Using Hydro Blasting to Remove Grout
Removing grout that is dry and ugly can be a chore, but it can be made easier by using a technique known as hydro blasting. This is a term used to describe high pressure washing. There are other forms of blasting, like abrasive sanding, that do the same thing, but hydro blasting uses only water. You do not use chemicals of any kind, but you could add soap and other cleaning materials to the water. Hydro blasting can be used by nearly anyone, as it is a very simple process. Hydro blasting efficiently removes mold and mildew, but can also be used to remove old grout. This is by far the easiest way to complete this chore, and the following article will show you how.
Step 1 – Prepare the Area
Removing grout with a hydro blaster is not difficult, but you need to make sure the area is prepared. If you are working in the tub or shower then close the door or shower curtain. If you are removing grout in any other areas, then cover them with plastic sheets and tape them down. The high pressure from the hydro blasting machine can hurt glass and other surrounding materials. Make sure the plastic is well secured.
Step 2 – Prepare the Hydro Blasting Machine
There are 2 kinds of hydro blasting machines. Manual machine require you to pump them, to create pressure, while automatic ones can be plugged in or take fuel. Stay away from fuel powered machines if you're working indoors, as these create carbon monoxide, which can kill you. The drawback to using a manual machine is lack of pressure, and having to pump it to maintain the pressure. Regardless of which you choose, fill the water container to the top. If the machine is manual, then pump it a dozen times, to create pressure inside the lines. If electric, then you simply have to plug the machine in to an outlet.
Step 3 – Safety
A hydro blaster is safe, but you may encounter flying debris. Wear face and eye protection when using a hydro blaster. You do not want to inhale grout or get it in your eyes. Grout can cause irregular breathing and stomach illness if swallowed.
Step 4 – Hydro Blast the Grout
Removing the grout with a hydro blaster is a simple process. Plug the machine in or, if a manual system, pump the plunger. Turn the hydro blasting machine on, but do not pull the trigger. Approach the grout from the side and within several inches. Pull the trigger. The closer you get to the wall, the greater the power of the stream. Adjust the distance of the water stream, depending on how tough the grout is. If it is thoroughly embedded, then move the stream closer. Move the stream around the area at several angles, in order to work the grout away from the wall. Continue until the grout is gone.