When property owners see painted brick, they may chalk it up to a lost cause, especially for older masonry. However, there’s a way to remove layers of paint and deep-set grime from bricks using an abrasive cleaning method known as sandblasting. It’s a technique that requires an experienced contractor to understand the correlation between sandblasting and the condition of the brick. Therefore, if you’re interested in this service, you should first understand what to expect during the process of sandblasting brick.
Choosing the Right Method and Material
When you hire a contractor for sandblasting, they will first inspect the property to determine the method and material best suited for the job. There are two types of sandblasting methods – wet and dry. For stripping old paint and grime from brick, dry sandblasting is the preferred method, as wet blasting can erode the mortar and the porous mortar joints may absorb some of the moisture. Also, in terms of material, small-grit sand and quartz are best suited to treat brick, as they’re sturdy enough to blast through the surface paint and stains but not the brick itself.
Work Area Preparation
Whether it’s some graffiti on the side of a building or an entire office space, the area being sandblasted needs to be appropriated prepped to avoid damage to the brick or widespread distribution of hazardous materials like lead paint. Some steps to prepping the area include:
- Employing Safety Measures: Contractors will use drop cloths or plastic tarps and cover surfaces not meant to be cleaned. They will also use HEPA-filtered air filtration units and protective gear.
- Working Down the Brick: The surface of the brick needs to be dried before sandblasting. The contractor will also be on the lookout for streaks or running fluids while sandblasting.
- Testing: Often, the best method is to test the sandblasting pressure on a small surface, moving from least-invasive up until the paint or grime is removed without compromising the brick.
It’s important you hire a company with the appropriate lead RRP licensing, as they will know how to properly seal the work area to prevent the spread of contaminating materials, especially lead paint.
The final step you should expect during the process of sandblasting brick is damage inspection and cleanup. Though, with an experienced team, there should be minimal damage – if any – to the brick. Sandblasting is a complex process that requires a seasoned professional. At Fiber Control, Inc., our team has successfully applied this method to bricks for years, and our expertise in dealing with hazardous materials has ensured the occupants of the property are protected. If you would like to know more about this process or our other services, contact us today.