A lot of houses and commercial spaces still have lead-painted surfaces, seeing as the hazardous material hadn’t been outlawed until 1978. If found, the removal of lead-based paint is one method to ensure the safety of your building’s occupants. However, when considering abatement, it’s important to understand the approaches to lead paint removal and whether sandblasting or pressure washing is a more effective technique.
What is the Difference Between How They Function?
Before we can discuss which of these techniques is more effective at removing lead-based paint, we must first understand how these cleaning mechanisms work.
Sandblasting uses high-pressurize streams of abrasive materials to strip and prepare steel, concrete, or wood surfaces. It’s a more effective and eco-friendly alternative to chemical paint strippers, and sandblasting’s application can be used to remove tough coatings like stucco and concrete.
Pressure washing – also known as waterblasting – deploys high-pressured water in a concentrated stream in an effort to wash away any debris or existing coating on surfaces. This technique is primarily used to clean surfaces.
Which is More Effective at Removing Lead Paint?
While pressure washing is better at removing contaminants like oil and grease from surfaces or stripping decks of their coating, sandblasting is the superior method for removing lead paint. Pressure washing doesn’t effectively remove paint, potentially leaving behind disturbed lead paint which, when dry, can flake and lead to airborne particulates. The abrasive media used in sandblasting, however, has the capacity to penetrate small divots and completely clear a surface of all paint.
What Precautions are Necessary Before Removing Lead Paint?
While sandblasting is more effective than pressure washing at removing lead paint, there is a lot of preparation that is required due to sandblasting’s tendency to create dust and airborne lead particulates, endangering the health of occupants. It is important you hire a company that has the appropriate lead RRP licensing, as they will know how to properly seal the work area to prevent the spread of contamination and will use HEPA-filtered air filtration units to purify the air and safely dispose of the hazardous materials.
At Fiber Control, Inc., we’re aware sandblasting is a more effective method of lead-based paint removal than pressure washing, and we have the licensing and experience necessary to safely remove hazardous materials from your establishment. We also use sandblasting as a means of cleaning and surface preparation for painting projects. Contact us to learn more about sandblasting and our many other services, including asbestos abatement and mold removal.