Hydro Blasting 101

Hydro blasting is a type of cleaning method that is used to sand and level surfaces of a number of different kinds. It makes use of the force of water to achieve a clean surface on the material in question. Unlike other types of cleaning processes that are related, toxic and potentially hazardous abrasive chemicals are not used to strip off a surface. Instead, water is channeled through a pressurized system to blast the target material in a highly focused and pressurized beam. Read on for a brief overview of hydro blasting, what it's used for, and the benefits and disadvantages of this method of sanding and cleaning a surface.

Hydro Blasting Overview

To distinguish hydro blasting from a procedure of simply washing a surface off with water, professionals will classify the washer according to the pressure of the stream of water that it emits. Generally, water jet systems that emit water at a pressure greater than 10,000 pounds per square inch (psi) are considered to be hydro blasters. Anything less than that will generally be considered to be either a low pressure or a high pressure water washing system. As the pressure level rises, the water is able to strip off more and more layers of the surface of the material. This is beneficial in cases in which low pressure or high pressure washing will not be sufficient to eliminate the items from the surface of your material.

Uses of Hydro Blasting

Hydro blasting is frequently used to clean materials of a wide variety. It can be used for industrial cleaning of metals like steel and iron and is frequently put to use in order to strip off layers of rust that have developed on those and other metals as well. It can be used at home to clean off sidewalks and driveways or to strip layers of paint off of wood and other surfaces. Many people use a hydro blaster to remove finish and other items from a wall before repainting or surfacing it.

Benefits and Risks of Hydro Blasting

Hydro blasting has several benefits over other types of surfacing and sanding techniques that involve the use of non-water materials. Unlike these other techniques, hydro blasting will not result in the emission of potentially hazardous fumes into the atmosphere. It will also not run the risk of corroding metals or damaging other surfaces, provided that the stream of water is carefully monitored for pressure levels.

There are also some disadvantages to hydro blasting. First, it may cause injury if performed incorrectly; the stream of water is incredibly high in pressure and may lead to injuries of different types if directed toward a person or animal. Additionally, there are certain types of chemicals and paints that will be resistant to hydro blasting and which may require chemical treatments in order to eliminate.

Hydro blaster machines are generally available for rent from home improvement centers.