What is Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry ice blasting is known by several names: dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, C02 blasting, dry ice dusting and even environmentally sustainable cleaning. Dry ice blasting is similar to sand blasting, plastic bead blasting or soda blasting where media is accelerated in a pressurized air stream to impact a surface to be cleaned or prepared. But that’s where the similarity ends.
Instead of using hard abrasive media to grind on a surface (and damage it), dry ice blasting uses soft dry ice C02 pellets, accelerated at supersonic speeds, creating mini-explosions on the surface to lift the undesirable item off the underlying substrate.
Although it looks much like pressure washing or sand blasting, the big difference is that dry ice is – dry. The CO2 is so cold (– 109° below zero) that it causes the dirt molecules to shrink, loosening them from the surface. As soon as the pellets hit the surface they change from solid to gas creating a molecular “blast” that pries off dirt, grime and paint.
Dry ice has replaced solvents that damage the environment and are a workplace hazard. This also eliminates the hazardous waste disposal costs to get rid of both the chemical drainage and the residues which has been contaminated by the chemicals.
Dry ice is a non-conductor of electricity so live electrical equipment and wiring does not have to be removed or de-energized during the remediation process. HVAC equipment and duct work can be cleaned without extensive dismantling.
How we Use Dry Ice Blasting
Traditional mold remediation methods involve sanding and scraping to remove mold and staining that is embedded in wood. These processes are very time consuming and is challenging when attempting to reaching the small spaces where mold can grow. The best way to ensure mold spore removal from wood is through Dry Ice Blasting.
The final step following Dry Ice Blasting is to simply HEPA vacuum the dust particles and debris that has been removed from surfaces. No waste water. No chemical drainage. No dust, sand or plastic beads scattered throughout the environment.
A fire can cause soot and smoke damage to metal, brick and concrete and charring to wood. This type of damage is unsightly and holds odor. Traditionally, the removal method has been sanding, scraping and wire brushing.
Dry ice blasting is one of the methods we use to remove soot and charred surfaces. It also reduces or eliminates the musty burnt smell that results from fire, smoke and water damage. Dry ice blasting provides an efficient removal of smoke damage even in the tight angles of trusses, around nails, wiring and all plumbing without damage to the surface integrity.
Dry ice blasting has many unique and superior benefits over traditional blasting media:
- Soft dry ice C02 pellets are made from food grade carbon dioxide that has been specifically approved by the FDA, EPA and USDA.
- Non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive cleaning method.
- Environmentally responsible and contains no secondary contaminants such as solvents or grit media
- is clean and approved for use in the food industry.
- Allows most items to be cleaned in place without time-consuming disassembly.
- Does not damage active electrical or mechanical parts or create fire hazards.
- Can be used to remove production residue, release agents, contaminants, paints, oils and biofilms.
- Gentle enough to dust smoke damage from books or as aggressive as removing weld slag from tooling.
- Can be used for many general cleaning applications.
Featured in Positively Superior
Dryco removed lead from original ceiling tiles by dry ice blasting at a historical renovation project called the Luyre/Empire Block in Superior, WI.
We are very proud to have been a part of this restoration journey!