sandblasting vs pressure washing

Proper surface preparation for painting can give you an advantage over your competitors by increasing the durability and aesthetic appeal of your work. Two options you have for this are sand blasting vs pressure washing – and today, we’ll highlight the pros and cons of each. 

Choosing the appropriate tools will not only increase customer satisfaction but also make your work more efficient, thereby boosting your rate of job success. There are a number of similarities between sandblasting vs pressure washing, but it is the minor distinctions that determine where each method is applicable. 

Here is a detailed comparison of the two, as well as some suggestions for getting the job done right.

What is the Difference Between Pressure Washing and Sandblasting?

When dealing with cleaning contaminants, pressure washing is the preferred method, whereas sandblasting is deemed more effective at removing existing paint from a surface.

Sand blasting creates a profile on the surface to be painted, providing a strong bond between the new paint layer and the surface. When combined with an etching agent, pressure washing can also profile a surface. 

However, because pressure washing is not commonly used to remove paint, it is mostly used on new surfaces. However, hot water pressure washing can help you achieve the same result.

What is Commercial Pressure Washing?

Commercial pressure washing is classified into two types: cold water pressure washing and hot water pressure washing. It’s also referred to as water blasting or power washing.

Pressure washing is a surface preparation method that involves spraying a high-pressure stream of water onto the surface to remove contaminants such as grease and debris. Cold water pressure washers remove less resistant contaminants like oil, but you can customize with detergents and degreasers for pressure washers

Before applying a new coat of paint, you can also use commercial hot water pressure washers to remove the old layer. To get the best results, however, you must follow the proper procedures for stripping paint with a pressure washer.

What is Dustless Sandblasting?

Sandblasting, also known as abrasive blasting, is a surface preparation technique that uses high pressure to release abrasive media to clean surfaces without generating a massive dust cloud. It is extremely effective at cleaning metal surfaces, but it is also effective at cleaning other materials. 

Sandblasting removes paint and prepares the surface for the next coat of paint. It improves the adhesion of paint to the surface, thus improving the quality of your work. 

Sandblasting can be wet or dry, depending on whether or not the abrasive media is moistened. Wet sandblasting uses a high-pressure stream of water to moisten the abrasive media before it contacts the surface. Moistening prevents dust clouds without interfering with the media stream’s effectiveness. 

Sandblasting without water: Dry sandblasting uses high-pressure air instead of water to blast a stream of media.

Sandblasting vs Pressure Washing: Which is Best for Your Unique Needs?

Ready to discover which of these two methods is best for your unique needs? It all comes down to your surface preparation and painting abilities. 

However, as a professional, you should choose a customizable option that can be used for multiple projects with a little improvisation. Nonetheless, here’s a side-by-side comparison of sandblasting vs pressure washing:

Advantages of Sandblasting

Sandblasting can be utilized in a variety of situations due to its variable surface cleaning intensity. 

Due to the release intensity, sandblasting is also a quick method of surface cleaning. It is also well-known for its ability to clean various materials, making it a versatile choice.

Disadvantages of Sandblasting

Because abrasive blast media is more expensive than water, it is less popular among professional service providers. Sandblasting is also very intense, which increases the likelihood of damaging your painting surface. Dry sandblasting can also pollute the air by releasing dust clouds into it.

Advantages of Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is eco-friendly because it uses fewer chemicals and water while producing quick results. No dust clouds are released into the atmosphere during dustless pressure washing. 

It is also more cost-effective because water is less expensive than abrasive blast media, a pot, and a compressor, resulting in a higher profit margin. 

Sandblasting is ineffective at removing grease from surfaces, whereas pressure washing is. It is a gentle method of handling delicate surfaces that leaves no residue. Unless used at extremely high pressure or with a narrow pressure washer tip, pressure washing rarely causes damage.

Disadvantages of Pressure Washing

Pressure washing’s main drawback is that, if not used carefully, it can blitz through flimsier building materials. This may force water into unintended spaces, resulting in the destruction of insulation, flooring, and walls.

You can always adjust the water pressure or avoid using a narrow pressure washing tip.

The Verdict:

Since pressure washing targets difficult-to-reach surfaces and provides thorough cleaning, it is far preferable to other methods. Additionally, it eliminates all built-up material beneath floor surfaces, preventing property damage. 

Tips for Beginning Commercial Pressure Washing

Many individuals believe that commercial pressure washing is as simple as purchasing a quality pressure washer and beginning operations the next day. 

Although a commercial pressure washing business has a lower initial investment and a higher profit margin than most other businesses, there are a number of factors to consider in order to protect your investment and ensure steady business growth. 

Choose the Best Pressure Washer

There are many different types of pressure washers designed for different types of jobs. The majority of paint manufacturers will rate their products as NACE or SSPC. Pressure washing is permitted for surface preparation under NACE standards 5 and 6. 

However, when pressure washing NACE level 6 products, you may need to use an etching agent. NACE level 5 paints necessitate the use of a pressure washer with a PSI rating greater than 10,000. SSPC 1 indicates that oils and soils should be removed before painting, which can be accomplished with a pressure washer. 

Hotsy is South Texas’ leading supplier of pressure washers. If you’re looking for the best commercial pressure washer machines, you should base your decision on specific factors like pressure washer GPM.

Don’t Forget the Detergent & Other Accessories

Using a good detergent can help you increase the intensity of your pressure washing and make your work more appealing. It makes it simple to remove contaminants like oils, tough stains, and grease. It also breaks down the rust and algae before applying pressure to make removal easier. 

Detergents revitalize your surface and make it more receptive to new paint. Using homemade pressure washer detergent can be harmful, hence it is not the best soap for pressure washing

The best detergents have specialized surface preparation formulations. Because of its larger noozle, which reduces water velocity and creates pressure in the hose for easy soap absorption, the black nozzle is the most popular soap nozzle for pressure washers.

Learn How to Use a Pressure Washer Safely and Effectively

Now that the question “What is the difference between pressure washing and sandblasting?” has been answered, learning some pressure washer tips and tricks can help you ensure safety and efficiency in your work. 

Safety is an important consideration, especially when pressure washing commercial buildings. Unique jobs, such as pressure washing parking lots, require unique safety precautions to effectively remove residue without causing surface damage.

You will also learn about various improvements you can make, such as how to use soap with a pressure washer and whether to use hot or cold water. You can handle any type of machine, no matter how complicated it is to operate if you have pressure washer safety measures at your fingertips. 

Pressure washing machines are designed for a variety of purposes, just as each technique is tailored to a specific situation. Hotsy has a complete line of these machines to help you complete any project successfully.

Safeguard Your Investment Over Time

To be sustainable, you must keep your working tools in perfect condition for the next job. This is where accessories like pressure washer oil come in handy. 

Many tips are available, including how to winterize a pressure washer and general pressure washer servicing. Rust-preventive agents can also be added when cleaning metal surfaces with a pressure washer or wet abrasive blasting. 

Whatever you’re cleaning, proper customization with the right accessory combination can do the job perfectly. Hotsy has a variety of such accessories that you can try out to see how they affect your work.

Final Thoughts on Sandblasting vs Pressure Washing

The primary difference between pressure washing and sandblasting is the media used. The latter employs water, whereas the former employs blast abrasive media. 

Sandblasting is very effective at cleaning steel surfaces and removing paint, but it has more limitations than pressure washing, which is highly customizable. 

Hotsy is the most popular commercial pressure washing store in San Antonio. Whether you wish to purchase equipment or seek commercial pressure washer rental services, we’re here to help you supercharge your cleaning or surface preparation process – stop by one of our South Texas locations today, give us a call, or browse our website!