Monday, September 30, 2013

dumb dumb dumb

Really, really dumb.  Last week we had concrete poured and the weather was balmy, verging on hot.  I had windows wide open to catch the breeze and laundry hanging on every clothesline.  Then the guy came back to cut the concrete--put those little slits through the sections with a loud saw-like contraption.

Fun fact about concrete cutting:  it kicks up a lot of dust.

A LOT of dust.  My yard looked like this:

The difference is that people in Oklahoma in 1935 shut their windows and chinked the cracks with old newspapers and rags.  I, on the other hand, did not.  Nope, I left the whole house wide open to let in the fresh air. 

As a result of my stupidity there's a fine layer of concrete dust settled upon every. single. surface. in this house.  Baseboards.  Corners.  Books.  Tables.  Walls.  Doors.  My bare feet scrape in the grit on the floor and--I do not kid--you can see footprints where we walk across the wood floor. 

Saturday the wind picked up and we watched the dust swirl around our front yard, kicking it up and resettling it in new spots.  Mr. G played basketball and each bounce created a cloud of dust at his feet.  I wiped off the kitchen counter several times during the day just to see it get covered up again with another layer of finely ground concrete particles.

Thank goodness it rained Saturday night and knocked some of the dust down.  But I'm still moving from room to room with a microcloth wiping my tchotkes and window blinds.  This stuff won't vaccum up, either.  You've got to wipe it up by hand, one square foot at a time.

Later I learned that concrete dust is one of the worst things to inhale.  I woudn't have guessed this of course, because the guy cutting it onle wore earphones for protection, though I realize a face mask would have interfered with the cigarette held between his lips. 


  1. Wow, this sounds awful. To me it would require 'all hands on deck' to clean up the house.

  2. When Rob and I first moved into our house, a piece of farmland a half mile down the road kicked up an amazing dust storm --several times over the course of a month. It was just before the fields would be planted, and I think the field had been plowed in the fall. The road we live on is called Sand Prairie for a reason. You could literally watch the brown cloud move from the field, through our tree line, and into our yard. We DID keep the windows and doors closed and we still had a fine coating of brown dust on everything. Several times. Once Rob saw the farmer down there, and went down to talk to him --he didn't care about anyone downwind, he was just pissed that the land he'd rented was blowing away. Thank goodness that only happened that one year --I don't know if it was the weather, or if the guy farming the land changed his plowing practices, but we were worried that was going to be a yearly problem!

  3. Oopsie... what a mess for you. :( Dust seeps in EVERYWHERE even with windows closed, but I imagine you just had a thicker layer than had the windows been closed... feeling for ya...

  4. When we lived in El Paso, keeping the windows closed did not keep the dust out. I imagine you would have dust no matter what... but oh, I can imagine the pain of regret right now that you are suffering. (Not as much suffering as the worker making dumb choices for his lungs, but still...)

    How could you have known it would be such a dusty job? I sure didn't know until now!

  5. Oh, no!! I would cry. Just stand in the middle of the dust and cry. Then put wet wipes on all the kids' feet.

  6. Oh no! I'm so sorry.

    When our house was being painted and the trim replaced under the eaves, a ton of dirt, insulation fluff and probably old squirrel droppings came in through all our windows. I am still cleaning the woodwork. And the debris also fell down the vent pipe for our kitchen plumbing and completely blocked it and I had to dig it out with a coat hangar and my fingers, while hanging out of the kitchen window and praying that there wasn't a wasps' nest in the pipe.

  7. Yuck!

    They're filming "Dumb and Dumber To" here....

  8. Oh no! I know that kind of dust. No fun. It is the worst to clean up.

    We have road construction going on three blocks from our house. I am constantly feeling badly for the people who live on that road and all the dust that must be over their whole houses and cars. It started in May and won't be done for another month or so. I can't imagine. It is a pain in a butt to drive around the construction but I won't complain about it. At least I don't live RIGHT THERE. Ugh.

  9. What a major pain in the you know what. It would have been nice if the guy grinding the concrete had warned you ahead of time that this is what was going to happen. Apparently he didn't have much of a clue considering he didn't wear so much as a face mask himself. You wonder which planet he came from.

  10. You won't make that mistake again.......................what a pain all that dust

  11. Ugh! Hopefully a few more rains will fall and get it settled properly. Doesn't concrete dust feel horrible? I'm getting nails-across-a-blackboard shivers just thinking about it...

  12. Good luck with the clean up. Steve once cut a bunch of concrete blocks for a landscaping project, and he was about 3 feet from 2 open windows. A year later, I would still find spots of concrete dust in the house.


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