Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Case Study: Dry Ice Cleaning Restores Fire Damaged Cathedral Ceiling to Full Beauty

Church Restoration

When a man splashed 10 gallons of gasoline into the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida, and ignited it in July 2020, churchgoers escaped but the church was left with extensive damage.

Afterward, church leaders spoke of redemption and forgiveness, but there were fears that the building’s soot-covered, tongue-and-groove pine cathedral ceiling would be less forgiving.

The extreme heat generated by such a fire causes tiny pores in the wood to open and fill with carbon residue that can penetrate deep into the wood and leave it permanently blackened.

Removal and replacement of the elaborately constructed ceiling would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but removing the soot and carbon staining without damaging the wood did not seem to be an option.

Dry Ice Cleaning Delicate & Effective in Restoration of Wood Ceiling

Luckily, the fire restoration company reached out to Polar Clean to learn more about our processes. The company was familiar with dry ice (CO2) cleaning but had not found anyone else in the country who could go in delicately enough to prevent damage to the wood and still be able to remove the carbon deposits that had permeated it.

While dry ice cleaning can be applied with enough force to cut a 2×4 in half, it can also be applied under pressure so delicate it amounts to a “dusting.”  Either way, using proprietary processes, equipment and dry ice formulations – and the skill of a team with deep experience in a broad array of applications, including historic restoration – our dry ice cleaning is incredibly effective at removing dirt, staining, soot and a wide variety of other forms of stubborn build-up and deposits from nearly any surface.

In the case of the fire damaged ceiling, our experience in scaffolding and project design for hard-to-reach spaces was also called into play.

A week later, the results were clear: Dry ice had restored the woodwork to its previous beauty.

The Most Effective Cleaning for Complex Restoration Cleaning Jobs

Developed over decades of innovation and collaboration with engineers and researchers across multiple industries, proprietary methods and equipment make Polar Clean unique in our ability to tackle tough jobs like removing carbon from wood without damage. From fire restoration to mold removal, to the removal of decades of build-up for historic restoration, dry ice cleaning is the method of choice for jobs that require deep cleaning with a precise, safe, tightly controlled and water-free process.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduced risk and liability
  • Reduced waste disposal
  • Non-chemical
  • Non-toxic
  • Non-abrasive
  • Non-flammable
  • Non-conductive
  • Environmentally safe
  • Safe for equipment

Contact us to learn more about how Polar Clean can help solve your most challenging cleaning and restoration requirements.

Contact us to learn more about dry ice blasting for post-fire cleanup and restoration