Sandblasting offers a quick solution to that tedious task of preparing for repainting, finishing, or staining. Traditionally, sand paper is used or a sanding machine.
Sandblasting uses a strong blast of air or water pushed through a nozzle using high pressure. Sand, or other abrasive materials, is incorporated with the air or water which conveniently scrapes off any remaining dirt or old paint on the surface being prepared.
Sandblasting not only makes the task easier, as it ensures all the hard to reach nooks and crannies are also smoothed out, it makes the entire task faster and easier. The only thing is, sandblasting requires previous experience, it is advised that you let a professional undertake the task for you as this requires a good amount of skill and attention to safety measures.
Sandblasting can be invasive to the surrounding as it often uses air in high pressure, with one wrong move, this force can be directed in the wrong spot and you end up incurring more damage than you intended. This is why aside from sandblasting prices you should also take into consideration some safety and precautionary add-ons which can add up to the total cost of sandblasting.
Aside from preparation for painting and finishing, sandblasting is often used for cleaning surfaces that might have been vandalized, like public walls. Not all surfaces can be sandblasted however, there still is a lot of hard surfaces that can be impervious to the process. Wood often used for construction and of course, carpentry works can be sandblasted, especially for peeling layers of old paint. Bricks are often what make up dirty public walls, sandblasting is a quick and easy way to clean this. Concrete or pavement that needs repainting is a perfect material for sandblasting. Cast Iron for sculpture and other construction work can also be sandblasted efficiently. Vehicle Exteriors can also be sandblasted to prep for repainting.
Cost of Sandblasting
How much does sandblasting cost? It depends on the kind of sandblasting company that is hired. Some companies base their sandblasting prices on the intensity of sandblasting required by the work surfaces. For this kind of pricing scheme, it usually costs around $1-3 per square foot for very light sandblasting, this is about 1/32 of an inch deep. Light sandblasting, around 1/16 of an inch deep would cost $2- $5 per square foot; Medium sandblasting, about ¼ of an inch deep costs $4- $8; Heavy Sandblasting, 3/8 of an inch deep would cost about $7- $16 per square foot.
Some companies would charge by the hour. At an average, sandblasting costs for labor is around $45 to $65 per hour, this is for light to average sandblasting work. For heavy and intensified sandblasting, this could reach up to about $75 per hour. There’s also the cost for the materials used for the work. It is normally at about $50 for a 20-kilo bag of sand. For a typical sandblasting work for large areas, one would normally spend about $600 upwards to get the job done. The area and the time needed to complete the task can greatly affect how much does sandblasting cost ultimately.
Aside from just plain sand, other media can be utilized for sandblasting. These different types of media can determine the intensity of abrasiveness that will be applied to the surface. One of the gentlest media used in the industry for sandblasting is walnut shells, corn cob is also in the same criteria, these are also biodegradable so it doesn’t have a big as much environmental impact as other media. Pumice, however, is the gentlest medium there is, this is often used on soft wood surfaces.
Glass beads are also used as a medium, priced for the nice, smooth finish it leaves on surfaces. Plastic beads, aluminum oxide, steel grit, silicon carbide, dry ice is also considered as a medium for particular sandblasting task. A sandblasting professional can help you choose the perfect medium for your project.
Things to consider
Sandblasting was initially intended for commercial and industrial use. This was usually done to clean large areas of brick walls, or to clean metal surfaces on construction equipment as well as giant machines that are normally seen on construction sites. A good application of this method was utilized on dry docks for ships. Cleaning the underside of massive ships in order to clear these of rust and other materials on the surface, the same also for plane wings and other parts. Sandblasting has enabled large industries to undertake their cleaning and sanding tasks more efficiently in shorter amounts of time. This has also helped in restoration of old automobiles. Homes and DIY aficionados have caught wind of this efficiency thus ushering in a niche for sandblasting small scale as well.
Repainting an old paint-chipped wooden house has become easier as half the work of preparing the wooden surfaces can now be done in half the time or even less.
One consideration before choosing to do sandblasting over other methods would be safety. The method is very abrasive to surfaces, especially if intended for thick layers of old paints. The sandblaster should take extra care with where the nozzle of the sandblaster is directed and how long it is directed there. Precautionary measures are required before beginning work, this would entail covering other surfaces that will not be sandblasted- this would ultimately help cleaning up the area afterward. Plants are not impervious to sandblasting, it is advisable to keep flora and fauna away from the area being sandblasted as it can damage plants and hurt pets. As for humans, inhaling the dust particles left behind by the process is not good, protective gear should be worn by the sandblaster and a mask. Sand has a high content of silica which can hover in the air after the process, inhaling this substance can cause potential health problems.