For many years, the only method of removing the charred and blackened surface of otherwise sound wooden structural members after a fire was the extremely labor- and time-intensive method of scraping the charred material away. Even after all that work, the burned odor still remained.
There is an alternative rapidly increasing in popularity: soda blasting, using bicarbonate of soda, more commonly known as “baking soda” (but it’s not exactly like the baking soda in your pantry). The technology was developed in the mid-1980s primarily for the purpose of cleaning the Statue of Liberty inside and out, a delicate task requiring effectiveness without damage. This same method allows the user to gently and quickly strip away the burned and charred surface, leaving clean bare wood exposed…all without harming exposed wiring, pipes or fixtures. The soda also provides the added benefit of absorbing the lingering burned odor.
Until now, this process required a costly visit by a contractor with cumbersome, expensive, trailer-mounted equipment. The Eastwood Company now offers lightweight and portable equipment to the user who wishes to do fire restoration work and paint-stripping quickly and efficiently, without inflicting additional damage.
Perhaps the best feature of soda media is that it is completely inert and water-soluble, saving you a great deal of clean-up time, with no environmental impact when the job is done. Of course the proper steps should be taken to recover the blasted coating particles before blowing or washing the dust away.
Soda as a blasting media has many other uses as well. Use it for paint stripping, mold remediation, removing graffiti, cleaning stains from concrete, and cleaning years of tarnish from copper and brass fixtures. It’s widely used in auto restoration to strip paint from metal and fiberglass, and also has the ability to clean and degrease complex mechanical assemblies such as transmissions or rear axles, with no harm to internal moving parts. Since it is not an abrasive, it will not harm delicate mechanical assemblies, wiring, lines or underhood components.
As always, Eastwood offers our customers the latest and best in equipment and supplies to help make their projects the best they can be. We now have several soda-blasting units to choose from, and a selection of bicarbonate of soda medias available.