How to Sandblast Brick Stone Siding
Cleaning brick stone siding with acids and other liquid cleaning agents may not be the best cleaning method to use because acids may cause the building material to become soft. An alternative would be to sandblast the brick stone siding. Sandblasting requires the use of a sandblaster to propel sand at high velocities to etch or clean the surfaces of the siding. Cleaning with acids has its own health hazards, but sandblasting also has potential health hazards that can be prevented by using the proper gear. Here is how to sandblast a brick stone siding.
Step 1 – Preparation
Before starting the sandblasting work, cover the windows with used wooden boards or plywood. Cover other areas that are not brick with tarps or heavy duty adhesive tape. Make sure that the only areas exposed are the brick stone siding surfaces.
Next, determine what gradation of particles is needed for the job. Since sand particles are graded differently, ask the supply store for recommendations on this one. Super fine particles are required for simple cleaning applications. Rougher grains should be used for heavy cleaning. When cleaning recently mortared brick wall, remove large portions of mortar with hand tools and allow the mortar to dry for 2 weeks at least before sandblasting.
Step 2 – Safety Procedures
Careful safety procedures should be done before the actual sandblasting work. Take note that high velocity particles of sand can be hazardous to the skin, the eyes, and other parts of the body. Use thick clothing to cover every inch of skin. Wear welding gloves to cover the hands and wear eye and head protection as well.
Step 3 – Load and Prepare the Sandblaster
Load the sandblaster with sand and install the nozzle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in setting up the machine and check for recommended cleaning distances. Check the instructions as well for recommended sandblasting rate.
Step 4 – Test the Sandblaster
Before using the sandblaster to clean the entire brick stone siding, it is best to test the machine on a small inconspicuous area first. Test the sandblaster at a close distance and test if it effectively cleans the small surface. Move a bit further and test again until a good distance is reached.
Step 5- Clean the Entire Area
Stand at the optimum distance and sandblast the entire area of the wall and move from area to another after each portion of the wall has been cleaned. Never take too long at one portion of the wall as the sandblaster may do more damage than good.
A sandblaster can be quite costly so try renting one instead. Rental centers can also supply different grades of sand particles or ask them where to buy some.
If a brick stone siding has mortar that has not yet completely cured, never attempt sandblasting. Always wait for at least 2 weeks before proceeding.