Our Processes & Approach

SW Sodablast Ltd | Ph 0800 612 5575 | Mob 07788582925 | swsodablast@gmail.com | Based in Taunton, Somerset & Birmingham

Our Approach:

Our ‘Approach Goal’ is to deliver the required specification the Client wants, and the required specified preservation level of the substrata.
This may sound obvious but it is unfortunately not often the case in paint removal and structure cleaning.

We acknowledge that there is a bit of an artistic eye required with our work in order to achieve the specification or ‘look’ the Client and Architect after.  And in terms of Listed buildings and structures there are most definitely specification goals and preservation requirements to be achieved.  With all building projects there is an element of discovery during this stage in terms of what the layers of coatings are, how they respond to the removal processes and what the condition of the substrata is like.  As such, the specification goals may change during the process by the client and/or by the building itself and it is our goal to respond and adapt to these changes accordingly.

Our Processes:

Soda Blasting  >>  Thermatech Super-Heated-Steam  >>  Technical Light Abrasive Basting

Our ‘Process Goal‘ is to offer the most appropriate method(s) to achieve the desired specification and substrata preservation level in the most efficient and cost effective method possible.  Below is a brief explanation of the three primary systems we use.

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Soda Blasting Method:

Sodablasting – Is a non-abrasive blast cleaning method and it’s methodology is at the heart of what we do.  That is, to achieve the best specification using a substrata friendly process with eco friendly credentials.

Soda blasting is not a new process but it is relatively new to the UK and becoming better known, especially in the listed building industry and other sectors such as manufacturing where specialty applications are required and few efficient methods exist.

 What is Sodablasting and how does it work:
Sodablasting uses an industrial food grade level baking soda that is slightly more crystallized than what is in your kitchen cupboard.
In application it looks like typical grit blasting but it is a VERY different process.
The basic principle is that the soda crystal hits the surface where it crushes & pops, creating a sideways action or energy that removes paint and other contaminants.

It is an incredibly diverse process but it does have limitations which is why we also offer other processes.

Dry or Wet:
– Dry application it is most often used so dust management is required
– Wet application is used in certain outdoor instances such as graffiti removal in a public place so no dust management is required.

Applications include:  Paint removal, wood beam paint removal & cleaning, wax & stain/paint removal, cement based coating removal, organic matter remediation, stone cleaning, fire damage, general cleaning & degreasing from various surfaces, industrial equipment refurbishment, structural fabric cleaning, and much more…

Can be used on:  Wood (Oak, Elm, some pine applications, etc) , Sandstones, all other stone, brick, tiles, aluminium, fibreglass, carbon fibre, copper, bronze, stainless steel, steel, cast iron, glass, rubber and many plastics, and more…

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Super-Heated-Steam Method:

This application is the most sympathetic of any system for stone, brick and concrete cleaning and paint removal
and normally no chemicals are required as a pre-treatment.

  • Thermatech Super-Heated-Steam is a low pressure steam machine that operates at 150 degrees (steam is created at 100 degrees).
  • Thermatech is not a typical hot water pressure washer or even a typical steam cleaner/hotbox. At best, these other hot water systems produce very hot water and ‘occasional’ steam.
  • Termatech operates at consistent high temperatures and the system can be adjusted to different heat/pressure requirements.
  • People in the restoration industry will likely have heard of ‘Doff’. To be clear, ‘Doff’ is a brand of machine v/s the process which is Super-Heated-Steam.  The Thermatech machine basically functions like a Doff machine (ie. outputs super-heated-steam) but by opinion is a more efficient system and can operate at the 150 degree level consistently.

Super-Heated-Steam and how does it works
In application the system will look similar to pressure washing but it is very different.  Operating at a low pressure, super-heated-steam will bubble modern pliable paint coatings from the substrata and clean the most delicate sandstone of organic contaminants without using high volumes of water or injecting high levels of water into the substrata.

Although most work can be completed using plain water, if we do encounter an extremely difficult modern coating, we can use a paint softner (different to a chemical paint stripper) as a pre-treatment that absorbs into the paint making the steam removal process easier.  Also, some carbons with deep ingresses into stone can require the use of a poultice to help draw this out IF a lighter specification is desired than what can be achieved without it.

Applications include:
–  Modern pliable paint and coating removal from stone, brick & concrete

–  Stone, Brick & Concrete Cleaning – organics, carbons, general grime, chewing gum and other contaminants

– Deep Cleaning of warehouse floors, tennis courts, pavements, paving blocks,

–  Other applications include UV Varnish removal from hardwoods such as Oak (survey required)

Can be used on:
Stone, brick, concrete, tiles, stainless steel, hardwoods and any other substrata that is not affected by heat up to 150 degrees.

** An additional service is the application of moss & algae killing solutions to patios, footpath’s, roof areas, walls, etc.

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Light Restoration Grade Basting Method:

We have somewhat coined this phrase in order to differentiate our services from what is generally referred to as ‘grit blasting’ or ‘shot blasting’ or ‘sand blasting’.  The latter are typically industrial blasting applications such as blasting heavy steel or concrete with the aim of removing surface material to produce a specific profile for industrial coatings and utilize much heavier equipment and blast medias.

We are in the restoration blasting industry and specialize in the use of very light abrasives, which are very useful in many applications to achieve a particular specification.  This level of abrasive blasting is more about finesse and we can achieve incredible results.

Some of the equipment we use for this is more traditional blasting kit but as we run a very high quality dry air for soda blasting, we can run very light abrasives, in contrast to most typical ‘grit & shot blasters’ whose equipment is typically geared up for heavy blast medias.

Not to give our secrets away, but we use a recycled range of products that are friable and comes in a variety of very fine grades.

Typically we may use the light abrasives as a stand alone process, or in conjunction with our other processes to achieve efficiencies and/or a particular specification.

Applications:

  • New green oak – remove stains & marks without excessive grain loss or ‘fuzzing wood’
  • purposely ‘weathering’ or ‘aging’ new wood to blend with old wood (solid wood or veneers)
  • Providing a ‘key’ for certain refinishes
  • Removing heavy wood fillers
  • Etching rust from steel, purposely providing a key on a surface for refinishing process
  • Lightening stone or brick where tars have cooked into them due to fire damage
  • Removing cement based coatings from stone and brick
  • Removing difficult coatings prior to detailing with soda
  • Detailing certain substrata to achieve a particular specification
  • And so on as required or specified

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