D-Drill cleans up London park
Robert Edgington and Dave Wheeler, from the nationally acclaimed firm D-Drill, were called in by CVU London Highway Alliance to remove graffiti at Kennington Park as part of wider regeneration project.
An area of the park – close to the Oval Cricket Ground - was being landscaped and block paved and the operatives were required to clean graffiti from a London Underground ventilation shaft that was proving to be an eyesore.
D-Drill, which has expertise in diamond drilling and concrete sawing, has recently imported the EcoVapourClean machine from the USA as part of its work in the cutting and finishing of kerbstones to 45 degrees for the Cycle Super Highway in London.
But the firm has also decided to diversify into the graffiti removal thanks to the technology.
The machine uses semi-precious or recycled materials and creates 92 per cent less airborne dust than a conventional sand blaster – something which was essential due to the brickwork being located near to a busy road.
Also, because of the amount of water used, there is little to no water ingress and run-off as the mist created evaporates quickly. No damage is done to the mortar or brickwork and it is much more environmentally friendly than traditional methods because the natural mixture in the blast material means it can go back into the water table.
The team completed the work in four hours and the technique not only removed the graffiti but also gave the bricks themselves a new lease of life, removing discolouration caused by years of wear and tear.
Robert Edgington, of D-Drill, said: “We were called in at short notice as the vent shaft wasn’t due any work but looked out of place with the rest of the park makeover.
“We chose to put our vapour blasting technique to the test rather than using old technology of sand blasting due to the close proximity of the main road and busy bus stop 25 yards away.
“It creates less dust and hardly any water, meaning less of an impact on the surrounding environment. Up to then, we’d been using it to blast kerbstones after they’d been cut to make sure they had the same look and texture as those around them.
“But we knew there was the possibility of diversifying into the removal of graffiti because of the success we have had with the removal of thermo-plastic white lines with damaging asphalt. It worked superbly.
“The vent shaft was blasted and washed down quickly and efficiently, removing the graffiti as well as general discolouration due to the age of the brickwork.
“We were very pleased with the end results and the customer was more than happy with the work as he only expected the graffiti to be removed.”