The Green Factor of Vapor Blasting

blog3Although the popularity of sandblasting is known, the positive environmental effects of vapor blasting are still being uncovered and gaining acceptance by the mainstream. As the importance of becoming greener is increasing, vapor blasting may be the more suitable option for your project.

The clear, positive effects of choosing vapor blasting over dry blasting should be made evident. For one thing, vapor blasting equates to a 92% reduction in dust over sandblasting. The large volume of dust makes sandblasting a dirty job. Operators and workers on sandblasting projects must wear the proper and necessary protective gear to guard themselves from a mini sandstorm. On a project where we sandblasted a metal staircase, some people from a distance thought there was a fire in the building because of all the smoke elevating in the air! Because of the dust factor and other reasons, vapor blasting is a more sustainable process to restore surfaces to their original youth.

Furthermore, blasting is becoming a legal issue in certain parts of the country, and will surely make its way to the Midwest. California and New York City are the early adopters in becoming environmentally friendly because of their legal implementation of blasting projects being performed only by Tier 4 Compressors, which are the most eco-friendly. McCahill Painting uses the very latest technology in the form of Graco EcoQuip 2 Vapor Abrasive Blast Equipment. Graco is a leading manufacturer of such equipment, giving us the best tools for the best results. Please see below to visualize what the equipment looks like.

Choosing McCahill Painting to perform your vapor blasting work will be the most eco-friendly choice in Chicagoland! Please contact us to discuss your blasting project in more detail!


Sand Blasting Metal – Asset Preservation in Chicago, IL

We all know the importance of proper surface preparation. There is no better surface preparation than sandblasting all of the old paint, rust or other contamination off the metal. Very importantly, in addition to cleaning the metal extremely well, sandblasting metal also creates a surface profile for new paint adherence. It’s a win-win situation. McCahill Painting uses Graco Tier 4, which is environmentally friendly equipment. The video demonstrates vapor blasting, which is the same as sandblasting except there is a 92% dust suppression rate. This is the greenest method to complete this transformation process. This is by far the best surface preparation method available today! Contact us today to learn more!


Soda Blasting on Metal – The Perfect Solution for Paint Removal

soda blasting on metalWhen paint is applied to any surface, you need to achieve either a mechanical bond or a chemical bond to the substrate being painted. At this large shopping center, neither type of bond was attained when the metal was painted. The white metal had a factory finish on it and was very slick. A contractor applied paint directly to the slick metal without proper surface preparation leaving behind a paint film that had marginal adhesion. Soda blasting on metal was not only the best solution to remove the paint, but also the only remedy to remove this failing paint. Vapor blasting, along with using baking soda on the media, accounted for the miraculous, 100% removal of the failing paint. The soda blasting on metal achieved incredible results, as you can see in the video. Most importantly, adjacent surfaces are not damaged whatsoever. Soda blasting was the perfect resolution for our client.


Importance of Cleaning Metal Silos

painting silosCleaning metal silos, storage tanks or other equipment is important for the simple reason that the contamination on the existing paint film actually starts the degradation/corrosion process of the metal. If the metal is left uncleaned, eventually, but sooner than later, the metal will start to rust. It makes sense, especially economically to power washed/chemically clean the metal prolonging the lifetime of the original paint application.

McCahill Painting is certified/experience in using Ariel lift equipment which is required in the majority of these type of industrial cleaning applications. The really important piece of equipment we use are tow behind power washers, with 520 gallon water tanks that heat the water to 250°. In this type of cleaning application, water volume is much more important than water pressure/psi. Combining the 250° hot water with the right biodegradable/environmentally safe cleaner is the key to a successful industrial cleaning project. In this video you can see heavy contamination being completely removed which of course stops the paint film degradation/corrosion process from starting. It is time and money well spent to extend the life of the original/previous paint job. Besides that, from an aesthetic standpoint, the equipment looks much nicer.

Steps for Painting a Factory Finish Metal Facade

Painting a factory finish metal facade is a sensitive painting application. Since you’re starting with an existing coating that has excellent adhesion qualities, when you’re complete, the paint system you applied must also have great adhesion qualities.

