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Sandblasting Indoors – A Complete Guide

Occasionally contractor’s are asked about performing a sandblast job indoors.  Anyone who has sandblasted knows how much dust sandblasting creates and how messy it is, which can make the thought of indoor sandblasting unappealing. While it is not the easiest or ideal scenario, sandblasting indoors is possible if you follow proper steps and practical safety tips. This guide will cover how you can sandblast indoors.

Step 1 for Sandblasting Indoors – Dust Containment and Dust Suppression

Dust is one of the biggest problems that you will have to deal with when sandblasting indoors. You will need to contain the dust so that it doesn’t migrate throughout your building as well as ensure you have adequate visibility while blasting so you can see the progress and profile your achieving while sandblasting indoors. A few practical tips to help with dust while sandblasting indoors include consider using a wetblast option if you have a way to allow any excess water to drain. Wet blasting can help suppress dust by about 85 – 95% depending on the type of wet blasting system you choose.  For economical wet blasting you can try a basic water ring, while for higher efficiency dust suppression you could use a water injection blast system.

In addition to dust suppression you want to contain dust. This is usually accomplished by using a variety of tarps that are positioned to trap dust created while blasting. You will also want to check for any dust collection requirements with OSHA which will depend on a variety of factors from what you are blasting off to what is going on in or near the building you are sandblasting in. Indoor blasting can sometimes require unique dust collection systems that utilize specially designed fans with socks that are safe for blasting.

Step 2 for Sandblasting Indoors – Improving visibility

While dust is problematic because it is a safety and cleanliness problem, it is also a problem from a visibility standpoint. Specifically, when sandblasting indoors it can be hard to see the surface and progress your making sandblasting due to the air having a lot of dust in it. To overcome visibility problems when sandblasting indoors, you can suppress dust as mentioned or improve visibility. Improving visibility while blasting indoors can be done with bright lighting. LED blast lights that go on your blast hose can also provide additional visibility directly  of the work area your sandblasting.

Final Thoughts

Blasting indoors requires unique considerations for dust containment, dust reduction, visibility, and safety compliance. By coordinating with safety officials and planning how to address the dust sandblasting inside will create as well as the visibility challenges you will be better prepared to succeed at an indoor sandblasting project.

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