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A guide abrasive blast cleaning, an industrial deep cleaning and surface prep technique

Abrasive blast cleaning – or direct pressure blasting – is an effective, efficient way of deep cleaning industrial surfaces and structures. In this blog, we address whether abrasive blast cleaning is safe for clients, contractors, and the structures we blast clean. If you have any questions along the way, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with our concrete repairs & rehabilitation team by calling or filling in our online form.

What is abrasive blast cleaning?

Firstly, let us explore what blast cleaning services are. Blast cleaning – particularly the abrasive kind – is used to completely eradicate rust, chemicals, graffiti, corrosion damage, and more – it’s not a gentle method. It’s suitable for surfaces and structures made of almost any material, so, quite frankly – it has to use a rough and rigorous method (or as the name suggests, abrasive!). All blast cleaning types use a hose-like device to forcefully propel air, water, liquids, or media directly onto a surface to deep clean or rehabilitate its aesthetics. Often, blast cleaning is used to prepare surface areas for further specialist construction work, too.

Learn more about the types of blast cleaning by visiting our designated page

Why wouldn’t blast cleaning services be safe?

It might seem bizarre for us, concrete repairs specialists, to discuss the risks of a popular service we offer. But, we have to (and moreover, we want to). You’ll then be able to make an informed decision about blast cleaning services.

So let’s get to it!

Much like any specialist industrial service, blast cleaning can be dangerous if completed incorrectly or clumsily. Abrasive blasting is a more intense, and, furthermore – dangerous type of blast cleaning. This is because:

  1. Firstly, we propel debris and media at high force along with water and air. If done incorrectly, it can cause harm to the skin and eyes.
  2. Secondly, abrasive blasting generates atmospheric dust and toxins that can be easily inhaled.
  3. Thirdly, abrasive blast cleaning is noisy.

Learn more about the hazards of abrasive blast cleaning on the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) website

Cleaning safety procedures for abrasive blast cleaning

When thinking about the health & safety considerations of abrasive blast cleaning, there are several: keeping the contractor safe, keeping the client safe, protecting the building or structure receiving the work, and ensuring the environment is not harmed by abrasive blast cleaning. This can be achieved by:

  1. Hiring a specialist contractor with full, up-to-date training on using blast cleaning services
  2. Your contractor should have considerable experience in blast cleaning for previous clients
  3. They should be aware of any potential hazards, and know how to recognise and prevent them (for example, atmospheric dust and noise exposure are the two applicable hazards).
  4. Your contractor should also be familiar with the equipment’s safety features: propelling devices should be fitted with`quiet blasting nozzles` which also decrease air and grit velocity, and `silencers` can be fitted to dump valves [1]
  5. Knowing how to properly prepare the environment before blast cleaning is important
  6. Choosing the right type of blast cleaning can prevent errors and potentially dangerous activity (for example, abrasive blasting is NOT suitable for delicate surfaces and structures, but instead a gentle type like soda blasting can be used). Types of abrasive blasting include:

– Wet blasting

– Dry blasting

– Sandblasting

– Vacuum blasting

– Soda blasting

  1. They must don the appropriate PPE clothing & equipment; especially eye goggles, a face mask covering the nose and mouth, gloves, and sound-cancelling or reducing headphones.
  2. Arguably the most important point, your contractor needs to know how to complete blast cleaning services correctly and safely

Book your free feasibility survey today

Keen to learn if abrasive blast cleaning is the correct deep cleaning/surface preparation service for your project? Look no further. At CCUK, we are one of the UK’s leading construction companies offering blasting cleaning and preparation techniques – and we’re based right here in Yorkshire! For further information or to book your free feasibility survey & cost analysis, contact us today.

Continue reading about blast cleaning

If you like the sound of blast cleaning but you’re still unsure, why not check out the wealth of blogs and resources we have available?

Read our dedicated page

Explore our expert blogs:

Who does soda blasting near me?

Soda blasting and sand blasting: which is best?

Is hydroblasting an effective cleaning method for industrial surfaces?

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