Sandblasting avoiding slow death

Our house is covered in flaking paint, the sort of paint that was thought to be or at least sold as the ideal thing for your house 30 years ago, an unbreathable impermeable waterproof layer.

I need to remove it along with some blown patches of render so that I can re-render at some point.

I have already attacked two walls with a large sandblasting machine that I hired, one that requires a large compressor and a space suit. It was pretty unpleasant work and carries with it the risk of silicosis and a slow death.

Understandably would like to find a better solution, I see on the Kiloutou website that they have a low pressure system that is adjustable. The one I used previously was not adjustable, it had two settings, off or blow you off the scaffold. And if you left it on one particular area for more than a nanosecond you would be through the wall and shot-blasting the telly.

There is also the possibility that I can buy some sandblasting kit to attach to my pressure washer, although this sounds like it could be a bit crap.

Folk of experience, what say ye?

Low pressure machine from Kiloutou, needs compressor too

Previous very unportable awkward noisy deadly setup

Fat Lego man

Paint to be removed

A few points.

Sandblasting can be dangerous, so the right safety kit is essential including the right safety cloths, helmet and air supply. If in doubt get a professional company in to do the job, it's better than ending up with health problems later.

To do similar to mine, I've tried Power Washing - not strong enough, Beadblasting - good but eats through the Beads, and now have resorted to an Angle Grinder with a knotted brush, which is messy but actually works for me.


Dry ice is becoming popular in heritage renovation of surfaces but I have not looked into this process in France. Quite a few companies are doing it in UK. It removes sand out of the equation which is good for the operator plus diminishes the amount of debris as the ice departs this world as CO2.

I would sandblast in the normal way but get a decent filtered air fed helmet sorted out first. Running an extra airline to the suit in order to make it positive pressure will keep all the dust and rubbish out although you will look like a balloon man once pumped up. Great way of keeping cool though :-)

Is it me or does the sound track to that video sound like it came from a mucky movie?

Yes, if there is a risk of ground (soil) saturation thus pollution, at least I ws advised in the UK and perhaps France is not as sensitive but I suppose a question of conscience - anyway it matter neither way because I had begum ny enquiries through my local council so had no choice.

This looks ideal
Comment décaper les surfaces extérieures ? par Kiloutou

Looks like the perfect solution, except for the cost. I have a mobile scaffolding tower and I'm hoping to hire equipment and carry out the work in one day, thus keeping the cost of the job to under €400 with any luck.

I hadn't considered the potential toxicity of the paint, is this really a problem though with adequate protection?

Thanks Chris, I will strike that idea from the list.

Meant raid your pggy bank

I have the Karcher sandblasting kit - forget it, it works, but is only meant for small jobs, and their blasting medium is expensive and gets used up very quickly.

That looks good, none of the nasty damage and poluution from what I gather. Paid your piggy bank and go for it. I'll certainly store that clip and details on my HD for when we can afford it along with our asbestos removal (oh yes) and so on.

James, here is the system.

Evidently the operator doesn't stay on the ground smoking his fag and preserving his health. He is in the cabin, but in a secure zone - the rest is pretty much as I described earlier.

It's a good point David. I think James is proposing to strip off and re-render afterwards which should maintain the integrity of the structure.

I am an architect and over a forty year period we have been involved in the restoration of many old buildings, many of them being listed including Grade I buildings in the UK. Sandblasting should be avoided as it is a destructive process which removes a hardened surface crust of the render whether it be cement or lime based. Poultices are often used and there are products you can buy in the UK- not sure about French availabilty. Try

First class advice can be obtained from a guy called Philip Priest of Priest Restoration in London but they are large scale contractors in the UK.

Once a surface has been damaged by sandblasting it's hard to get back. Rendered buildings are easier to deal with than stone or brick buildings of course.

Nick's thing sound right, what I didn't say was that my garden was polluted so much I had topsoil skimmed off and replaced after, on three bl**dy sides of the house. What Nick is describing sounds safe. Sand blasting, which is what I had, if the rendering has toxins (and have it tested to make sure) means staying somewhere whilst it is done and perhaps 48 hours and if you have a garden get checked. When I did I had only my then OH and near adult stepson but with younger children. Also, given most of Aquitaine is soft stone, your walls and the soft sand mortar are going to get a heck of a pounding, including the risk of blasting through in places. Gonna cost to do the best but it probably pays on balance in the end. Sooner or later we have the same to do so I'll be interested in hearing how it goes anyway.

Don't know if this is any help and I don't know if you can get it in Dax, but there is a guy called Thomman Hanry, please check the spelling (given my soul searching earlier), but he has developed a sytem that doesn't need a scaffold or an internal operator.

He brings a vehicularised telescopic platform, creates a seal, which if you can imagine goes from the platform and forms a seal on the building - bit like the gantry when you get on an aeroplane from a passerelle. Inside of this, he has installed all the types of high pressure kit that you may require and the means of evacuation by simple tube. The result is when the operation takes place, everything is contained within the platform seal and the debris is evacuated by the tube, straight into the wagon that also drives the hoist. The operator stays on the ground.

And yes, he has patented it. Look him up on the net though, it may be what you are looking for. I don't know if he has franchised the system yet, but he is cleaning up here in Paris.