If you're renovating an old house for a customer, then they may have asked you to sand some of the floors rather than replace them. If the floors are in useable condition but need levelling or have decades of varnish on them, then you may have decided to use a drum sander to sand them down.
These sanders are great for heavy-duty floor work, allowing you to turn a difficult job into a quick one. However, before you hire or buy a sander, it's worth thinking about the mess it will make.
If you can, you should consider using a sander that has dust bags attached. What are the benefits?
Better Dust Control
Drum sanders make light work of heavy-duty sanding jobs. They can easily strip away embedded varnish or paint to get you back to bare wood. They can also help you make an old wonky floor more even again.
The downside of using these sanders is the mess. They don't gently polish the surface of the wood; they eat it up and spit it out.
If you use a sander that has a bag attachment, then dust and debris go into the bag rather than all over the house. When the bag is full, you bin it and put in a fresh one.
Better Working Conditions
You can, and should, wear a mask and even googles when you're using a drum sander. However, this doesn't stop you getting surrounded by dust. This doesn't make for a comfortable working environment, and you may not be able to see where you're sanding clearly.
If you collect sanding debris in a bag, the room is easier to work in. You can focus on the job in hand rather than trying to see through the dust blowing around you.
You may think that sanding a room only messes up the room itself. If you close all the room's doors, then the mess is contained in that space.
However, this doesn't always work. If your crew are working on other jobs in the house, then your sanding could impact on them. For example, if one of your decorators is painting, then they need dust-free conditions to do a good job.
If dust gets in the room where they are working, it will settle on wet paint. It'll have to be removed, and your decorator may have to start over. If you collect sanding dust in the sander, this is less of an issue.
To take a look at drum sanders with bag collection systems, or to learn about other floor sanders, talk to your equipment supplier.