Dry Ice Blasting for Mold Removal Cost & Info
Mold is a pesky thing that plagues many properties all across the world. It is also quite expensive to get rid of so cheaper alternatives like dry ice blasting can be appealing to property owners who are looking to get rid of mold. That being said, does dry ice blasting really work for mold removal, and what are the caveats that should be considered when considering dry ice blasting? This article will answer all of those questions and more.
What is Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry ice blasting utilizes pressurized air to blast solid carbon dioxide pellets (dry ice) onto a surface for the purpose of cleaning it. Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide that turns into a gas as it becomes hotter.
Why is Dry Ice Used to Kill Mold, and How Does It Work?
Dry ice remediates mold in 3 main phases:
1. When the dry ice is blasted onto a surface with mold at high speeds, it physically knocks the mold off of the surface.
2. The next part of the process is called micro-thermal shock. Micro-thermal shock results from the pellets freezing the mold contaminated surface. The thermal shock created by dry ice at -79º C causes the contaminants to deteriorate and crack, thereby helping remove oils, resins, food particles, waxes, and other debris. While this part of the process does help remove mold also, it is much more effective at removing other debris.
3. The last stage is called gas pressure. This happens when the dry ice pellets create small explosions as they are being blasted onto the surface and cause the rapid expansion of CO2 gas to 400 to 800 times its initial size. This sudden gas expansion beneath the mold exerts enough pressure to lift it off the surface.
Dry Ice Mold Removal Equipment Rental
Although not recommend, you can attempt to remove the mold yourself by renting a dry ice machine. This will generally run you around $100-$200 per day.
Benefits of Dry Ice Blasting for Mold Removal
Although dry ice is often not enough on its own to get rid of a bad mold problem, it defiantly has its advantages when used as part of the mold remediation process. Here are a few of the main ones:
1. It doesn’t use harmful chemicals: mold sprays contain strong cleaning agents that can cause certain people to have health problems if they are exposed to them extensively. The advantage of dry ice is that it’s 100% non-toxic so this isn’t an issue at all.
2. Dry ice doesn’t damage surfaces: Unlike sand blasting or soda blasting dry ice is not abrasive and therefore doesn’t damage the surfaces that it is being used on.
3. Dry ice blasting is cheaper than traditional mold remediation that requires demolition. That being said, it shouldn’t be substituted for traditional mold removal if the mold outbreak is severe because it won’t sufficiently remove the mold that may be deep under the surface of the wall.
4. It kills mold spores as well as mold so it helps prevent mold from spreading.
5. It is about 60% faster than traditional mold removal
6. Dry ice pellets transform from solid to gas through sublimation during the blasting process, leaving no residual material behind. This eliminates the need to vacuum up any residue after the job is done which saves time and money.
Disadvantages of Remediating Mold With Dry Ice Blasting
1. It’s kind of dangerous if you decide to apply the dry ice yourself. If you accidentally spray your skin with dry ice it will give you frost bite
2. While dry ice blasting is non-abrasive and gentle, that also means that certain surfaces may require a more abrasive cleaning. In the case of mold behind walls, dry ice probably won’t be able to pent-rate far enough into the wall to get rid of all of the mold. Instead it will just remove the surface level mold.
3. Dry ice blasting doesn’t address the root cause of the mold growth which is some sort of moisture source like a water leak for example. If this root cause is not addressed then the mold will likely just grow back eventually.
4. Often mold contaminated building materials are already in bad shape because mold and moisture damage building materials. So even if the dry ice can kill the mold you still might need to replace the damaged building materials to make sure that your property is structurally sound. Using a typical mold remediation method, pros will remove and replace mold contaminated building materials so it would be much more appropriate for situations where the mold and moisture has severely damaged the building materials.
How Much Does Dry Ice Mold Removal Cost?
The cost of dry ice blasting for mold removal is $4-$6 per square foot on average. This is assuming that there is enough mold contaminated building materials to cover a minimum cost of about $200. That includes the cost of the labor and the hard cost of the dry ice. That being said, dry ice blasting may not be enough to get rid of your mold problem on its own, so if you have or suspect that there is mold in your property, it’s best that you call a mold remediation professional like us to inspect your property. We can asses the situation and provide you with a free custom estimate and plan of action.