Here are some suggestions to make clean up easy.
Clean Up Methods
You can blast on a hard surface, like concrete. Sweep and shovel up all abrasive and paint removed and dispose of it properly.
Alternatively, place 6 mil plastic underneath the project. Be sure to secure the corners.
When the project is completed, it's likely that it will be too heavy to pick up the entire sheet of plastic at one time. We recommend cutting it into sections to make it easily manageable. In the video below, you can see the plastic sheet method of containment.
(Setup can be seen at 1:30 and cleanup can be seen at 3:58)
Curtains or Barriers
If you’re in a delicate place or situation, you’ll want to set up some simple curtains or barriers. Here’s a great example by Blast Brothers.
They have this simple barrier, and as a bonus it’s even branded with their business name and phone number! If you don’t want to set up a barrier to stop the media’s momentum, simply lay out a larger area of plastic.
More Ideas for Containment
"Sediment containment barrier (the black fabric that is used by contractors) works great and is cheap and reusable. Comes in 100-ft rolls with stakes."
This will keep media out of unwanted areas, such as the customer's yard.
Photo credit: Pro Blast of South Florida
With curbs, try having a helper walk with with you, holding a blast shield, and blast towards the shield. When your helper moves with you, you don't have to worry about setting up containment along the entire length of the curb, you only need one small piece.
Here's what our contractors say:
- "You can just use a simple piece of plywood."
- "Make yourself a blast shield. Two wheel barrel handles bolted to a piece of thin sheet metal 4ft wide x 2ft high."
- "I made one of a rubber corrugated roofing panel that folded up. Worked really good when getting close around cars."
- "You may want to put sand bags or barriers around drains along the curb, to prevent stray media from going down the drain."
- "If you are blasting curbs near traffic, it might be useful to use a 2-way radio, so your spotter can communicate with the hose guy when there is approaching traffic. If possible, blast during low traffic hours, like 10pm - 6am."
Stripes / Parking Lot Markings
Here's an idea similar to the blast shield for curb paint:
"I have a box built 1 foot high by 4 foot long that I blast my lines and contain it as best as possible. Just blast and slide."
If outdoors, can be a good idea to rent a street sweeper to clean up after blasting. You can factor that into your quote, and pass the cost onto the customer.
Here's a great idea from one of our contractors:
"As I walked through Home Depot trying to think of something to put down to keep the dirt from kicking up around the base of the hydrants, I came across these 4’x3’ tin flashing pans for roofs. Took one and cut in half and cut out half circles. Put duct tape on the cut edge since it was pretty sharp, but all in all it worked out great and is lightweight. I was going to use wood, but thought it would probably get weighed down from all the media and water. I did 23 fire hydrants today and averaged 5 minutes blasting and probably 2 minutes setting up at each hydrant."
Photo credit: Peedee's Blasting
And here is another easy containment method:
"We did 100's [of fire hydrants] for a city or two, we did some wet, some dry. 220 dollars each. Used a piece of rubber to fit around the whole thing to protect the grass or ground. That price was for just blasting. Remember you've got to drive to each one set up, blast, take your stuff down and then clean up, then drive to the next one. City was worried about contamination so we built a PVC plastic containment wall 4ft by 4ft to place around the hydrant. But we ended up not using it after our initial demonstration for the city people."