Graffiti Removal with Dry Ice
Many building owners have struggled with how to remove graffiti, and oftentimes simply resort to painting over it. Previously, the only other option was to sand or soda blast the graffiti, but that can result in damage to the building as well as extensive clean-up afterward. Many building owners, especially those owning historical buildings, have decided to turn to the use of dry ice blasting when removing graffiti. Dry ice blasting is time efficient and effective when removing graffiti from almost any surface, and it causes little to no harm to the existing building.
How it Works
The cleaning method of using dry ice is extremely simple. It employs carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice pellets that are pressurized into a steam. When this dry ice blasting is directed onto a painted surface it will cause the paint to dissipate or flake off upon contact. It is most commonly used on brick and historic buildings that do not have another coat of paint underneath the now present graffiti. The dry ice blasting is also extremely non-abrasive and will cause very little to no damage, if any, to the building itself.
Not only that, dry ice blasting for graffiti removal has gained popularity due to the ability to remove the graffiti with one pass of spray. This eliminates more traditional, time-consuming methods for most users almost immediately. Sandblasting and other power washing methods often require multiple passes to completely remove the painted graffiti as well as any other dirt or grease that may also have made its way onto the building while the paint was wet. Because of this dry ice blasting saves not only time but the labor costs involved. There is no clean up necessary after dry ice blasting because there is no use of water, the dry ice dries upon removal and contact with surfaces. When dry ice is used, it sublimates while it dissolves and removes the paint. Since it is essentially evaporating after converting into its gaseous state, it leaves no water and no excess to clean after use. Having no clean-up then eliminates extra time and labor needed to remove the graffiti.
Dry ice blasting is a chemical-free cleaning method. This makes it safe for humans to use as there is no odor and no hazmat concerns. Without the harsh chemicals, there is no need to have any extensive hazmat training before the use of a dry ice blasting machine. However, it is still important to understand how to properly use the dry ice blasting equipment so you are less likely to injure yourself or others throughout the process. Dry ice sits at extremely low temperatures and can cause burn-like injuries with excessive exposure to skin. Be sure to always work in well-ventilated areas due to the release of carbon dioxide from the dry ice sublimating, and always read and fully understand the manufacturer’s operating instructions and safety protocols before use.
Deciding to use dry ice blasting is a worthwhile investment when you find yourself in need of building restoration of any kind. This is especially true in the removal of graffiti because of the ease of removal, lack of harsh chemical use, and essentially no cleanup. Simply remember to have a full understanding of all equipment and dry ice handling before use, and you’ll be ready to quickly get rid of any graffiti on your building.