Coating at roof

Aqua Brite Abatement Services in Puget Sound Area

Abatement is the removal of a hazardous substance in a contained and controlled environment. When removing the paint, you must consider the surface. Steel is much harder to impact than brick, wood, or concrete. The size and weight of the media along with delivery air pressure are variables that are chosen to minimize surface damage. This is especially important with soft brick, old mortar, or thin metal to avoid warpage.

Abatement Process

To describe the abatement process, I include these steps:

  • Construct a secure containment, as close to airtight as is reasonable to expect.
  • Place air ducting from a dust collector inside of the containment area. The filters in the collector must have the correct rating for the job. It also must be capable of pulling enough volume of air to create a negative flow inside the containment area.
  • Sandblast the surface to remove the hazardous material, using media that will minimize the change to the masonry surface being abated.
  • Recover the used blast media into a container suitable for transport to the disposal site.

The above items 1-4 describe the basics involved in the sandblasting procedure. I welcome the opportunity to describe the process in greater detail with customers, to show and describe the role each piece of equipment plays in the process of completing each job.

One such project was performing a Lead Abatement service on a 700 ft. long U.S. Coast Guard metal building interior at Pier 36 in Seattle, WA. Work was performed while they continued to occupy the offices and gym facilities. Aqua Brite was recognized by The Contractor’s Association as one of the top accomplishments of the year!

Large Area Abatement

When the scope of work is to abate a large area, a temporary containment is constructed, which is a separate task. Once the containment is in place, the mechanical controls are as follows:

  • A large dust collector is used to create a negative airflow inside the containment. That means you are removing many times the air volume you are pushing in with the sandblasting process.
  • A meter is used to verify the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the containment. This eliminates airborne dust from migrating out of the containment. The dust collector is equipped with HEPA filters so none of the hazardous dust escapes. This is verified with constant air monitoring.
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Small Area Abatement

If a smaller area is the issue, other options are available. It is not necessary for containment with this process. Aqua Brite has a blast recovery system that sucks the blast media (steel grit) and dust back into the machine.

The grit is filtered and reused, the dusty air is processed through a HEPA filter. An example of the benefit of this machine is preparing either welding or cutting lines on a surface with lead paint, such as demolishing an older vessel.

Abatement for PCB or Lead

The most common abatement issues are either PCB or Lead, which were added to paint before the knowledge of related health hazards. These substances must be removed according to strict standards of control and disposal.

Waste Disposal for Abatement

Before the abatement process begins, a plan for waste disposal must be in place. Paint samples are analyzed by a lab to determine the percentage of contamination. This can affect whether a pretreated blast media is used (PRETOX) or a spray-on chemical is applied to the surface prior to sandblasting.

Either of these options can help ensure that the used blasting media will pass a TCLP (Total Metals) test, allowing it to be disposed of through normal channels. Aqua Brite has diesel-powered vacuum machines that recover the used media back into the large fabric bags it is shipped in.

Strict Requirements for Abatement

There are strict requirements in place that must be observed when performing an abatement. They are to protect workers, citizens, and the environment. We, at Aqua Brite, have the specialized equipment, knowledge, and experience to provide a safe and successful outcome.

Dave Zahradnik will be happy to discuss your needs and provide you with a plan to accomplish your task. Contact him and ask about similar jobs completed or any other questions you may contact +1 (206) 244-0404.