothes, dust in out closets, dust on our dishes, dust in our furniture, dust inside our TV and electronics and dust in our AC vents!"

The sad fact is that most Homeowners never factored in the amount of cleaning that is be required after the removal. Even after the the cleaning, dust keeps reappearing on every surface of the home for months. Electronic devices mysteriously malfunction months later. The facts are pretty simple. Thin-set dust contains contains “silica,” a dangerous carcinogenic material which causes silicosis of the lungs, and takes a toll on those who suffer from allergies, asthma or other health conditions. Thin-set dust is so fine that it gets inside your electronic devices and can cause them to malfunction. Thin-set dust can infiltrate your AC system and require you to have your ducts cleaned. Last but not least, the cleanup is always more than you ever thought possible.

Virtually Dust Free Tile Removal is a specialized process that involves state of the art tools designed specifically for the application of tile removal. This process revolutionizes tile removable and is simply remarkable.

How does is work?
The heart of this removal system is powerful industrial Hepa-filtered dust collection vacuums. Chipping hammers, grinders and even waste collection bins are tooled with incredibly powerful vacuum ports that keep finest dust particles from entering the air and escaping into and settling in your home.

The results:
•Healthier tile removal - Toxic materials that can affect your health never become airborne in the first place.
•Clean tile removal - Hundreds of pounds of fine toxic dust (approx.  1 LBS. per square foot of flooring area) never infiltrate every nook and cranny of your home.
•Fast tile removal - Cutting edge tools designed specifically for tile removal skip a massive cleanup process by never creating the mess in the first place.

Information provided by:
Floor Busters of Central Florida, LLC