How to sandblast a building

If you’ve ever sanded something, you know that sanding can be a long and frustrating process. But it’s necessary to get a material back to its original surface.

What about for something the size of a building, though?

You can’t take a handful of 80 grit and attack the wall. You need something bigger. That’s where sandblasting comes in.

What is sandblasting?

Sandblasting is propelling high-speed abrasive at a target to clean or strip it. The process is usually called sandblasting as a general term even though it’s technically called “abrasive blasting”. The material can be sand, but for applications that don’t require that level of abrasive you can use glass beads, pulverized corn cobs or walnut shells, or any number of other abrasives. It depends how much material you want to remove.

Before you begin

Take a look at the surface you’re blasting. How tough is it? Older brick and surfaces that aren’t as durable require a little more care. Sandblasting with a heavy abrasive can not only take off whatever paint or staining is on the surface, but tear up the structure beneath. The type of surface will determine how strong of an abrasive you need.

You’ll want to mask off any areas that you don’t want sandblasted in the immediate vicinity, too. If you overblast you can cause damage to sensitive surfaces you weren’t planning to clean. Make sure you’ve also blocked off the area to foot traffic so you don’t run the risk of injuring other people too.

The equipment

A sandblast setup includes a tank that holds the abrasive, a large air compressor, a nozzle that sprays the air with the abrasive, and protective clothing for the wielder.

The operator should be trained on the equipment. It’s best to employ a professional for any sandblasting job. It’s not just the abrasive that can strip structure away. If you don’t use the sandblaster at the correct distance or angle you might cause damage as well. Testing a small area first is the best way to make sure you’re not going to hurt anything.

Getting someone who knows what they’re doing to choose abrasive, prepare the surface and make sure everything is correct is key. Contact JK Industries today for your next sandblasting job and we’ll make sure it’s done right.