Concrete blasting is an efficient and cost-effective way to clean up any kind of concrete. You can give concrete a light blast to give it a light clean to get it ready for anchoring a new coating. Or you can give it a heavy blast that will remove all the weak pieces of concrete that might need repair or replacement.
Blasting is widely used to clean, strip and texture the surface of industrial concrete floors, walls, and structures. Concrete blasting involves propelling small, coarse pieces, usually sand, at high speed to clean or etch a surface.
Concrete blasting will remove dirt and grime as well as paint, rust, and even the surface of the concrete, leaving it clean and fresh for the next part of the process.
Generally, sand is used for concrete blasting. A range of projectiles can be blasted at concrete, from water to steel shot, that will take off various surface depths depending on your needs.
Even though concrete blasting is synonymous with the word sandblasting, in 2002, the law changed to stop blasters from using silica sand, river sand, beach sand, and other white sand. Sand with over 1% crystalline silica constitutes a health hazard from silicosis and cancer to workers and others around a worksite.
Abrasive blasting is the more common term used nowadays.
Blasting media that can be used are media like glass beads, walnut shells, steel shots, steel grit, soda, crushed glass, metal slag, aluminium oxide, water, dry ice and others. Each type of projectile has its own advantages and disadvantages. Grit-based media generally give better cutting or stripping abilities, and bead-based media gives better shine and surface consistency.
Many of these media types can be reused or recycled, adding an environmental advantage and benefit to using blasting on your concrete.
If you are sensitive to chemicals, then blasting your concrete instead will limit your exposure to hazardous chemicals more than chemical concrete strippers will! There are risks to concrete blasting, but exposure to chemicals is usually limited.
Blasting will save time if time is of the essence, and you need the concrete prepared in a hurry. A chemical stripper can take days or weeks to work, and a mechanical hand tool will not be fast, depending on the amount you need to be blasted.
Generally, larger surfaces will benefit time-wise from being blasted over other methods. With the power of the machine behind the person, stripping concrete back can be as fast as the person wielding the blaster can move along.
Blasting concrete takes less time than other methods if an economical way to clean your concrete areas is a priority. Blasting can often be done by a single person, saving time and wages.
Hiring a professional sandblaster will make the job go faster. You’ll also get a much better job than letting the Handyman loose with a hired blaster. A professional will leave you with a surface ready for primers and paint, and note any areas that need repairs before they go.
Blasting concrete primarily aims to prepare the surfaces for a new coating or to reveal the stone within the concrete for decorative or slip resistance purposes.
If you think you might have weak or rotten concrete, blasting it will reveal the “laitance” areas. This means you can deal with them before starting structural changes or painting over them.
If you have a lot of rust or pain or even another coating that you need to remove, blasting is likely to get them all off and leave the desired ‘roughness” or concrete surface profile that you’ll need for the next step of the process.
To measure the roughness of the blasted concrete, professionals use the CSP or Concrete Surface Profile. Its system of grading concrete surfaces was developed by the Coating Repair Institute and is depicted with a series of ten rubber mouldings. Each rubber chip has a different roughness, so you know how far you need to blast to get a particular coating type to adhere.
Often concrete blasting is all that’s needed to prepare a surface. Blasting will eliminate all the steps of sanding, degreasing, descaling and use of wire brushes, etc. Blasting can save up to 75% of the time when compared to hand cleaning – and that includes setting up and cleaning up both processes!
Once your concrete is blasted, you’ll find the coating you put over the top of it will stay on longer and look better for longer. Like a lot of things, the better the preparation, the better the finish will be!
Blasting is not a DIY job. Judging the correct size of the abrasive, the amount of pressure needed, and the application method is a tricky combination. Getting it right is easy for the professional who knows their equipment and has the experience to know what will work for your purposes.
Another underrated benefit of blasting concrete is that you can round off edges and soften corners. The abrasive material will corrode the concrete it is aimed at and can smoothen and round out areas that need it.
If we have convinced you that concrete blasting has many advantages and benefits for you, then please, give us a call, and let’s chat about what concrete you need blasted and when.
We have been professionals in concrete blasting Melbourne for many years and know exactly how to blast concrete and get the result that you need.
Whatever type of concrete floor you have, the best way to get it blasted is through a professional company that has the equipment, time and expertise to get your project sorted asap.
It might cost a little upfront, but in years to come, you’ll still be walking over and admiring that professional blasting job we did for you!