Use dry ice blasting to prepare your concrete

Concrete surface preparation is one of the most important components in the decorative concrete installation process. It is clear that decorative coatings will better adhere to a clean surface contaminated with oil, glue, dirt, back sealers, etc. However, preparation also opens up holes in the concrete, allowing coatings to penetrate deeper into the surface. Proper cleaning and preparation prior to installation will also prevent inconsistencies and defects in surface coatings over time.

Many methods can be used to make concrete slabs for decoration including sand blasting, diamond grinding, steel shot blasting, etching compound etc. An effective, expensive alternative is carbon ice blasting. Dry ice blasting is not widely recognized in the concrete world for its ability to create surfaces, but it can be just as effective.

How it works:
Dry ice is pure, solid carbon dioxide that does not melt. To make it, carbon dioxide has to be converted from gas to liquid. Then, as the liquid CO² is exposed to normal air temperature, some of it freezes into ice. This ice is pressed into small ice cubes or blocks, which are then used to dry ice into blasting machines.

Using an air compressor, ice cubes are quickly blown to the surface to remove a variety of coatings. As the pellets meet the surface, they undergo a process called sublimation, which instantly converts from solid to gas and expands up to 800 times its size. Expansion of the gas allows the particles to penetrate deeper into the surface, while incredibly cold temperatures freeze and weaken the grim grip on the surface. With such a deep penetration, decorative products are able to adhere better to the concrete surface, which increases the durability of coatings.

Because the knives are instantaneous on contact with the surface, this process is non-abrasive and minimally clean. There are no dust or chemical residues to dispose of, unlike when using sand blasting or chemical strippers. This process is non-toxic, makes it user-friendly and environmentally safe, and high pressure can reach areas where brushes and chemicals are sometimes inaccessible. Dry ice blasting is a time saving option. Blasting will dry the surface completely so there is no waiting time between preparing and applying the decorative coating. -109 ° F is also capable of killing dry ice mold and bacteria at Fahrenheit, making it a disinfectant and an excellent cleaning solution, even stains on products like graffiti on walls.

Depending on the dry ice blasting machine used, this unit can be completely self-made. Some machines require a compressed air source. Most blasting machines are available for rent or purchase, come and work for you with the option to pay a professional. One of the limitations of this technique is the cost of pressure washing, sand blasting, or other methods of preparation. Dry ice blasting your concrete can cost from $ 1.50 to 50 2.50 per square foot. Depending on the location of the job site and the availability of machine and dry ice, the rent can be approximately 500 1,500 per week. Dry ice pellets used in the machine, depending on the location, can cost about – 30- 40 40 per pound. The cost of buying a machine can range from $ 12,000 to $ 40,000. However, if you are saving time and money and getting better longevity in your concrete coatings, the initial costs may be worth it for you and your customers in the long run.

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