Exterior Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

The Right Cleaning Process for the Job

Commercial painters know that one of the most important parts of the painting process is to ensure that the surface is clean of debris and other materials prior to painting. This has become an easier part of the job because commercial power washing machines are available that better ensure the integrity of the surface prior to painting. However, for very big jobs you have to know what choice is better – sandblasting or power washing. Let’s consider both in this blog.

Sandblasting is just as it sounds. It uses a jet stream of sand driven by steam or compressed air to clean a surface. Power washing uses a high pressure stream of water to blast away dirt and debris.

When it comes to large jobs where a structure may be made of steel, the general public may not realize that these are surfaces that are subject to the environment and can become worn and need repair if they are not tended to regularly. Structural steel is a unique type of surface that is often better suited to sandblasting. There are several reasons for this.

  • First, sandblasting is able to get deeper into the surface and remove imbedded particles that may remain if only power washing is done. Too, power washing does not remove the old paint – only sandblasting can ensure this occurs. In other words, the sand works as sandpaper to erase the old paint while also ridding the surface of debris and dirt. It also removes rust which a power washer will not be able to do.
  • Sandblasting is cheaper than power washing. This may not seem true at first – but sandblasting can extend the life of your surfaces and that equates to money saved. In the end, you also do not have as much to worry about with corrosion over time. Removing rust prior to refurbishing is the better choice most times when it comes to industrial work.

Now, that does not mean that sandblasting should always be the choice. Water blasting or power cleaning/washing is an equally appropriate option in many scenarios. For example, power washing is appropriate for a wide variety of surfaces which is not true of sandblasting. Too, you are able to adjust the strength of the blast which allows you to tailor the job to various parts of a residential or commercial exterior.

Don’t make your decision about prepping a surface without speaking to an expert. The professionals at University Painters, Inc. will be happy to work with you! Call us 800-390-4848.