Coal Bin Cleaner

Here is a question you likely don't see very often.
Old house that formerly had a coal bin. Cinder block wall blackened from the coal. What is a good cleaner that won't harm the wall?
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Seems like shop vac and brush, then 409. ? Is it unpainted ? I had a coal bin too. I don't remember residue.
Since I don't know what's in the vicinity, hard to say.
Greg
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'Jim[_46_ Wrote:

I can't think of anything that would work on coal dust, other than a vaccuum cleaner or heat from a heat gun to convert the coal into CO2.
Maybe try vaccuuming first, and see what that does.
Then, if you have an electric leaf blower, I'd try that next.
Then, I'd try heating the wall in a small area with a heat gun (or propane torch) to coax the coal into becoming CO2.
And, ultimately, if nothing works well, you can buy a "block filler" paint made specifically for painting concrete blocks. This is a thick paint that fills the surface porosity of concrete blocks to make for a smoother, more attractive surface.
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nestork

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On 3/23/2013 11:01 PM, nestork wrote:

Nasty stuff, I would look to seal all of it in some way. Putting fire to coal dust sounds like an explosive situation. Blowing coal dust around isn't too good for your health either (black lung). Think of drywall dust but 10x worse.
Wash or vacuum off the loose stuff (may ruin your vacuum though) then parge the walls. Prime and paint if you wish. The stuff on the floor floor could be shoveled up and disposed of, bury or burn *outside*, and then the floor mopped. I don't know if parging would hold up on the floor so maybe a cheap tile job (so called 'first run' tiles are as little as $1 each) would seal the floor. Good place to practice if you have never tiled before, especially using 'first run' as they are not uniform in size.
John
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Nestork,
While I agree with the vacuuming, I'm uncomfortable with the leaf blower. The leaf blower will put the coal dust into the air. A dust explosion may result.
Dave M.
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On 3/24/2013 11:53 AM, David L. Martel wrote:

Not w/ the amount of dust could be talking about. But, still you definitely don't want to be stirring it about any more and getting anything/everything else filthy as well...
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Bare block actually is a fair sound absorber. Filling in the holes makes things a lot louder.
Greg
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After cleaning per Greg Z, a couple of coats of a latex paint applied with a long roller should penetrate into the blocks and seal them pretty well.
Even better would be to clean the walls using a pressure washer and some means of catching the dirty water, and then allowing to dry thoroughly for several days, and then applying paint using a pressure washer to get the paint deep into the cinder blocks. You don't say that the wall is "wet", so I'm assuming that water seepage is not a problem.
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On 3/24/2013 12:23 AM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Pressure washer with paint?
Look forward to seeing the You Tube video ;)
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On 3/24/2013 2:45 PM, Frank wrote:

Suggest someone at a distance take the video, so's the exploding compressor doesn't bust the camera :o) Video of the shop vac exploding from coal dust might also be interesting.....
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I would scrape the heavy stuff off walls and floors, pick up all the debrs as best as possible, then pressure wash everything.....
I lived in a home converted to natural gas from coal heat and have been in many homes that were converted.
Although there was some loose coal dust in basement the coal cellar rooms were always clean so it must not have been hard to clean
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