Cold Jet, LLC and HS Dryice Blasting, a Germany-based contract cleaning company, recently partnered to help restore one of the largest wooden houses in Europe.

Cold Jet, LLC and HS Dryice Blasting, a Germany-based contract cleaning company, recently partnered to help restore one of the largest wooden houses in Europe. Measuring more than 9,000 square feet (840 square meters) and located in the forests of Vlodrop, Netherlands, the home is the European headquarters of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and a seminary center for the Maharishi European Research University (MERU). Built in 1998 by a Finnish company, the building was originally the home of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM.

Since 2002, the building has gone untreated, resulting in the wood being affected by mold, moss and dirt. For the 50-year anniversary of TM in Germany which took place on July 22, 2010, the MERU refurbished the building’s East façade, including all the wooden balustrades and planters which needed to be disassembled for cleaning and painting. After considering multiple cleaning options, including sand blasting, water blasting and polishing, project manager, Rolf Kiupel, selected dry ice blasting.

“We selected dry ice blasting because unlike sand and water, dry ice blasting does not generate any secondary waste that could potentially contaminate the garden in the front of the building,” said Kiupel. “The home was built on the principle of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, which is architecture in harmony with the laws of nature. Given that dry ice blasting is an environmentally responsible cleaning solution, it was the only option for this restoration project.”

“This was a challenging project given the massiveness of the facade, the impact of the humid forest conditions on the building’s untreated exterior and the tight timeline,” stated Georg Schulz of HS Dryice blasting. “After receiving approval for the project, we had four weeks to get the work done. We used Cold Jet’s cleaning systems because they consistently deliver good results and were able to continue blasting for hours to help us meet the requested deadline. MERU was extremely satisfied with the results, and the building looked great for the celebration.”

Cold Jet’s dry ice blasting systems use reclaimed CO2 in the form of solid dry ice particles accelerated through a hose and high-velocity nozzle to remove the mold, moss and dirt from the façade without damaging the wood. The dry ice particles sublimate upon impact with the surface, cleaning without any by-product and eliminating the added cost and environmental impact of secondary waste treatment and disposal. In addition, Cold Jet’s systems were able remove the contaminants without damaging the wood, providing a prepared surface for a wood preservative and three layers of paint, which were applied following the cleaning process.

“Given the size, scope, conditions and unique cleaning requirements of this project, dry ice blasting was the optimal solution,” said Gene Cooke, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cold Jet, LLC. “Over the years, our systems have been used to restore a variety of historical landmarks and items, from books and dinosaur bones, to lighthouses, churches and bridges. Our systems allow our contractors to clean in less time, with fewer resources using a more environmentally responsible solution.