How Blast Cleaning Can Make Your Commercial Property Look Great

In business, looks can be everything. Keeping your premises looking neat and professional can make the difference between someone buying from you and not buying from you – that’s especially true for bars and eateries!

Whether you rely on foot traffic or you’re just hoping to spruce your premises up for your team, creating an attractive, welcoming environment is crucial for morale. And if you welcome customers into your place of business, you need to make the best possible impression at all times.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at how blast cleaning can help you bring a new lease of life to your commercial property.

What kinds of commercial premises generally require abrasive cleaning?

We’ve completed work for industrial units, office buildings, shops, restaurants – you name it! However, we don’t always work directly with property owners or tenants, we’re usually approached by builders and architects rather than the businesses themselves.

When do businesses generally require blast cleaning services?

Blast cleaning providers are generally called in when a building is undergoing a full renovation or otherwise needs freshening up significantly. Industrial, rustic looks are very “in” at the moment, especially for eateries and bars, so we often get asked to expose brickwork and metalwork in line with this trend.

In terms of industrial units, we’re usually asked to remove paint from walls and steel beams.

What kinds of surfaces do you clean and how?

Most interior and exterior surfaces around properties old and new can be cleaned using abrasive cleaning methods. In terms of the finishes that can be removed, we’re mostly asked to remove older paintwork, especially if it has become discoloured and flaky with age. Blast cleaning can also remove varnish, rust, graffiti, and environmental staining.

Our most gentle clean comes from soda blasting; where bicarbonate of soda crystals are propelled onto a surface at high pressure. The impact of each crystal causes just enough friction for the unwanted coating to come away, whilst leaving the surface underneath undamaged. We generally use soda blasting for cleaning brickwork, wood, iron, limestone, and sandstone.

When a slightly more heavy-duty clean is needed, we generally opt for glass media blasting. This uses crushed glass which is similarly propelled at a surface at high pressure to cause friction. Though the media is very abrasive, it does create a distressed finish on hardwood and brick that some customers quite like.

We can also get rid of mildew, algaes, mosses, and pollution staining using a ThermaTech® pressurised steam system. The surface may firstly need to be treated with a chemical primer to enhance the effectiveness of the cleaning process. Then the machinery propels superheated, highly pressurised steam on to the surface; the temperature kills most unwanted flora and can help prevent it from returning. However because it involves water, ThermaTech® can’t be used on all surfaces.

Are there any non-cosmetic reasons where blast cleaning may be required?

The main reason SBL would get involved for non-cosmetic reasons is to help deal with fire damage. The sooty layers that coat surfaces during a fire can hide the full extent of structural damage on metal and wooden beams, joists, and lintels.

If you’re dealing with the after-effects of a fire at your premises, check out our guide to how we help restore properties after a fire .

What are the most interesting commercial projects that SBL have been involved with?

We were approached by the TV show, Wheeler Dealers, to clean the interior of one of their industrial units. They wanted the two units to be totally identical, but one was painted and the other wasn’t. Rather than painting the other unit to match, they asked us to strip the paint, leaving two identical units with bare brick.

We’ve previously been involved in vehicle restoration projects for the show. In fact, we’ve also helped Car SOS  spruce up a few motors too!

What has been your trickiest commercial project to date?

We recently cleaned a vacant Grade II Listed high-street shop with an upstairs flat in Oswestry. The job itself wasn’t tricky, but there were lots of things to consider. There was a bakery right next door, so we had to seal up the entire building to minimise the risk of dust leaking and causing a food hygiene issue for the neighbours. The work itself had to be carried out over 3 nights so that the noise didn’t affect daytime trade at surrounding shops.

What can I expect from working with Soda Blasting Ltd?

A friendly, expert service! When you contact us for an on-site cleaning project, we will generally ask you to send over photographs of the areas that require cleaning so we can get an idea of what will be involved. Then, we’ll arrange a preliminary site visit so we can assess the project close up – we may even clean a test patch to see which methods produce the best results. When faced with a new project, we generally decide which cleaning methods to use on a case-by-case basis; no two projects are ever the same!

Once we’ve got a handle on how we’ll be able to help, we provide a written quote. This estimate provides a rundown of all costs and an idea of how long we think the project is likely to take. Provided that’s all to your liking, we’ll arrange a date to start work.

Once the project is complete, we will always clean up after ourselves as much as possible. However, please be aware that with interior projects, some spent media may linger in the air for up to 72 hours after work concludes. We therefore advise against “moving back into” the space straight away – and certainly not before a good hoovering!

What safety precautions are to be expected from an abrasive cleaning project?

Our blast cleaning machinery is very loud and the process obviously kicks up a lot of spent media and dust. All of our operatives wear ear defenders, protective suits, and breathing apparatus, where necessary, for their protection. We therefore request that no members of staff, residents, or other tradespeople be on site at the same time if at all possible.

I’m concerned about annoying my neighbours or affecting their business – how can SBL help?

We totally understand how an invasive task like blast cleaning doesn’t just affect you, but those around you too. We’ll always try our best to formulate solutions that address your needs without upsetting neighbours or affecting nearby trade. We’re even happy to work after hours so your neighbours aren’t affected when they’re open for business.

If needed, there are even some situations where we can work within “lived in” properties if needed, though for safety reasons we try to avoid this at all costs. We can tape up doors and windows to help prevent dust and spent media escaping, and carry equipment to cover floors and fittings.

If you’re ready to give your commercial property a bit of a facelift – we’re here to help! Soda Blasting Ltd are an approachable, family-run company who are trusted by business owners and premises management professionals up and down the country. We’re conveniently located in the West Midlands, so we can easily hop on the motorway to most of mainland UK. So if you need some help with your next refit, or just need some friendly, no-obligation advice, give us a call on 0800 774 7632 today!