Asset preservation and aesthetics are the main reason to paint a building (usually shopping centers) factory finish metal facades and the roof of the pedestrian walkway overhang. The sun’s ultraviolet rays degradate the factory finish metal causing it to color fade, oxidize and lose the mil thickness of the original coating opening up for rust contamination. Of course you’ll be able to see rust on this metal façade which must be addressed, or the corrosion will get worse.

Please keep in mind when you’re watching the video there are both people and lots of cars involved that need to be protected. The wind is also an important factor in this type of coating application. This shopping center is located on the northeast corner of 63rd and Fairview in Westmont. We actually completed the project in 2011 and if you drive by tomorrow, it still looks great.

We start the project by power washing the buildings metal façade using 250° hot water and an environmentally safe/biodegradable cleaning chemical removing any oxidation or other contamination. We then completely hand sanded the metal using a combination of 50 grit and or 120 grit sandpaper depending on the degree of the corrosion. The sanding is done to remove loose paint, rust and mil scale but also to create a surface profile for the new paint to adhere to. After that we re-clean the metal removing all sanding/preparation contamination. McCahill Painting then spots prime all of the areas that had any rust or previous mil scale using an industrial grade rust inhibitive metal primer. This is when we have completed the preparation process.

Now all masking required is completed so that paint overspray doesn’t hit substrates not intended to be painted. Next the building metal façade receives a bonding prime coat followed by two finish coats of a high grade acrylic satin coating. Any color can be used except for we discourage using black or darker colors whenever possible. The building metal façade now looks is good is it does when it was originally installed. Besides looking good, all corrosion has been stopped. That’s a win-win in the painting world.


How to Remove Paint from Brick

remove paint from brickThe brick on this commercial building was improperly applied and had marginal adhesion. The only way to correct this shoddy application is to remove the paint and start over. Using 250° hot water, 4000 psi and a Roto tip combination you can see the paint is easily removed from the brick. We’re getting 100% removal and not causing any damage, whatsoever to the brick or mortar. This is an awesome system to remove paint from brick.





Benefits of Electrostatic Painting of Metal Equipment

electrostatic-paintingThe electrostatic painting of metal equipment is a unique application process. The paint is chemically manufactured to be sprayed using a specialized electrostatic gun, the piece of metal being painting is grounded and when the paint is being sprayed it is pulled/drawn to the piece of metal your painting.

As with any painting project most important part of the work is the preparation. Since this was existing equipment in a manufacturing plant with lots of oil contamination we power washed equipment using 250° hot water removing all oil residue or other contamination. Even though we are electrostatically spraying we still need to mask off items on the metal carts that we do not want to paint such as the wheels.

Now it’s time to sand the metal removing any contaminants/loose paint, etc. We are also sanding to create a surface profile for the new paint to adhere to. After that we dust down and solvent cleaned the metal getting it ready to be electrostatically spray. At this point the preparation process is complete.

The benefits of electrostatic painting is up to 98% of the sprayed material going directly to the metal surface being painted, making it very efficient with minimum overspray. Electrostatic painting also creates a very smooth factory finish on the metal being painted, it looks great.

Importance of Structural Steel Painting

mp-video-stills-roofPainting structural steel beams is an asset-preservation based project. The importance of these beams cannot be overstated, as they ensure the overall structural integrity of any given building.

As steel begins to corrode, it thins and gradually loses strength. Everyone has seen rusted doors and railings that corrode to the point of having to be replaced. Needless to say, one doesn’t want such a thing happening to that which holds their entire building together.

The first step in refurbishing structural steel beams, depending on the severity of the corrosion, is usually to sandblast them. Sandblasting, as its name implies, is a cleaning technique in which high-abrasive sand is blasted at a contaminated surface. In this instance, sandblasting the structural beams wasn’t necessary. The building’s proactive owners ensured that the structural steel required only hand and power tooled preparation.

