Dry Ice Blasting is a very effective way of cleaning during the restoration process. EPSCO Envirotech employs small rice size pellets of dry ice shooting them out of a jet nozzle with compressed air. It works somewhat like sandblasting or high-pressure water or steam blasting, with superior results. The frigid temperature of the dry ice -109.3°F or -78.5°C “blasting” against the material to be removed; causes it to shrink and lose adhesion from its sub surface. Additionally when some of dry ice penetrates through the material to be removed, it comes in contact with the underlying surface. The warmer sub surface causes the dry ice to convert back into carbon dioxide gas. The gas has 800 times greater volume and expands behind the material speeding up its removal. Paint, oil, grease, asphalt, tar, decals, soot, dirt, ink, resins, and adhesives are some of the materials removed by this procedure. Only the removed material must be disposed of, as the dry ice sublimes into the atmosphere.
At EPSCO Envirotech we feel that dry ice blasting is a better method and an improvement over steam and water blasting for several reasons:
- 1) Electrical parts and generators can be immediately put back into service used without waiting to dry.
- 2) Radioactive contaminate removal doesn’t require large storage containers for contaminated water.
- 3) Mildew and mold removal are far more complete with less chance of regeneration because of water vapor or moisture.
- 4) Dry ice blasting removes more algae, sea slime, and mussels on boat hulls, than water blasting, which allows the organic matter to reattach sooner.
Adhesives are easily removed in comparison to alternative methods as the lowered temperature serves to weaken the adhesive bond. Many companies are blast cleaning old labels off containers that are being re-used. Abrasive methods often generate heat and can therefore fail with some adhesive removal.
Dry Ice cleaning is extremely effective in removing toxic residues, soot, and associated smells after a fire. Independent dry ice blasters often work with major insurance companies over a large geographic area to quickly clean fire and smoke damaged locations.