Sandblasting is a great way to clean up garden furniture or remove old, peeling paint from your home's exterior. It does the job effectively and saves hours of hard work scrubbing and cleaning.

Whether you're hiring a professional or doing the job of sandblasting yourself, it's important to be aware of the potential risks. Since abrasive particles are being fired under high pressure, you should make sure you don't inadvertently cause any problems. Here are the steps you should take to prepare for any outdoor sandblasting work.

Keep children and pets away

During sandblasting, it's important to wear protective equipment to avoid inhaling or coming into contact with flying particles. This means it's even more important to keep children and pets away from the work area.

If you have a cat, make sure you keep them indoors on the day the work is due to be done, as they have a habit of disappearing only to turn up at the least convenient moment possible.

Protect your plants

Plants can easily be damaged by sandblasting equipment, which is a big problem if you have any prized specimens. Covering them with light, loose netting is usually enough to keep them safe, while also making sure they're not being weighed down. If you have fruit trees nearby, it may be easier to protect them using tall, free-standing boards.

Move any vehicles

Sandblasting is also used for removing the paintwork of vehicles, which should tell you how important it is to get cars and bikes well out of the way. You shouldn't need to move them too far, just get them away from the immediate area where the work is being done.

Check doors and windows

You should be especially careful not to forget this step if your home is the thing being sandblasted. Check and double-check that all of your doors and windows are securely shut to protect possessions and inhabitants inside. Let your family know what's happening and remind them not to reopen any windows or doors once they've been closed. You might find it useful to stick up a few notices to remind them.

Put away garden equipment

Lawnmowers and other items of garden equipment can be damaged inside and out by sandblasting. If particles get into the motor, they can cause a complete breakdown, so put them away in the shed or garage. If this isn't an option, cover them thoroughly with tarpaulin and weigh it down so it stays in place.