On San Gabriel Drive Jerry had a serious shop vac, a big orange canister of the kind you could use on a construction site. We had an old basement, and the shop vac sucked up all kinds of dust and spider webs and dead mice. He used it outside as well, as a blower to gather up the fall leaves.
Sara’s basement in the house I’m going to be in is also old, and so I ordered a shop vac. Instead of the big thing I expected, I got this little R2D2 reminiscent vac with plastic parts. It’s not nearly as sturdy or powerful or large as I anticipated, but the suction is OK and I think it will do the job. Archie loved it, and vacuumed the empty downstairs to his heart’s content.