The first part of the preparation process begins with power grinding the metal to remove any loose paint, rust, or mill scale. This creates a fresh surface profile for the new coating system to adhere to.
The next and final step in the preparation process is solvent cleaning the metal. If you look closely in the video, you can see the immediate impact that this step makes.

For the prime coat, we are using a two-component epoxy mastic industrial primer. This primer chemically converts Iron Oxide (rust) into a solid, paintable surface. You can observe that we pour the A & B components together followed by thoroughly mixing with a drill. Under normal circumstances we would then spray-apply the prime coat. For this job though, site conditions required to us brush/roll instead. Regardless of the method, all of the manufacturer’s application specifications are strictly followed.

Lastly we apply the finish coat, a two-component industrial urethane. The same catalyzing system is used for this coat as with the prime coat. This particular finish coating is abrasion resistant, has excellent adhesion, can be used for water immersion applications, and possesses long-lasting color/gloss retention qualities. We apply two coats of this product to ensure good mil thickness protection on all of the horizontal members of the structural steel.

After the implementation of our coating system, the structural steel beams look great and are guaranteed to be rust-free for years to come. View our video below to see the entire process:

Case Study – DM Productions

Interior Rust Removal and Painting Project

If left unchecked, rust can destroy your metal substrates. When David Michael Productions saw their new warehouse facility beginning to rust away, they called the rust prevention and asset preservation experts at McCahill Painting Company.

Two elements are required to begin the chemical reaction that causes rust – water and oxygen. A few expertly applied coats of paint can safely seal your metal surfaces from the damage caused by this common chemical reaction.

The McCahill team began by laying out 2 mil visqueen and tarp to protect the warehouse floors. All metal surfaces were thoroughly cleaned and hand sanded with 120 grit sandpaper. This process ensures an even surface profile for the paint to adhere to. The surfaces are then wiped down with Xylene, to remove any possible contaminants from the initial cleaning.

Once the metal surfaces were cleaned, the team applied one finish coat of Benjamin Moore M22 Industrial Enamel to the upper columns and dock levelers. The doors and door frames were painted in a client-approved, two-tone scheme, consisting of white and Safety Yellow.

The client was extremely pleased with the end results. David Pollock, of David Michael Productions, said, “Every aspect of the work performed by McCahill was beyond my expectations,” and, “I greatly appreciate the professionalism we experienced using McCahill Painting Company.”

Case Study – Shipping Dock Walls

Wall Sealant Application

A facility in Oak Brook, IL had a problem with a common wall shared by executive offices and their shipping dock. The exhaust from the idling trucks was actually seeping through the concrete cinderblock wall, causing an unpleasant smell for employees. The company decided to turn to McCahill Painting Company, with whom they shared a 10 year working relationship, for the solution.

The company wanted this project completed as quickly as possible, but they could not afford to interrupt the daytime truck traffic in the dock area. McCahill Painting Company was able to accommodate their needs by working a combination of weekend and 2nd shifts.

Concrete is actually a porous material. Concrete sealants are applied to concrete surfaces to prohibit the absorption of liquids and / or airborne contaminants. However, prior to application, the surface must be cleaned and prepared.

The McCahill team power washed the concrete surface to remove any carbon monoxide residue left behind by the diesel engines, using our HydroTek T4500 pressure washer at a setting of 250 degrees and 2000psi. Backer rods and hydraulic cement caulk were used to fill and repair any existing damage to the surface. Wire brushes were used to remove any loose mortar nubs. A final pass with the pressure washer removed any remaining contaminants.


To ensure that absolutely nothing would be able to penetrate the wall, the McCahill team opted for the same vapor barrier system used by waste water management facilities. First, they applied a prime coat of Sherwin Williams Kem Cati-Coat Two Component Block Filler. This was followed by a preliminary finish coat of Sherwin Williams Sher-Tile HS Epoxy and completed with a full second finish coat.

Applying a barrier coating is a very difficult process. A wet-film gauge is required to determine the appropriate thickness during application.

“It’s tough work, but the end result is incredibly durable,” said painter, Mike Matarrese.