Q: I've heard that there is a product you can spray on the floor before sanding to control the amount of dust while you're sanding hardwood floors. Is there such a thing? What other tips do you have to keep the mess at a minimum? – LMAA, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

A: Tom Silva replies : I am not aware of any product that can be sprayed on the floor to control dust, but there are a number of steps you can take to prevent your house from becoming covered in it. Make sure your sander has a vacuum system attached to suck up any immediate dust and debris. To contain the dust it misses, cover door openings with plastic and seal them with tape. To suck dust out of the house altogether, put a fan in a window and set it to exhaust. Always wear a good dust mask so you don't inhale the dust. There's no way to prevent all the dust, but if you take these precautions you and your home should survive a sanding relatively dust-free.

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